July 26, 2014

NBA News: Wayne Ellington to sign with Dallas

It’s official: The last current player from the Jon Leuer trade is departing Cleveland. It was announced late Tuesday evening that free agent wing Wayne Ellington will sign with the Dallas Mavericks. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski had the first report:

In somewhat of a mild surprise, the Cavaliers decided not to extend a qualifying offer to the 25-year-old North Carolina product this offseason. The team continues to have a need for players at the shooting guard/small forward positions, so it had been initially assumed that Ellington would return to Cleveland.

After moving over in the mid-January trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, he averaged 10.4 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 25.9 minutes. Ellington started 17 of his 38 games for head coach Byron Scott. His 13.9 PER with Cleveland was far better than at any point in his four-year career, while his season totals of 1,661 minutes played and .516 efficiency field goal percentage also were career-highs.

Previously this week, forward Marreese Speights decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors. The January Cleveland-Memphis deal was reported as a salary dump, with the Grizzlies parting ways with the two decent bench pieces, young guard Josh Selby (later waived) and a carefully protected future first-round pick only for the seldom-used Leuer. The first player to receive a multi-year free agent deal from that trade? Leuer, who reached a three-year agreement to return to Memphis last week.

The Dallas Mavericks had an offseason need on the wing with the loss of bench-wiz O.J. Mayo to the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency. They’re also battling with the Cavaliers in the tense final negotiations for center Andrew Bynum, who’s expected to meet with Mark Cuban’s squad on Wednesday, the first day deals can be made official for the 2013-14 NBA season.

[Related: Andrew Bynum, a risk worth taking]

  • Captain Kidd

    What can Dallas offer Bynum? What is their cap situation for this year now?

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Why do the ones I love always leave me?

  • Harv 21

    I liked Ellington, too. Solid NBA player, reasonably priced and entering his prime. Guess they think Jack makes him somewhat redundant in the rotation. I thought a Jack/Ellington second team backcourt would have been pretty decent.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I agree. I thought Ellington was the more complete player between him and CJ Miles. I’m possibly detecting more Mike Brown hubris. The vibe I’m getting is that he thinks he can teach anyone and everyone to play defense, so he’s looking for offense first and foremost.

  • JacobWFNY

    Rock and I are chatting about this now on Twitter. We both agree.

    Although the Cavs actually have a decent enough roster to not have to play many scrubs anymore (Samardo, Sloan, Harris, et al), this SG/SF situation is scary outside of Waiters.

    Letting go of Ellington? Only nabbing Karasev and PF-esque Earl Clark? We’ve got Waiters at SG, Miles can be waived at any point and there’s still Gee. This is mediocre at best.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Yep, I am forced to agree again. Starting SF was the one position I was really hoping to see the Cavs address during the offseason, and it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.

    I don’t have the stats to back it up, but just from watching the Lakers a bunch last year and hoping they would just barely make the playoffs to help out the Cavs’ draft pick, Earl Clark really didn’t look capable of playing small forward very well. Offensively he doesn’t have the shooting the Cavs desperately need at that spot, and even defensively he seemed a bit slow guarding true perimeter guys. I could see playing him there against Kevin Durant, ‘Melo, or some of your other large, slow, or even lanky small forwards, but shooters running around screens seem like they’re going to lose him. I love the addition for the versatility he brings, but he’s not the replacement for Gee that I wanted. Maybe Alonzo will spend the offseason working hard on his 3-pt shot and get up to respectable level next season… that’d be nice.

  • mgbode

    The stats showed that Clark was at his best when guarding the opposing teams SF. I completely agree that he isn’t very good at going over/by screens, but, as I mentioned earlier, I think Grant/Brown are devising the roster to be more an “always switch” defense, which mitigates that issue.

    I also completely agree that we need more shooting on the floor. Unless Karasev is ready to take the SF spot and shoot well from day1 (I doubt it), then we could have a serious lack of outside shooting punch from our starting unit.

    as for Gee, it’d also be nice if he could become a good perimeter defender again. not sure why he regressed so much last year, but he sure did.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    But even those stats you mention don’t tell us who he was guarding at SF… I can see him doing a really good job of guarding ‘Melo at SF, for example. I don’t really remember Clark playing there much for the Lakers this past year, so I don’t remember who they had him guarding.

    The thought on doing an “always switch” defense makes sense… I could definitely see that.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I ain’t on Twitter!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Misplaced love I’d say.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I would disagree with that. I loved him for what he was as a bench guy… I didn’t have any dreams of seeing him trying to do more than he can do.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He was aight just didn’t wow me enough to be upset that he signed somewhere else. Still like others have said it’s not like the Cavaliers are deep at his spots so I’m guessing they have alternatives in mind.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    8 PM ET Chris Broussard of ESPN reporting that Bynum will sign with the Cavaliers!!!!

  • Harv 21

    I commented during the season, and still believe, the Gee of ’12-’13 was the classic letdown after getting the first decent guaranteed money. Last year was Gee’s first of his career where he wasn’t fighting for roster spot/minutes/money. That was reflected in his lack of defensive effort on the floor, whole games with none of the urgency he showed when his contract was up. It’s human nature. Same thing happened to Hot Rod Williams the year the Cavs had to match a huge offer to keep him: he went from a floor demon to extremely chill. Question is: will the urgency return? Maybe if/when Karasev comes on.

  • mgbode

    it is a good point. and, with roster spots dwindling and an even bigger fight for a starting spot (Clark, Gee, Karasev), you would have to think that if he’s not motivated now, then he’s just not going to get motivated again.