SEPTEMBER 23RD: Ellington’s 2014/15 salary of $1,063,384 contains no preseason guarantees, writes Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times, who adds that if the former Tar Heel is on the roster through November 15 he is assured of $315,646. If he is still a Laker on December 1 that number grows to $581,692. Any non and/or partially guaranteed contracts, like Ellington’s, become fully guaranteed league-wide on January 10, as Pincus notes.
SEPTEMBER 22ND, 6:29pm: Ellington’s deal is partially guaranteed, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter link).
5:47pm: The Lakers have signed Wayne Ellington, the team announced (Twitter link). The terms are unclear, but the Lakers are without the ability to give him more than the minimum salary. The 28th overall pick from the 2009 draft had been a free agent since a couple of days after the Kings waived him in a cost-cutting move more than three weeks ago.
The Arn Tellem client was one of a handful of free agents who reportedly worked out for the Lakers earlier this month. It’s been an offseason of movement for Ellington, whom the Mavs traded to New York the day before the draft in the Tyson Chandler swap. New York sent him to Sacramento in an August trade, but his guaranteed salary of more than $2.771MM was a tight squeeze under the luxury tax threshold for the Kings, who are believed to have used the stretch provision to spread out their obligation to him.
Ellington set career lows this past year in most categories, including minutes per game, as the Mavs found little use for the 6’4″ shooting guard. Still, his 42.4% three-point shooting was the best such mark in his five NBA seasons to date.
He joins 15 others who have deals with the Lakers, including 13 on fully guaranteed contracts. Keith Appling has a non-guaranteed arrangement, and it’s unlikely that Roscoe Smith has more than a nominal guarantee on his pact, so it seems Ellington possesses a strong chance to make the opening-night roster.