Wayne Ellington’s salary non-guaranteed until key Nov., Dec. dates

Wayne Ellington, Koby Bryant
Guard Kobe Bryant tries to drive past then-Timberwolves guard Wayne Ellington, who signed Monday to join the Lakers.
(Jim Mone / Associated Press)

On Monday, the Lakers signed free-agent shooting guard Wayne Ellington, increasing the team’s roster to 14 players.

Ellington will still have to earn a spot on the roster, as his one-year, $1,063,384 contract has no pre-season guarantees.

Should the former Tar Heel stick through Nov. 15, a sizable portion of his contract locks in ($315,646).  That guarantee increases to $581,692, if Ellington is still on the roster on Dec. 1.

The final NBA cut-down date for Ellington, and any non/partially guaranteed contracts league-wide, is Jan. 10 — after which, all contracts become fully guaranteed for the rest of the season.


Thus far, Ellington is the only Laker without a full promise heading into training camp, although the team is expected to invite up to six more players to try to earn a spot before Monday’s annual media day.

Because the five-year-veteran Ellington signed a one-year minimum contract, the NBA will reimburse the Lakers $148,141 for the portion of his salary that is greater than the minimum for a player with two years of experience ($915,243).  The rule is in place to encourage teams to sign veteran players, despite higher salaries.

Clippers forward Hedo Turkoglu will make $1,448,490 but the team will get $533,247 back from the NBA — reducing Turkoglu’s cap number to the same cap number as the cheaper Ellington ($915,243).

Laker Wesley Johnson’s four-year minimum contract of $981,084 is also reduced to $915,243 on the Lakers’ books.  Ed Davis may also have a minimum contract, but because he signed for two years (the second a player option), he doesn’t qualify for league reimbursement.


With 13 guaranteed players plus Ellington, the Lakers’ team salary totals $68,784,575.

Last season, Ellington averaged 3.2 points a game with the Dallas Mavericks, while shooting a strong 42.4% from three-point range.

Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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