This is the 6th in our Off-Season Player Reviews. Click here for other reviews and the upcoming schedule.
2012 – 2013 Season Statistics with Cleveland*
GP: 38 Min: 26 PPG: 10.4 FG%: 44% 3Pt%: 37%
A Narrative 2012 – 2013 Season in Review
Wayne Ellington was traded to Cleveland as a part of the Mareese Speights deal in January. After being buried in the Memphis Grizzlies rotation and drafted by Minnesota, it looked like Ellington finally found a home. When Ellington arrived in Cleveland, he provided a strong 3-point threat that fits with a player like Kyrie Irving. In his time with the Cavs, he set career highs in minutes per game, points per game, field goal percentage, and field goals made and attempted. He looked comfortable in Cleveland, and provided many clutch shots at the end of games. When injuries plagued the team, he stepped up and started 17 games, providing quality play during a tough stretch for the team. He is a restricted free agent this off-season, meaning Cleveland can give him a qualified offer to bring him back.
Off-Season Adjustments the Player Needs to Make
Ellington has been a strong 3-point threat since college. Because of that, he needs to work on creating a shot for himself, and defense. His size and length can be a very beneficial piece for a team that will now push for a strong defense.
Cavalier’s Off-Season Options with the Player
Being a restricted free agent, the Cavaliers can give Ellington a qualifying offer of $3 million for next season. This would bring him back and make him an unrestricted free agent next season, or he has the possibility to sign a new deal sometime in the near future. The first option though, is the qualifying offer.
How the Draft Could Effect the Player’s Standing on the Team
Wayne Ellington is the same size as All-Rookie first teamer Dion Waiters. When Waiters went down with injury, Ellington stepped in and played very well. With that being said, the draft should not have a big effect on Ellington and his fit in Cleveland. He can be a strong role player off the bench for this team, regardless of where the front office goes in June.
How New Coach Mike Brown Changes Things for the Player
Mike Brown can help Ellington get much better on the defensive side of the ball. Not saying he is a bad defender, but he has all of the intangibles to be a great defender, and Brown can put him there. On offense, there is always a place for a spot up 3-point shooter, especially with slashers like Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters.
What the Cavaliers Should Do with the Player (Including Options, Trade, Release or Keep)
Cleveland should extend the qualifying offer to Ellington. He proved that he can provide a strong game for the team, after receiving very few chances in Memphis. His clutch shooting and strong team play makes the $3 million, and possibly more next year, worth it.
What the Cavaliers Will Do with the Player
The Cavaliers will bring back Wayne Ellington. Costing very little and with all of the cap space Cleveland has, it should be a no brainer. One of the best shooters in the league will be in a Cleveland uniform come October.