Wayne Ellington, Delon Wright and Mason Plumlee. Per sources, these three veterans have received most of the legitimate interest from opposing teams up to this point. Despite his struggles as of late, the 33-year-old Ellington is still shooting over 40 percent from 3 on 6.0 attempts per game. Contending teams looking to add shooting have inquired about his services.
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The two teams have been pegged by rival teams as sellers. Sources tell me and The Athletic’s James Edwards III that the Pistons are expected to work toward a contract buyout with forward Blake Griffin, and sharpshooter Wayne Ellington is expected to receive interest from contending teams.
Any deal for the hot-shooting Morris likely would have to include a third team to absorb the contract numbers. The Hawks are under the salary cap and could be a facilitator in multiple deals. According to an NBA executive, the two shooting guards mostly on the outs in the Knicks’ rotation, Allonzo Trier and Wayne Ellington, have value and perhaps could net a distant-future second-rounder. Ellington surprisingly played five minutes at Phoenix, perhaps as a showcase.
Gina Mizell: Officially official #Suns pic.twitter.com/ktl31qlUzS
Adrian Wojnarowski: 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.
Tim Reynolds: That’s the deal: Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington for Ryan Anderson.
Shams Charania: Here’s a strong rotation trade candidate who is part of Miami/Phoenix trade: Heat guard Wayne Ellington is being sent to the Suns, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium.
The Heat, with their limited trade assets, have mostly remained on the periphery of such conjecture, although their position against the luxury tax has given rise to the notion of a possible trade of Wayne Ellington to a contender in need of additional 3-point shooting. “It’s always crazy around this time of year, so I’m sure that won’t be the last one that comes across my phone,” Ellington said Friday of the Porzingis trade. “It’s part of this business.”
But that doesn’t mean the Nuggets don’t have some flexibility to work with. Denver currently holds three traded-player exceptions they could use to acquire players at the deadline or, perhaps more likely, next summer. Each of the three TPEs — gained from last summer’s trades of Chandler, Faried and Arthur — are worth between $7.4 and 13.7 million. The Nuggets could use exceptions to trade for a player without having to send out matching salary in return. (They can’t, however, combine exceptions to trade for, say, a $20 million player.) In a theoretical example, if the Nuggets thought Ellington could help them off the bench, they could acquire him in a trade with the Heat by using the $7.4 million traded-player exception they gained by trading Arthur last summer.
The agent for Heat guard Wayne Ellington has had conversations with Heat officials regarding his limited role and his future with the team, two people briefed on the conversations said this week. According to a team source, the Heat is aware that Ellington wants to play. But the Heat conveyed to Ellington’s camp that it values Ellington and no promises were made.
Ellington told the Miami Herald previously that he would not rule out going to Heat management and asking to trade him to a team where he can play more. Ellington, signed to a one-year, $6.3 million contract, has the right to approve any trade. Dealing Ellington might make sense for Miami because the Heat’s current tax bill would be $9.7 million if payroll isn’t lowered by the final day of the regular season. But there is no ownership edict to get back under the tax line and that would be difficult to achieve anyway. One challenge with dealing Ellington is that Miami might need to take a contract back. Only a few teams can absorb a contract such as Ellington’s without sending money back to Miami. One is Sacramento, which has $11 million in cap space. Detroit, Denver and Charlotte have trade exceptions exceeding $6 million.
“Come off your best season in your career to this situation, of course it crosses your mind,” Ellington said Wednesday of how his situation has so dramatically changed. “I’m human, at the end of the day. It’s a tough situation. A lot of things cross your mind.” But he said he has yet to approach Spoelstra or the front office regarding his situation, as he plays out the one-year, $6.3 million contract he signed in July. “Anything is a possibility,” he said. “I can’t sit here and say yes or no to a question like that right now. But at the same time, I want to play but I want it to be with these guys, with my brothers. Hopefully we can work it out.”
Q: Why do we even have Wayne Ellington, if Erik Spoelstra is too stubborn to play him? — David. A: Again, I believe “stubborn” is too strong a word, because with every player you add to the rotation, it means fewer minutes for others, or perhaps being removed from the rotation entirely. So less Justise Winslow? Less Josh Richardson? Less Tyler Johnson (who has been shooting 3-pointers at an Ellington-like pace)? Less Derrick Jones Jr.? Less Rodney McGruder? And the thing is, Ellington hasn’t been in the rotation even with Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic out, with it looking like Waiters could be back as soon as Wednesday in Cleveland. Considering the number of contenders who covet shooting, it would appear the value play would be a trade. And perhaps that’s where this is headed, because I would think Wayne would rather be elsewhere playing than with the Heat and watching, a key factor considering he has veto power on any trade. I’d say at this point that the odds are just as strong that Wayne realizes playing time elsewhere as he does with the Heat.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers would like to pluck small forward Trevor Ariza, who played 106 combined games for Los Angeles in 2008 and 2009, from the Suns. Ariza may be the top option, but there are other possible targets. Among them, a source told Sporting News, is another former Laker — Heat guard Wayne Ellington, a 3-point specialist who would help LA’s struggles from the 3-point arc. Ellington is on a one-year deal with the Heat, and he has the right to veto a trade.
