With the Dallas Mavericks officially out of the mix, it seems Monta Ellis is down to three teams as potential destinations for next season, with the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats all still in the picture.
One thing that is quite clear: Ellis won’t be making the kind of money he would have made with the Milwaukee Bucks. He opted out of a deal that would’ve made him close to $12 million next season, and turned down an extension worth $24 million for the next two years.
He’s 27, without major injuries over the last three seasons, and pretty much a 20-point per game scorer (19.2 last season) when no one bothers him with hogging the ball. The Hawks don’t have a dominant guard to put next to him, and neither do the Bobcats or Kings, which should make Ellis quite happy about having a lot of time running plays instead of playing off-the-ball.
The Dallas Mavericks initially looked like an ideal landing spot, but all they’ve been doing is adding guards – Jose Calderon, Devin Harris, Gal Mekel and now Wayne Ellington, which doesn’t leave enough money for Ellis, not to mention room on the team, that has now moved on to improve its frontcourt situation.
They can still land him, but that would require moving Shawn Marion and his $9 million deal, which has no buyers at the moment, and if it comes down to an option between Ellis and Andrew Bynum, the Mavs will go with the center.
The Hawks are trying to work out a deal with the Bucks that will send Jeff Teague to Milwaukee, but at the moment, no sign & trade is getting done because of Brandon Jennings, who is also an option for the same sign & trade. The Hawks are more interested in Jennings, but he might be harder to get through the sign & trade.
The Bobcats have already signed one big man, Al Jefferson, and have become an option due to Gerald Henderson still not being signed. It seems the Bobcats prefer Henderson than Ellis, who is an entertaining scorer, but also has the sixth worst player efficiency rating in NBA history among players who average at least 19 points per game.
As for the Kings, they’ve already made Ellis an offer, but it’s not enough right now, which might mean the Kings will have to move a player (Marcus Thornton?) in order to improve their offer. Ellis, in any case, won’t be getting the same kind of money he would have made for the Bucks, and might have to settle for something similar to what Martin got from the Timberwolves, which is $30 million on a four year deal.