Wayne Ellington

Buyout Rumors: Drummond, Porter, Wall, Ellington, Nuggets

The buyout market for Andre Drummond is expected to center around the Lakers and Knicks, says Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report (Twitter link).

Reports earlier this week indicated that executives around the NBA widely view the Lakers as the favorites to land Drummond, given the team’s ability to offer him an immediate role and an opportunity to compete for a title.

However, the Knicks are an interesting wild card, since their leftover cap room would allow them to offer Drummond a multiyear contract worth eight figures annually without having to wait until the summer.

Drummond’s buyout agreement with Cleveland is in the works, while LaMarcus Aldridge‘s with the Spurs is already a done deal. Here are a few more notes and rumors on the buyout market:

  • Multiple teams are keeping an eye on Otto Porter as a potential buyout candidate following the trade that will send him from Chicago to Orlando, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). However, the Magic‘s plan for now is to hang onto Porter, a source tells Haynes.
  • The Rockets and John Wall aren’t discussing a buyout, league sources tell Haynes (Twitter link). Wall has two years and $91.6MM left on his contract after this season, so it would’ve been a shock if the two sides were already looking at a possible buyout.
  • After retaining Wayne Ellington through the trade deadline, the Pistons have no plans to buy out the veteran sharpshooter, says Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (Twitter link).
  • Mike Singer of The Denver Post (Twitter link) expects the Nuggets to take a long look at the buyout market, especially if an appealing shooting guard becomes available.

Central Rumors: Turner, Pistons, Plumlee, Diallo, Bulls

The Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Hornets, and Pelicans are among the teams to explore whether the Pacers are willing to trade big man Myles Turner, league sources tell J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star.

The Pacers were willing to discuss Turner in trade talks during the 2020 offseason and have lost 17 of their last 26 games after an 8-4 start this season, so it’s no surprise that teams are inquiring on the NBA’s leading shot-blocker.

However, Michael says that if Indiana does look to make a move at the trade deadline, it’s unlikely to involve Turner, who has developed into a crucial part of the team’s success. The Pacers have been better both offensively and defensively when he’s on the court.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Within his look at some hypothetical trades for the Pistons, James L. Edwards III of The Athletic reports that the team is seriously discussing trades involving Delon Wright, Wayne Ellington, and Mason Plumlee, adding that there have been some “whispers” about the Nets potentially being interested in Plumlee.
  • Hamidou Diallo‘s Pistons debut will be delayed a little longer due to his groin strain, head coach Dwane Casey said on Monday (Twitter link via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press). Diallo missed his last several games with Oklahoma City as a result of the injury, which he suffered on February 24.
  • The Bulls‘ new-look rotation got off to a good start on Sunday, as the team comfortably defeated Toronto with Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young replacing Coby White and Wendell Carter in the starting lineup. Head coach Billy Donovan cautioned after the game that the new starting five isn’t “set in stone” (Twitter link via Eric Woodyard of ESPN). However, the affected players sounded fully on board with the changes, with Carter stating that he would’ve benched himself too, as K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes.
  • Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic explores what the lineup changes might say about the Bulls‘ approach to the trade deadline, suggesting that the team seems unlikely to be a seller.

Trade Rumors: Hill, Ariza, Tucker, Hawks, Collins, Celtics, More

Multiple playoff contenders have interest in Thunder veterans George Hill and Trevor Ariza, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. According to Charania, the Clippers are among the teams eyeing Hill.

Neither Hill nor Ariza is active right now for the Thunder. Hill hasn’t played since January 24 due to a right thumb injury, while Ariza has been away from the team all season, having been acquired in an offseason trade as a salary throw-in. Hill shouldn’t be out too much longer though, and there’s no indication that Ariza isn’t healthy.

The Thunder have been focusing on developing their young players, so Hill and Ariza are expendable. However, Charania notes that the team would be fine with retaining Hill, who is under contract for 2021/22 at a reasonable price ($10MM).

Here are a few more trade-related notes and rumors from Charania:

  • The Rockets continue to discuss possible P.J. Tucker trades with teams like the Bucks, Heat, and Lakers, but the Nets are no longer believed to be actively involved, writes Charania. A Brooklyn deal for Tucker likely would’ve involved injured guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
  • The Hawks have made trade inquiries in recent weeks about wing players, per Charania. The team is currently missing two of its top young forwards, De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish, due to injuries.
  • Hawks big man John Collins is among the potential trade targets being eyed by the Celtics, but Atlanta’s asking price is high, according to Charania, who says the team is seeking a high first-round pick and/or a talented young player. Collins is eligible for restricted free agency this summer.
  • The Pistons are after a second-round pick in exchange for veteran shooting guard Wayne Ellington, says Charania. Ellington is having a nice year in Detroit, with 10.6 PPG and a .422 3PT%.
  • Heat guard Avery Bradley and Grizzlies forward Gorgui Dieng are receiving interest from several teams, sources tell The Athletic.

Cavaliers, Pistons Among Definite Deadline Sellers

Because there’s now a potential path to the postseason for the top 10 teams in each NBA conference (via the new play-in tournament), it’s taking longer this season for clear sellers to emerge on the trade market, writes Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“Most teams are still in the playoff chase, which makes everyone bunched together and the trade market less active,” a high-ranking team official told The Athletic.