So assuming you also are asking about the roster, the move that makes the most sense would be flipping Wayne Ellington for a draft choice or younger, lower-cost prospect, as a means of also working toward getting out of the luxury tax (not because of the cash implications, but rather the pesky longer-term ramifications of the luxury tax). In many ways, Wayne, with his professionalism, sets up as the perfect specialist for a contender one 3-point shooter away from a higher level of competiveness. That said, there are two factors at play: 1. Wayne cannot be dealt until Dec. 15, after signing this offseason as a free agent. 2. As an impending Bird Rights free agent on a one-year contract, Wayne has the right to veto any trade. That said, I would be believe that playing for a contender, and therefore showcasing himself for a contender in advance of his next entry into free agency, could prove enticing enough to acquiesce. Otherwise, it’s not as if there are many tradeable contracts on this roster, at least ones that could fetch a draft pick or prospect.
Wayne Ellington: There has been outside interest, as the NBA continues to prioritize 3-point shooting. It could come down to whether the Heat believe Ellington’s Early-Bird Rights will be enough to allow them to keep him in the offseason. Otherwise, he stands as one of the Heat’s more attractive trade commodities. Trade by Feb. 8: Highly unlikely — if Heat sense they can re-sign him.
“I woke up to a lot of phone calls and texts,” Ellington said Friday, before the Heat played the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. Those contacts came after a Twitter report from The Vertical about the Heat attempting to move Ellington and sidelined forward Josh McRoberts in a package deal, ostensibly to unload the $6 million player option on McRoberts’ contract (Ellington, by contrast, is non-guaranteed at $6.3 million for next season). “It’s part of the business. It’s part of what we signed on for,” the 29-year-old 3-point specialist said. “But I’m happy I’m still here, obviously.”
Chris Mannix: Miami has shopped a Wayne Ellington/Josh McRoberts package, sources told @The Vertical. Heat appear interested in moving contracts.
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April 19, 2021 | 9:26 am EDT Update
Chema de Lucas: Mike James will play with the Brooklyn Nets until the end of the season. Immediate incorporation. Nets interest in the CSKA Moscow player was first reported by @Eurohoopsnet.
NetsDaily: Lots of rumors out of Europe this morning that Mike James, 6’1” PG who last played for CSKA Moscow, is signing with Nets but Andrey Kartashov of TASS, the Russian news agency, reports “no decision,” that James was “offered” to Nets. James, 30, also played for Suns and Pelicans.
Reigning EuroLeague scoring champion Mike James has emerged as a candidate to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, Eurohoops has learned via a source. James was suspended indefinitely by CSKA Moscow in late March following an incident with team head coach Dimitris Itoudis and has headed back to his native United States. UPDATE: He will join the Nets, according to Chema de Lucas.
Sam Dekker: Mike James goes from CSKA Moscow to Brooklyn lmao. That’s so awesome for him. Love to see it!!! @TheNatural_05
The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed forward Yuta Watanabe (YOU-tuh wah-tuh-NAH-bay) to a standard NBA contract. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Watanabe, 6-foot-9, 205 pounds, is averaging 4.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 13.4 minutes in 39 games (one start) as a two-way player with the Raptors this season. He is shooting .448 (56-125) from the field, including .400 (24-40) from three-point range, and has scored in double figures six times. Watanabe recorded a career-high 21 points Apr. 16 vs. Orlando.
Hasheem Thabeet is looking to make an NBA comeback, his agent Jerry Dianis told me on Saturday. The 7’3″ big-man just won MVP honors while playing in Taiwan for the Hsinchu JKO Lioneers. “Bottom line Hasheem Thabeet was given a opportunity, and he killed it,” Dianis told me. “MVP performance with career highs in points, rebounds, minutes played, assists and steals. Thabeet averaged 18.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
To gauge who are the top international players, HoopsHype polled 15 NBA talent evaluators, including 10executives and five scouts. Each talent evaluator was asked to list his top five international players. The criteria included any player pro player not in the NBA right now. Some of the talent evaluators prioritized former NBA players and older veterans who are having an immediate impact on their team overseas. Others placed a higher value on younger prospects who are likely to come to the NBA in upcoming drafts. 1. Nikola Mirotic (Barcelona): The 30-year-old forward is shooting an astounding 59.7 percent from the field and 47.2 percent from beyond the arc while scoring 15.9 points per game. “He’s the guy that’s been most productive in the NBA, and someone you can put in an NBA game right now if you had to,” one NBA executive told HoopsHype.