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Wayne Ellington, Lakers Agree to 1-Year Contract, Leaves Pistons in Free Agency

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 2, 2021

Detroit Pistons guard Wayne Ellington plays during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, May 6, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers and shooting guard Wayne Ellington have agreed to terms on a one-year deal.

Ellington's agent, Mark Bartelstein, relayed the news to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The guard was previously pegged as a "prime free agent of interest" for the Lakers, per long-time NBA reporter Marc Stein on Substack.  

The 33-year-old averaged 9.6 points on 44.1 percent shooting (42.2 percent from three-point range) in 46 games last year for the Detroit Pistons. He can help a Lakers team that finished just 25th in three-point shooting percentage last year.

Detroit is undergoing a significant rebuild under general manager Troy Weaver, who is entering his second NBA season overseeing the team. Holding the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft certainly helps matters, as does having a bevy of young talent that includes Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart.

It makes sense that the Pistons are looking to move on as they rebuild around younger talent, but Ellington gives L.A. another veteran presence in the locker room.

Adding veteran pieces may be a trend for the Lakers. The news on Ellington also comes amid a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that the team signed veteran forward Trevor Ariza on a one-year deal. Ariza's representatives at CAA Sports told that news to the ESPN reporter.

Dwight Howard soon followed, with his agent Qais Haider telling Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic that his client is returning to Los Angeles for a third stint with the team.

Ellington has played 12 NBA seasons after a standout career with North Carolina, where the 6'4" shooting guard won a national title with the 2008-09 Tar Heels.

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