Wayne Robert Ellington Jr. (born November 29, 1987) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played for the University of North Carolina from 2006 to 2009. He chose to forgo his final season of college eligibility to declare for the 2009 NBA draft, and was drafted 28th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has previously played for the Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets.
High school career
Ellington scored 2,211 points in his high school career, tallying 455 points at Daniel Boone High School, and then 1,756 points at The Episcopal Academy. He played at Episcopal along with Gerald Henderson Jr., a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. In his senior year, Ellington averaged 21.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and shot 39% from the three-point line. He led Episcopal to an overall record of 52–7 in his junior and senior year, and to the Inter-Academic League Conference title in his last two years going 20–0 in both seasons. (Episcopal doesn't play in state championships.)
Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Ellington was listed as the No. 1 shooting guard and the No. 8 player in the nation in 2006.
Ellington played in all 38 games for the ACC Champion Tar Heels in 2006–07, averaging 11.7 points per game. He was named to the 2007 ACC All-Tournament Team. His season ended on a sour note though, as North Carolina lost to Georgetown in the East Regional final of the NCAA Tournament. Ellington had a chance to win the game in regulation, but missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds. Ellington was a member of the U.S. national team that finished fifth at the 2007 Pan American Games.
As a sophomore, Ellington saw his points-per-game average increase as the Tar Heels increasingly went to him in key moments of games. In the January 6, 2008 game at Clemson, Ellington scored a career high 36 points, including the game winning three-pointer with 0:00.4 seconds left in overtime to lead top-rated UNC over #19 Clemson 90–88. But again, his season ended in a poor fashion, as he shot only 1 for 9 from three-point range, in a loss to Kansas in a national semifinal game in the NCAA Tournament. He declared for the 2008 NBA Draft after that season, but did not hire an agent, and withdrew to play his junior year at North Carolina.
As a Junior, Ellington helped lead the Tar Heels to the National Championship, where they defeated the Michigan State Spartans 89–72. He shot 7–10 from three-point range in the Final Four, and he was named to the All-Tournament Team and was named NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
On April 23, 2009, Ellington announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the NBA draft.
|2006–07||North Carolina Tar Heels||38||11.7||2.9||2.1||0.8||0.0||.433||.371||.836||23.9||1.2|
|2007–08||North Carolina Tar Heels||39||16.6||4.5||2.0||1.1||0.2||.467||.400||.826||31.1||1.7|
|2008–09||North Carolina Tar Heels||38||15.8||4.9||2.7||1.0||0.2||.483||.417||.777||30.4||1.6|
Minnesota Timberwolves (2009–2012)
Memphis Grizzlies (2012–2013)
On November 11, 2012, Ellington scored a career-high 25 points on 7-of-11 three-pointers in a 104–96 win over the Miami Heat. On January 7, 2013, he set a new career high with 26 points in a 113–81 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2013)
Dallas Mavericks (2013–2014)
Los Angeles Lakers (2014–2015)
On June 25, 2014, Ellington, along with Shane Larkin, José Calderón, Samuel Dalembert and two 2014 second-round picks, was traded to the New York Knicks in exchange for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. On August 6, 2014, he was traded again, this time to the Sacramento Kings, along with Jeremy Tyler and a 2016 second round pick, in exchange for Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw. On September 3, 2014, he was waived by the Kings.
On September 22, 2014, Ellington signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. On November 11, 2014, he took an indefinite leave of absence from the Lakers after his father was shot and killed in Philadelphia. He returned to action on November 21, 2014. On January 27, 2015, he scored a career-high 28 points in a 98–92 loss to the Washington Wizards. He finished the season having played 65 games after being ruled out for the rest of the season on April 2, 2015 with a shoulder injury.
Brooklyn Nets (2015–2016)
On July 10, 2015, Ellington signed with the Brooklyn Nets. On December 28, 2015, he scored a season-high 26 points and tied a career high with seven made three-pointers in a 111–105 win over the Miami Heat. On April 27, 2016, Ellington was named recipient of the 2015–16 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award as selected by the Pro Basketball Writers Association (PBWA).
Miami Heat (2016–present)
On July 10, 2016, Ellington signed with the Miami Heat. He made his debut for the Heat on November 28, 2016 against the Boston Celtics after missing the first 16 games of the season with a bruised thigh; he played 27 minutes and scored nine points.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|