Underrated Wayne Ellington upgrades Mavs’ outside shooting

DALLAS — While he joins his new team as perhaps the most unheralded summer signee, the Dallas Mavericks know the value that sharpshooter Wayne Ellington brings to the table.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound swingman has averaged 6.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 19.5 minutes in 267 games (34 starts) during his four-year career while suiting up for Minnesota, Memphis and Cleveland. But, in addition to adding the league leader in 3-point shooting (46.1 percent) last season in point guard Jose Calderon, it’s Ellington’s ability to stretch the floor from the perimeter that has Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle excited for the upcoming season.

“You know, Wayne is important, because knock-down shooting has become such a major part of this league and you’ve got to have guys that have to be guarded on the perimeter,” Carlisle explained when Ellington and the Mavs’ new additions were introduced to the Dallas fans and media last month.

“I’m bringing a long-range threat, and I’m a guy that’s going to work really hard on the defensive end of the floor,” Ellington added when addressing his role with the team during an interview with Mavs.com. “I’m a team player, unselfish, and I want to win. That’s what’s most important to me.”

Splitting time with Memphis and Cleveland last season, Ellington connected on 39.2 percent from behind the 3-point arc in 78 appearances. He’s also a career 38.2-percent shooter from long range, giving Carlisle one more offensive weapon to surround 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki with after the Mavs shot 37.2 percent from deep as a team last season.

Meanwhile, Ellington will try to pick up where he left off at after putting up career numbers with the Cavaliers to finish the 2012-13 season, averaging 10.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 25.9 minutes in 38 games (17 starts) with the Cavaliers before signing with the Mavericks as a free agent this offseason.

“I feel great. I’m very excited. I feel like we have a chance to do some good things this year,” the former North Carolina standout said. “You know, it’s going to be a new group of guys, but at the same time it’s some veteran players. We’re all looking forward to coming together and working hard.”