Wayne Ellington Reveals How ‘It Was an Easy Decision’ to Choose the Lakers Over the Nets

Published 09/21/2021, 7:30 AM EDT
Feb 9, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) gets defended by Detroit Pistons guard Wayne Ellington (8) during the second quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


Going by the team rosters, it now appears the season 2021-22 already promises a Lakers vs Nets NBA Finals. Both the teams will have to play exceptionally badly if they’re to miss a finals trip. And now, just imagine, what if a free agent has options open to join either of the two sides? Tricky.

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But that’s pretty much Wayne Ellington’s story there. The Man with the Golden Arm left the Pistons in free agency to join hands with the Lakers. But how exactly did he come to that decision with many offers in the hand?

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Wayne Ellington and the parameters that helped him choose LA

The 6’4” shooting guard has played with nine different NBA teams in his 12-year career in the league. In fact, he has played with both the old teams of LeBron James (Heat & Cleveland) during the years when Bron wasn’t on those rosters. But his career’s best year must certainly be the 2014-15 season when he played alongside Kobe Bryant.

But Wayne’s first stint in LA ended badly as he injured his shoulder in April 2015 and later left the franchise. So when Rob Pelinka led front office contacted the man in 2021, the 33-YO was elated. 

May 25, 2021; LeBron James celebrates against the Suns during game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As he mentioned in a recent interview, “the type of interest that they showed stuck out to me way more than any other team. I had conversations in the past and before free agency had conversations with some of the guys on the team and it just felt like it was a perfect fit at the perfect timing.”

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How is the veteran a perfect match for the Lakers and not the Nets?

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The Lakers, upon the acquisition of Russell Westbrook, were still devoid of a trustworthy shooter. That’s exactly where Wayne Ellington’s expertise fits the best. The vet shot threes at 42.2% last season and shoots free throws at a career average of 84.4%. Plus, he also brings forth decent defense work and the Lakers couldn’t have asked for more.

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Wayne saw his worth in the Lakers and also a chance of a reunion with the fans that loved him much. So that’s how he pushed aside the lucrative idea of joining the Brooklyn Nets. As the star added, “There was some teams I looked at. Brooklyn was one. But LA was just, it was too good of a situation for me. Obviously, Brooklyn already has some shooters that do some similar things like I do in Joe Harris and a couple of other guys as well that they have. It was an easy decision for me.”

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Apart from shooting, the elite star’s playmaking is simply outstanding too. So even as a bench player, if not a starter, he can add many efficient minutes. Are you excited to see him in the Lakers jersey? Help us know in the comments below.

Watch this story – Lakers, Nets, and Other Teams’ Big Threes to Watch Out for Ahead of the 2021-22 Season

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Sourabh Singh

1708 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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