However, as Charania reports, at least two teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings look like definite sellers, according to rival teams. The 13th-seeded Cavaliers and the 15th-seeded Pistons appear to be open for business.

Cleveland’s most obvious trade candidate is Andre Drummond, who has been pulled from the rotation as the team looks to find a taker for him. According to Charania, there have been some exploratory calls on Drummond, with the Bulls among the teams to express some interest, but there’s still skepticism that the Cavs will find an appealing deal for the big man, who has an unwieldy $28.75MM cap hit.

Drummond isn’t the only Cavalier on the trade block. The club has also been open to discussing JaVale McGee, Cedi Osman, and Taurean Prince, according to Charania, who hears that multiple teams have inquired on the Cavs’ wing players. Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Isaac Okoro are viewed as the club’s core pieces and are presumably off-limits.

Like the Cavs, the Pistons have an expensive big man who is sitting out as the team attempts to move him. However, Blake Griffin, who is making more than Drummond ($36.8MM) and has another guaranteed year left on his contract, will be even harder to trade. Sources tell Charania and James Edwards III of The Athletic that Detroit will likely work toward a buyout with Griffin.

Veteran shooting guard Wayne Ellington is expected to draw interest from contenders on the trade market and should be a far more valuable trade chip than Griffin, given his affordable minimum salary and his strong production in 2020/21 (10.6 PPG, .435 3PT%).

According to Edwards, combo guard Delon Wright and big man Mason Plumlee have also registered interest from rival teams, but both players are under contract beyond this season, so the Pistons won’t necessarily feel compelled to move them. As Edwards explains, while Detroit will be a deadline seller, the sense around the league is that GM Troy Weaver won’t be as aggressive this month as he was during his first offseason on the job, when he remade nearly the entire roster.

Pistons Notes: Griffin, Youth Movement, Ellington, Wright

It’s hard to imagine a trade scenario for Blake Griffin, according to a number of staff members on The Athletic. Griffin’s max salary and declining play make it nearly impossible to deal him. Griffin, who will reportedly sit until the Pistons can find a trade partner or buy him out, is a shell of his former All-Star self after multiple knee surgeries, as the story points out his inability to dunk and block shots any longer. The Celtics, Trail Blazers, Nets, Warriors, Lakers, Bucks, Kings and Spurs are all mentioned as possible destinations if Griffin is bought out.

We have more on the Pistons:

  • If Griffin is able to pick his next destination, the situation will be a win-win for both him and the Pistons, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press writes. GM Troy Weaver can continue to chart his own course with his multi-year rebuilding plan and the team’s younger players, like Eastern Conference Player of the Week Saddiq Bey, can get extended playing time.
  • Griffin deserves to be remembered fondly by Detroit fans, James Edwards of The Athletic opines. Griffin led the team to the playoffs two seasons ago and continually played through injuries and pain. He showed the city’s trademark grit, diving for loose balls, barking at opponents and taking charges. Griffin gave everything he could to the team until his body betrayed him, Edwards adds.
  • Given his age and early-season production, Wayne Ellington is the most logical player to be traded, Edwards writes in a separate piece. The Pistons might be able to flip the veteran shooting guard for a second-round pick. Delon Wright‘s versatility to play both guard positions could also make him an attractive trade target. The Sixers are one of the teams reportedly interested in Wright.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Central Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Central Division:

Wayne Ellington, Pistons, 33, SG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $2.56MM deal in 2020

What has gotten into Ellington? Signed to add some depth at the shooting guard spot, Ellington has emerged as a starter and is on the hottest 3-point roll of his career. He’s knocked down at least four long balls and scored at least 16 points in each of the last seven games. Overall, he’s averaging a career-best 13.4 PPG in 24.2 MPG while making 53.2% of his 3-point attempts. Obviously, he’s not going to sustain this pace but at the least, Ellington has shown he can still help a team with his perimeter shooting.

Andre Drummond, Cavaliers, 27, C (Up) – Signed to a five-year, $127.2MM deal in 2016

Sometimes people tend to dwell on a player’s shortcomings and forget about the positives. The Pistons basically gave away Drummond to a division rival last February to clear cap space. Yes, he can’t shoot from outside and he’s brutal at the foul line but what’s so bad about having the best rebounder on the planet on your side? Drummond is averaging a career-high 18.9 PPG with the aid of two young guards breaking down defenses. With the addition of Jarrett Allen, he’s probably not in the Cavs’ long-term plans. He’s not a max player but Drummond is still one of the league’s top big men and he’ll get a strong multi-year contract despite his flaws.

Tomas Satoransky, Bulls, 29, PG/SG (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $30MM deal in 2019

Chicago has an interesting dilemma with Satoransky following the season if it’s unable to move him in a trade. His $10MM salary for next season is 50% guaranteed. The Bulls would have to eat $5MM in dead money to cut him loose but Satoransky’s status with the organization has fallen. He was once viewed as its potential solution at point guard. Right now, he’s struggling just to stay in the rotation. If he winds up in the free agent market, Satornasky won’t be viewed as more than a second-unit option.

