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Wayne Ellington Reportedly to Sign Contract with Pistons After Clearing Waivers

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2019

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 18: Wayne Ellington #2 of the Miami Heat looks to the sidelines during the third quarter of the game against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on January 18, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Miami 98-93. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Wayne Ellington plans to sign with the Detroit Pistons once he clears waivers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski noted the veteran guard will be given a role that will allow him to showcase himself ahead of free agency this summer.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Detroit will release Henry Ellenson to make room for Ellington.

The Miami Heat traded Ellington along with guard Tyler Johnson to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday in exchange for forward Ryan Anderson. The former North Carolina star was subsequently waived as he sought to join a contender.

Since being drafted in the first round back in 2009, Ellington bounced around the league before settling in in South Beach. It was just a season ago that he set the Heat single-season three-point record (227 triples).

Ellington averaged 8.4 points per game with the Heat in 2018-19 on 37.5 percent shooting, including 36.8 percent from behind the arc.

Playing time has been sparse for Ellington this season. He appeared in just 25 of 52 contests for Miami prior to the trade, averaging 21.3 minutes per game.

Last month, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra revealed, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, it made him "sick to [his] stomach" that he couldn't give Ellington more minutes.

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Ultimately, the team decided this week it was best for the two sides to go their separate ways.

Wojnarowski reported on Thursday that Detroit—who recently traded another former Tar Heel in Reggie Bullock and Stanley Johnson—was expected to be among the most aggressive teams in pursuit of Ellington. The Pistons (33.5 percent) rank 29th in the NBA in perimeter shooting, barely besting the 11-45 Suns (33.2).

Detroit, in the midst of a two-year playoff drought, sits on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The ninth-place Pistons (24-29) trail the Charlotte Hornets (26-28) and the Heat (25-27) by 1.5 games. 

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