It’s no secret that one of the Los Angeles Lakers’ biggest weaknesses last season was outside shooting, and one way they addressed that this summer was the addition of Wayne Ellington on a veteran minimum contract.
Ellington is getting ready to enter his 13th season in the NBA and is actually coming off a career shooting year with the Detroit Pistons in which he shot 42.2% from three on 6.0 attempts per game.
The 33-year-old is no stranger to the Purple and Gold as he played for them during the 2014-15 season alongside Kobe Bryant and others. Because of that familiarity and the championship-caliber roster the Lakers are building, it didn’t take much convincing from Rob Pelinka to come back to L.A. for a second time.
During his (re)introductory press conference, Ellington gave some insight into what those conversations with Pelinka were like at the start of free agency.
“He just kept it all the way real and kept it clear. He told me the way he felt I could help this team. He told me that he had tried to get me in the past and it didn’t work out,” Ellington said of Pelinka.
“To be honest, it really didn’t take a lot because I had already looked at this team and I felt I could really help in a lot of ways, and now with Russ coming here, it made it even clearer for me. We just had a great conversation and he told me how he really sees me, values me and how I can really help this team. It wasn’t a very long conversation, but it was a pretty crisp and straight-to-the-point conversation, so I appreciated that and that helped me make an easy decision.”
While it remains to be seen what role Ellington will play on this Lakers team, there’s no doubt that his shooting and toughness will be a welcomed addition.
Ellington on what he has learned over years
Ellington also discussed what he has learned since his first stint with the Lakers and why he feels he’s in a much better situation this time around.
“I learned a lot. I learned a lot since then. I feel like at that point in my career I was still a young man in this league trying to find his way compared to now. I’ve been to a lot of different situations, a lot of different experiences, and to be part of this team when you look back at that team, it’s just all come full circle.
“You know how people do those memes. You look at that roster. You can do a how it was going then compared to now type of situation, I think it would be amazing to see.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!