Bobby Portis, Bucks, 25, PF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $7.4MM deal in 2020

Portis has a $3.8MM player option on his contract for next season. The way he’s playing, he’ll certainly decline it and take his chances on the free agent market. Portis has been a solid addition for a title contender, establishing himself as the team’s sixth man. He’s averaging 10.9 PPG and is second on the team in rebounding (7.7 RPG), while his PER ranks third on the team. Portis’ offensive production has dipped some in the last two weeks but he still had a 21-point outing against Atlanta on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eastern Notes: Haliburton, Knicks, Ellington, Bulls

Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton made the Knicks pay on Friday for choosing not to draft him last month, Greg Joyce of the New York Post writes.

Haliburton, who was selected with the No. 12 pick in the draft, finished with 16 points and four blocks off the bench in the team’s victory over New York. The Knicks ultimately bypassed Haliburton in the event and chose to draft Obi Toppin at No. 8 instead.

“I guess it fueled me personally,” Haliburton said with a grin, as relayed by Joyce. “But I love it here. I’m glad I slid to 12. … It’s not hard feelings or nothing, it is what it is. It’s a business, I don’t care.

“My job is to make them think about that when they go to sleep. So I’m just going to go out there and be the best player I can be. I’m not that big into that [motivation].”

There’s more from the Eastern Conference tonight:

  • Drew Maresca of Basketball Insiders examines three potential trade targets for the Knicks, including Hawks forward John Collins. New York has opened the season with a 8-9 record, last making the playoffs during the 2012/13 campaign. Atlanta could choose to explore Collins’ trade value if the team feels comfortable starting Danilo Gallinari and Clint Capela going forward.
  • Pistons veteran Wayne Ellington made the most of his opportunity as a starter on Friday, scoring 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from deep, Keith Langlois of NBA.com writes. Ellington, one of the league’s most underrated three-point shooters, has shot 48% from behind-the-arc in his first 11 games this season after signing with Detroit in free agency.
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores whether the Bulls should trade Zach LaVine or Lauri Markkanen. Chicago has opened the campaign at 7-9 under new head coach Billy Donovan after finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference last season.

Pistons Sign Wayne Ellington

DECEMBER 2: The Pistons have officially signed Ellington, the team announced today in a press release.


NOVEMBER 24: Free agent shooting guard Wayne Ellington has agreed to a one-year, $2.6MM contract with the Pistons, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The Pistons, who have engaged in a flurry of roster moves over the past week, are hard-capped but needed backcourt help and decided to bring in Ellington on a veteran’s minimum contract. Svi Mykhailiuk is the only other natural shooting guard on the roster.

This is Ellington’s second stint with the organization. He played 28 games for the Detroit during the 2018/19 season. He saw action in 36 games with the Knicks last season, averaging 5.1 PPG and 15.1 MPG. Ellington, 32, is a career 37.8% 3-point shooter.

Knicks Waive Four Players, Decline Options For Portis, Pinson

12:40pm: The Knicks have confirmed all the roster moves detailed below and added that they’ve turned down their team option on Theo Pinson, whom they claimed off waivers in June. Pinson’s option had been worth $1.7MM, but he’ll become an unrestricted free agent instead of remaining with New York.

The team projects to enter free agency with upwards of $38-40MM in cap room.


12:06pm: The Knicks will waive Elfrid Payton and Kenny Wooten and have decided not to pick up Bobby Portis‘ option for next season, tweets Steve Popper of Newsday. In addition, the team won’t make a qualifying offer to Damyean Dotson, who becomes an unrestricted free agent.

New York will also waive veteran forward Taj Gibson, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link), and Wayne Ellington, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post.

The decisions are designed to create cap flexibility, Popper adds (Twitter link). He notes that the team could opt to re-sign some of the players, but at lesser salaries than what they were scheduled to make (Twitter link).

Payton had a $1MM guarantee on his $8MM deal for next season. He started 36 of the 45 games he played last season, but the Knicks have indicated they want to find a new starting point guard. Gibson also had a $1MM guarantee on his $9.45MM contract, while Ellington receives $1MM of his $8MM deal. Wooten was on a two-way contract and didn’t appear in any NBA games.

The Knicks held a $15.75MM option for Portis, who averaged 10.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 66 games last season, mostly as a reserve. Dotson, who got into 48 games off the bench and averaged 6.7 PPG, would have required a $2,023,150 QO.

Eastern Notes: Mahinmi, Sabonis, Nunn, Knicks

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said on Wednesday that center Ian Mahinmi will not play in tomorrow’s regular-season finale against the Celtics, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link).

Since the Wizards landed in Orlando for the seeding games, Mahinmi has not played a single minute. This season, the 33-year-old center only played in 38 games, averaging 7.4 PPG and 5.7 RPG.

The Wizards were expecting Mahinmi to be their veteran rim protector when they signed him to a four-year, $64MM contract in the summer of 2016. However, that never came to fruition due to injuries. Over the last two seasons, Mahinmi has only played in 72 games. The veteran center is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Here’s more from across the Eastern Conference: