Despite the perception of Monta Ellis doing well for the Dallas Mavericks two seasons into his stint with the team, rumors from within the ball club and the local press suggest his time in Big D might be coming to an end.
Why? Ellis is averaging 19 points per game this season, just like last year. The Mavericks aren’t tearing up the league, but they’ll be making the playoffs, and it seems everything is open in a free-for-all environment for the teams out West without a single dominant, stand out championship contender.
Regardless of whether the Mavericks want Ellis or not, it’s not their decision. The 29-year old shooting guard has a player option worth $8.7 million for the 2015-2016 season. Ellis might feel that he has settled for less than his value when he signed a deal worth $16.4 million for two seasons before the option kicks in. He made $11 million a season on his previous deal with the Warriors & Bucks.
So what’s wrong with the Mavs-Ellis relationship? Besides the fact that he’s having an awful month (16.8 points, 38.2% from the field in March), there is also a potential attitude problem. Yes, Rajon Rondo isn’t the only one who can get on people’s nerves in the Mavericks’ backcourt.
To put it bluntly, he’s a pain in the butt who isn’t producing. …Regardless of whether anyone will admit it on the record, Ellis is a big part of that problem. Folks in the Mavs organization have been fretting for weeks about the impact Ellis’ moodiness has on the team’s soul. That, of course, isn’t a first for Ellis. He had trouble getting along with teammates during his tenure with the Golden State Warriors, who never won anything of note with Ellis as the go-to guy and made an addition-by-subtraction deal by shipping him off. The same was true with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Those are the words of Tim McMahon, a writer for ESPNDallas.com. That’s not necessarily what is actually happening. The Dallas press might have its own agenda, although those things usually come out when it’s the Cowboys that are involved, by far the more interesting sports franchise in the city and overall in the state of Texas, not to mention the national level.
Ellis and Rondo don’t exactly mesh. Rondo needs the ball in his hands all the time. He’s useless otherwise. Ellis is a much better shooter, but obviously works better as a player with the ball, heavily using the pick and roll to generate shots and points. Head coach Rick Carlisle has admitted that it’s Ellis that generates the shots for his team when they’re struggling.
It’s too soon to tell where the wind is blowing in this case, but one of the last things the Mavericks need this summer is having two backcourt positions to fill as the championship hopes of Mark Cuban might be flying out the window. Remember, Rajon Rondo is a free agent as well at the end of this season.