Former Miami Heat guard Wayne Ellington has joined head coach Erik Spoelstra’s staff as a player development coach. Ellington recently explained why he’ll be successful as a Heat coach.
“I’m about the same s— that this organization is about,” Ellington said. “Same things. Same standards. Same approach to the game. Same work ethic. Same mindset. I had my best years in the league while I was here, and there’s no coincidence there. It’s the same beliefs, man. It’s a real connection there. It’s a real thing and it’s natural fit.”
Ellington was selected with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft after spending three seasons playing college basketball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He averaged 11-plus points per game and shot 37.1 percent or better from behind the three-point arc in each of his three seasons as a member of the Tar Heels.
Ellington played for a whopping nine teams — the Minnesota Timberwolves, Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks — across his 13 seasons in the NBA.
Most recently, he averaged 6.7 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game while shooting 38.9 percent from behind the three-point arc in 43 games played with the storied Lakers franchise during the 2021-22 regular season.
As Ellington alluded to, his best seasons in the NBA came when he was a member of the Heat. For the team, he averaged 10.5 points per game and converted 38.4 percent of his 3-pointers.
Ellington’s best season as a member of the Heat came during the 2017-18 season. He averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game across 77 appearances with Miami during the regular season (two starts).
The 6-foot-5 guard also converted 39.2 percent of his three-point shots on 7.5 attempts per game, a very impressive combination of accuracy and volume, particularly for a bench player.
Ellington’s explanation for why he’ll be a successful coach with Miami should pump up Heat fans. Here’s to hoping that his presence will aid in the development of Miami’s young players, such as Tyler Herro, Nikola Jovic and Jaime Jaquez Jr.
The Heat’s 2023-24 regular season will begin on Oct. 25 against the Detroit Pistons.