The Detroit Pistons are (seemingly) finalizing their roster after signing Wayne Ellington in a quest for more guard depth and perimeter shooting. The deal was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This is the second stint for Ellington in Detroit, who signed with the Pistons at the end of the 2018-19 season after being waived by the Miami Heat. He spent all of last season with the New York Knicks.
The 32-year-old Ellington is a career 37.8% 3-point shooter, but is coming off a season where he nearly tied a career low, hitting just 35% of his 3s as a Knickerbocker.
The deal is reportedly for $2.8 million. It also seems to confirm that the Pistons do intend on releasing Zhaire Smith, who Detroit got in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers for recently acquired center Tony Bradley.
The Ellington deal would put the Pistons roster at 15 players barring another Troy Weaver trade (lol). Ellington adds a shooting component sorely missing after being pretty well stocked in 3-point shooters last season.
However, of the nine players who shot the most 3s for the Pistons last season, only Svi Mykhailiuk (second on the team) and Derrick Rose (seventh) are returning. Langston Galloway, Tony Snell, Markieff Morris, Luke Kennard, Christian Wood, Bruce Brown and Reggie Jackson are all gone.
Ellington had a good run with the playoffs in his 28-game stint previously. Ellington replaced the traded Reggie Bullock (who was actually traded for Mykhailiuk) in the Pistons wing rotation. He started 26 games, shot 37% from 3 and helped Detroit secure a spot in the playoffs.
He’ll provide depth at shooting guard behind Mykhailiuk and combo guard Delon Wright.
The Pistons rotation seems like it’ll feature some combination of the following:
Starters — Killian Hayes, Svi Mykhailiuk, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, Mason Plumlee
Bench Rotation — Derrick Rose, Sekou Doumbouya, Delon Wright, Jhalil Okafor, Saddiq Bey
Situational Players — Wayne Ellington, Dzanan Musa, Josh Jackson, Isaiah Stewart, Rodney McGruder (???)
You can swap out Ellington for Bey, and maybe find minutes for Musa and Jackson, but the idea might be to eventually find those players additional minutes following Weaver’s next trade as part of finalizing his roster purge.