SLAMonline Mock Draft: Wayne Ellington, No. 21
Sorry Rasual, you’re just not cutting it.
by Adam Fleischer
After a ‘07-08 season during which we looked like we were contenders—or at least on the verge of contending for a title—this past season proved disappointing, capped off by a forgettable 58 point shellacking in the season’s second to last game when we looked worse than a bunch of middle schoolers going head-to-head with Oak Hill Academy. Last offseason, I thought adding James Posey would help us turn the corner; instead, we couldn’t reach the end of the block to even think about making that turn.
So, what can I do this time around to make next year like this year was supposed to be? Well…
With the 21st pick in the 2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the New Orleans Hornets select…
It’s a start.
I hear you, though. This is too high for him. There are other needs to fill with this pick. Better players are still on the board.
Yeah, maybe. But we’re getting a player that I truly believe can help us in Ellington.
Ellington is a step in the right direction toward dealing with one of our biggest issues: the two-guard spot. Nothin’ personal, Rasual Butler, because I do like your game, I’d just rather have it coming off the bench. Do I expect Ellington to step into a big role right away? No, but I got a feeling that during the course of the season he’ll show that he’s not only ready, but a good fit for our team.
There’s plenty to like about this kid. At 6-5, he’s just a tad smaller than I’d like in a shooting guard, but his wingspan, nearing 6-7, puts me a little more at ease. We all know he’s got a pretty stroke, something he displayed consistently during his three-year career in Chapel Hill and reminded everyone of on his way to picking up the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award in April. His field goal percentage increased each year at UNC, as did his three-point percentage, which hovered around 42 percent this past season. He has experience playing with great players, a speedy point guard, and he knows what its like to play for a winner.
Speaking of the man known as CP3, I know that he’ll like having Ellington around. One of Wayne’s weaknesses is his ability to create his own shot (although its been steadily improving through the years), but having Paul to drive, draw, and kick it out to him should be the kind of system that will make him a successful NBA player. He’ll be able to run off screens and set up for open jumpers without having to worry too much about ball handling duties. I wouldn’t mind if his frame filled out a bit and he began to focus more intensity on the defensive end, but each of these can come with time.
A case could be made for some other guys that are still around, but I ultimately felt that Ellington was our best bet. James Johnson has talent, but I didn’t feel that another guy his size was our most glaring need and, although he’s probably the best player still available, the margin to me seems negligible enough to justify passing on him like 20 teams before me have. Jeff Teague has game too, but he’s too small for what we’re looking for. Thornton, Daye and Budinger all got looks as well, but Wayne Ellington is our guy. He’s got poise and game to match.
The last time we had the 21st pick was in 1998 when we took Ricky Davis. I think this time around it’ll turn out a little better.
|2009 SLAMonline Mock Draft Results|
|1||L.A. Clippers||Blake Griffin|
|2||Memphis Grizzlies||Hasheem Thabeet|
|3||Oklahoma City Thunder||Ricky Rubio|
|4||Sacramento Kings||Brandon Jennings|
|5||Washington Wizards||Jordan Hill|
|6||Minnesota Timberwolves||Demar DeRozan|
|7||Golden State Warriors||James Harden|
|8||New York Knicks||Stephen Curry|
|9||Toronto Raptors||Tyreke Evans|
|10||Milwaukee Bucks||Jonny Flynn|
|11||New Jersey Nets||DeJuan Blair|
|12||Charlotte Bobcats||Terrence Williams|
|13||Indiana Pacers||Earl Clark|
|14||Phoenix Suns||Jrue Holiday|
|15||Detroit Pistons||B.J. Mullens|
|16||Chicago Bulls||Sam Young|
|17||Philadelphia 76ers||Ty Lawson|
|18||Minnesota Timberwolves||Eric Maynor|
|19||Atlanta Hawks||Patty Mills|
|20||Utah Jazz||Gerald Henderson|
|21||New Orleans Hornets||Wayne Ellington|