17. Wayne Ellington
Ellington had one of the best years of his career with the Lakers, but it was not enough to keep him off this list. The 6’4 guard was a first-round pick in 2009, who arrived in Los Angeles for his fifth season. The Lakers were coming off a 27-win year and not expected to make the playoffs. Ellington had made 34 starts in his first four seasons and gave the franchise some insurance if the 36-year-old Bryant struggled to stay healthy.
Kobe only played 35 games, which opened the door for Ellington to start. He averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 25.8 minutes per game. The 6’4 guard shot just 41.2 percent from the field and the Lakers ended up with 21 wins.
Ellington did not want to leave the Los Angeles Lakers, but he signed with the Nets in the 2015 offseason. He was mostly a starter, but his production dropped off. The 6’4 guard was a solid role player over the next six years before returning to the Lakers in 2021 for his final NBA season.
There is a reason the Lakers did not bring Wayne Ellington back. He was a plus shooter but struggled on the defensive end and offered little else.