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:
Dallas has reached agreement on a two-year, $5-million plus deal with free agent guard Wayne Ellington, league sources tell Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2013
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]