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Report: Ellington return ‘no sure thing’

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Nine teams have expressed interest in the 3-point specialist.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported Sunday that Wayne Ellington’s return to the Miami Heat remains “very much in question” and that nine teams have expressed interest in the 3-point specialist.

Jackson cited a league source who said that Ellington remains in conversation with Heat officials. But Jackson said that the source indicated a return is “by no means a sure thing.”

The Heat have privately expressed concern about reaching the luxury tax, according to Jackson. Miami currently has $119 million committed to 11 players under contract, and the luxury tax will stand at $123.7 million for this season. Moreover, Dwyane Wade would likely receive a $5.4 million contract if he elects to return for another NBA season.

Teams do not have to pay the luxury tax until the end of the season. Even if re-signing Ellington and Wade puts Miami past the tax threshold, the Heat could arrange salary-dumping trades to get under the tax. However, Jackson said the fact that Miami hasn’t signed Ellington to a deal in the first day of free agency signals that the Heat may not feel confident about slashing payroll over the next several months.

Let’s hope the Heat find a way to keep their best 3-point shooter.