Dallas has reached agreement on a two-year, $5-million plus deal with free agent guard Wayne Ellington, league sources tell Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 10, 2013
The news will sound very underwhelming to the casual fan, but this is a solid signing. This comes off the news that Anthony Morrow agreed in principle to a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans earlier on Tuesday. Morrow will receive the veteran’s minimum salary with a player’s option on the second season of his contract.
It’s not 100 percent certain and an assumption on my part, but the terms of this deal suggest that the Mavs are signing Ellington with their room exception. That means that this move doesn’t change their cap space situation, meaning they still have roughly $8.2 million of space at their disposal. He will be the fourth guard the Mavs are expected to officially sign this offseason (Gal Mekel, Jose Calderon and Devin Harris). The signings can’t become official until the league moratorium ends at 11:01 CST on Tuesday evening.
This news likely disappoints fans as it’s not a splashy move. That said, this is a solid move. Ellington, 24, spent time in Memphis and Cleveland in 2012-2013. In 38 games with the Cavaliers, Ellington averaged 10.4 points, 43.9 percent shooting from the field and 37.1 percent on threes. In today’s NBA, teams are looking for 3-and-D players and Ellington could fit that bill. He won’t be confused for an All-NBA defender but he will scrap and play in a similar vain to former Mav DeShawn Stevenson.
Ellington is going to be efficient on the floor and operate well without it. Through his career, he’s shot a good percentage without really having a major asset on his side to help deflect attention. He hasn’t really had the opportunity to shoot with space. That will likely change in a big way if he’s on the floor with Dirk Nowitzki. If Ellington shares the floor with Jose Calderon, he’ll get the ball in the spot he wants it.
The former North Carolina Tar Heel will likely operate as a backup shooting guard for the team. The assumption is that Devin Harris will operate as the starting shooting guard for the Mavs alongside Calderon. This also means that Vince Carter will likely see all of his time at the small forward position. That was the case last season, but it was assumed he might have to see some time at the two with a small backcourt forming.
Again, the main thing is that this move won’t ruin the cap number the Mavs are still operating with as signings can become official on Wednesday. They are still rumored to be in the mix on Monta Ellis and Andrew Bynum. Bynum is expected to arrive in Dallas and have a meeting with the Mavs on Wednesday. It is assumed that if they want both players, Shawn Marion will have to be dealt. The problem with trying to trade Marion is that he has a 15 percent trade kicker in his deal, making the hit to the team he’s sent to over $10 million for his final year.
With Wednesday being the day where pens can hit paper on deals, everyone should find out relatively quickly how the Mavs want to pursue those two free agents. Again, it’s not a flashy signing for the Mavs, but it’s one that should prove to be beneficial to their team. It will provide depth to a team that certainly needs it.
Note: With the moratorium ending shortly, the league announced the key numbers heading into the 2013-2014 season. The 2013-14 salary cap will be $58.7 million, the luxury tax line will be $71.7 million and the salary cap floor will be $52.8 million. The numbers are up slightly from the 2012-13 figures. Last season, the salary cap was set at $58 million and the luxury tax line was set at $70.3 million.
The 2013-14 non-taxpayer mid-level exception will be $5.2 million, the taxpayer mid-level exception will be $3.2 million and the mid-level for a team with room under the cap will be $2.7 million. Teams will have to spend minimum of 90 percent ($52.8 million) of the cap figure starting next season on player salaries.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University. Bryan channels his inner-Clark Kent on a day-to-day basis. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.