Wayne Ellington: 6-5, 202, SG., Jr. (University of North Carolina)
Draft rank: #33
SG Rank: #7
Very good scorer from the perimeter. Clutch player who wants the ball in his hands at the end of the game. Knows how to use the entire floor in order to get open. Is a very good catch and shoot player. Doesn't force his shot. A winner. Does a very good job of leaning his body towards the rim rather than fading away. Plays under control. Has unbelievable touch, even when he enters the paint or from mid-range. Has solid ball handling skills. Is very fast at getting to a spot where he can catch and shoot. Has a great understanding of where the three point line is and making himself available outside of it. Has great rotation and gets great arc on his shot. Is a dead eye shooter when he is left open. Gets his hands on a lot of balls and gets a lot of steals. Good free throw shooter. Has a very nice step back shot which he uses after he puts the ball behind his back or thru his legs to gain separation. Has good speed when running the break. Has some nice hesitation moves that he uses to elude the defender. Very calm and collected when shooting.
Doesn't have great leaping ability. Relies on others to get him in a position to score. Is not a good finisher around the rim. Shoots more of a set shot rather than a traditional jump shot, which will be tougher to get off in the NBA. Doesn't get great elevation on his shot. Is not good at creating for himself or others. Struggles to score off the dribble. Doesn't have a good first step or blow by capabilities. Not a good slasher. Doesn't have great body control when driving to the hoop. Struggles when he is forced to shoot across his body rather than just catching and shooting in his comfort zone. Those struggles continue when he is forced to go left, and . Is not a good passer. Doesn't have post up ability on smaller
I love his mental makeup. The guy showed nerves of steel all throughout the tourney this year and that is really important for a shooter. His body language and his shot always remain the same no matter how he is shooting. That is a testament to his confidence in his stroke and his understanding that he has to be shooting to be useful. He really goes out and plays his game no matter what the circumstances are. It will be important for him to remain confident in the NBA because he will be asked to come off of the bench cold and will be yanked if he's not making shots.
Comparison: Roger Mason Jr., 6-5, 200, SG
Conclusion:Ellington's shot really is as smooth as they come. Ultimately, if he can hit perimeter shots with the same consistency and regularity he did in college he will most likely be able to stick in the league. The problem for Ellington is his game is one-dimensional. He doesn't do a good job driving the basketball and isn't particularly good at creating for himself. He is at his best when others are getting double teamed, like when Tyler Hansbrough often was or other players are creating for him, like Ty Lawson often did. Ellington's inability to create for himself will ultimately be his greatest limitation.
I compared him to Roger Mason, a terrific shooter, but someone who doesn't have great playmaking skills. He has worked very hard to extend his range and has become a reliable and consistent bench player because of his shooting ability. Ellington will have to continue to work on his shot so that he can at a similar shooting level to Mason. I think he can do that. The major concern is that Mason has also improved his defense which, is something Ellington will most likely struggle with. Ellington will have to really cherish his time on both ends of the floor and understand what it takes to truly help a team off the bench.
At the end of the day Ellington proved he can be trusted to knock down the open shot. He also has shown he can play a role when he is surrounded by other great players. That team mentality should go a long way and allow him to find a niche as a shooter off the bench. He is very sturdy and understands how to play the game. He also has good enough handles to where he'll be able to help bring up the ball if need be and setup the offense -- something I think is very important for a backup shooting guard. The key for Ellington will be to continue to master his trade of shooting. If he can do that then he should have a long and solid NBA career.