Report: Suns, Wayne Ellington already working on potential buyout
Wayne Ellington’s stay with the Phoenix Suns apparently won’t be for long. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Ellington’s agent has already engaged with Suns management following Wednesday’s trade from the Miami Heat about allowing the sharpshooting guard to soon sign with the team of his choosing:
Agent Mark Bartelstein is working with the Suns to waive guard Wayne Ellington and allow him to join a playoff contender, league sources tell ESPN. Ellington is arriving with Tyler Johnson from Miami in the trade for Ryan Anderson.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2019
Ellington enjoyed a breakout campaign of sorts during his debut with the Heat last season. He averaged career highs of 11.2 points and 7.5 3-point attempts in 26.5 minutes per game, emerging as one of the league’s deadliest, most versatile shooters from beyond the arc. The 10-year veteran fell out of Erik Spoelstra’s playing rotation in 2018-19, though, appearing in just 25 games for Miami before he was dealt to the Suns along with Tyler Johnson, also a victim of the team’s glut of viable perimeter players, in a salary-dump trade for Ryan Anderson.
The writing was on the wall for Ellington’s time in Phoenix even before word broke that he was on the verge of being waived. Any contending team could use a shooter of his caliber off the bench, but he seems an especially good fit in terms of stylistic need and roster construction with the Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets. Ellington doesn’t have the floor game of a guy like JJ Redick, but occupies a similar role shooting the 3, capable of splashing triples after sprinting off screens and dribble hand-offs without his feet set or shoulders turned to the rim. He poses an imminent threat to defenses few role players have the skills to duplicate.
The free-agent market will grow increasingly robust after the trade deadline, when non-contending teams begin buying out veterans who prefer to play for a winner. No matter who else becomes available, though, Ellington will certainly find himself in high demand.