In somewhat surprising news, the Cavaliers have decided to not extend guard Wayne Ellington a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.This news comes courtesy of the Akron Beacon-Journal's Jason Lloyd.
Ellington's offer would have cost the Cavaliers about $3.1 million in cap space. He would have become a restricted free agent had he declined the qualifying offer. It's possible that Ellington simply would have accepted that offer and become an unrestricted free agent after the 2013-14 season, but the Cavaliers deemed it that Ellington was not worth that price. If Ellington is brought back, it will seemingly be on a one-year deal because, as Lloyd mentions, cap space is paramount for both this offseason and the next one.
Ellington was also brought in with Marreese Speights and Josh Selby, along with a future first round pick, for Jon Leuer earlier in January. He was part of the much improved bench unit that helped the Cavs compile a 9-9 record from Febraury 2 to March 12. Scoring 10.4 points per game on 44 percent shooting in 25 minutes per game, Ellington was a quick source of offense who could stretch the floor with his long-distance shooting.
I'm not sure how I feel about Ellington coming back. On one hand, he was awesome for the Cavs and replaced what Daniel Gibson brought with his solid three-point shooting. Having said that, Ellington was also a very average defensive player, and shot way above his career average from the midrange to compile his respectable shooting percentages. If he's brought back for a year, I don't think I would complain. Even at $3 million for that single season, I'm fine with him as a last resort once the free agency market has dried up. However, I'm not sure that he's really worth committing possibly guaranteed money to if he was to accept the qualifying offer.
We should know soon enough what happens as free agency begins late Sunday night, as teams are allowed to begin speaking to free agents.