Detroit Pistons: Wayne Ellington shooting his way into the trade market

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The rebuilding Detroit Pistons may have stumbled upon a trade asset with how well Wayne Ellington has performed this season.  The veteran sharpshooter is enjoying the best offensive output of his career, averaging 12.5 points per game.

Ellington’s previous season-high came back in 2017-18, with the Miami Heat scoring 11.2 points.  Ironically, during Ellington’s first stint with the Detroit Pistons in 2018-19, the veteran shooting guard averaged 12 points per game over a 28 game span.

Ellington spent half of that ’18-’19 season in Detroit and the other half in Miami, where he totaled 10.3 points per game combined.

The 33-year old guard had primarily played as a reserve for the majority of his career. Still, his stellar play combined with playing on a below-average Pistons’ roster (for the most part) has given him the opportunity to start in 12 of his 15 appearances this season.

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Although Ellington is only playing a touch above his career-average 21 minutes a night, he’s converting on a whopping 50% of his three-point shot attempts, by far a career-high.

Wayne Ellington is a real surprise for the Detroit Pistons, and he’s likely shot himself into the trade conversation.

The NBA’s trade deadline is set for March 25th.

With Ellington sewering 3.3 of his 6.6 three-point opportunities per game on a one-year deal that carries a cap hit of just $1.6 million, it leaves the Pistons with plenty of options.

Detroit signed Ellington to fill out their roster, a veteran influence on the young rebuilding Detroit-core.  The initial idea was to have Ellington play sparingly off the bench, helping bring Josh Jackson, Svi Mykhailiuk, Saddiq Bey, and Sekou Doumbouya along.

Rather than playing somewhat sparingly, Ellington is finding himself starting and playing a vital role in Detroit’s rotation; he’s also increasing his trade value, which also helps Detroit rebuild, but in a different way.

With Ellington proving to be a valuable shooter at such a low price, the Detroit Pistons should not be hard-pressed to find a playoff-bound team looking to add depth scoring off the bench to give up a second-round pick for Ellington’s services.

Along with being lethal from beyond the arc, Ellington has shot a career-high 51% from the field, pulling down 2.1 boards and added 1.1 assists per game.

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I think trader Troy (Weaver) will be fielding phone calls in the near future, and maybe it should be sooner than later, before Ellington’s play comes back down to earth.