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.[2] He played at Episcopal along with Gerald Henderson, Jr., a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. 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.[3]

College career

Ellington played in all 38 games for the ACC Champion Tar Heels in 2006–2007, 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.

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.[4] 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.[5]

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.

College statistics

Season Averages
SeasonTeamGPTSREBASTSTLBLKFG%3P%FT%MINTO
2006–07North Carolina Tar Heels3811.72.92.10.80.0.433.371.83623.91.2
2007–08North Carolina Tar Heels3916.64.52.01.10.2.467.400.82631.11.7
2008–09North Carolina Tar Heels3815.84.92.71.00.2.483.417.77730.41.6
Totals:11514.74.12.21.00.1.462.396.80928.51.5

Professional career

Minnesota Timberwolves (2009–2012)

Ellington was drafted 28th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2009 NBA draft.[6] He averaged 6.6 points per game and 2.1 rebounds per game in his rookie season off of the bench.

Memphis Grizzlies (2012–2013)

On July 24, 2012, Ellington was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for forward Dante Cunningham.[7]

On November 11, 2012, Ellington recorded a career high of 25 points against the Miami Heat. He also made a career high seven three pointers.[8]

Cleveland Cavaliers (2013)

On January 22, 2013, Ellington was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers along with Marreese Speights, Josh Selby and a future first round draft pick for forward Jon Leuer.[9]

Dallas Mavericks (2013–2014)

On July 26, 2013, Ellington signed with the Dallas Mavericks.[10]

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.[2] 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.[2] On September 3, 2014, he was waived by the Kings.[2]

On September 22, 2014, Ellington signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.[2] On November 11, 2014, he took an indefinite leave of absence from the Lakers after his father was shot and killed in Philadelphia.[2] He returned to action on November 21 and 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.[2]

Brooklyn Nets (2015–2016)

On July 10, 2015, Ellington signed with the Brooklyn Nets.[2] On December 28, 2015, he scored a season-high 26 points and tied a career-high with seven three-pointers made in a 111–105 win over the Miami Heat.[2] On April 27, 2016, Ellington was named recipient of the 2015–16 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award as selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA).[2]

Miami Heat (2016–present)

On July 10, 2016, Ellington signed with the Miami Heat.[2]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GPGames 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

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2009–10Minnesota76018.2.424.395.8712.11.0.3.16.6
2010–11Minnesota62819.0.403.397.7921.71.2.5.06.6
2011–12Minnesota51419.1.404.324.8001.9.6.5.26.1
2012–13Memphis40416.9.407.423.9381.31.1.4.05.5
2012–13Cleveland381725.9.439.371.8983.01.6.8.110.4
2013–14Dallas4518.7.437.424.9091.0.4.4.03.2
2014–15L.A. Lakers653625.8.412.370.8133.21.6.5.010.0
2015–16Brooklyn764121.3.389.358.8572.31.1.6.17.7
Career45311219.6.411.376.8482.11.1.5.17.1

Playoffs

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2014Dallas207.0.333.3331.0001.01.0.0.04.0
Career207.0.333.3331.0001.01.0.0.04.0

International career

Ellington was a member of the team that represented the U.S. in men's basketball at the 2007 Pan American Games who finished 5th.