One of the best free agents in 2013 is Monta Ellis, leaving after a season and a bit with the Milwaukee Bucks, catching up quite a lot of interest from quite a few teams, including the Dallas Mavericks, who would love having this kind of offensive power addition, but only if doesn’t cost too much.
Working on a two-year plan to become NBA champions, or at least title contenders once again, keeping some money available for the next season’s crop of free agents, loaded with superstars the Mavs think they have a legitimate shot at getting.
But for now, there are short-term goals as well, in order to fix the situation in which the Mavericks actually missed the playoffs. This is done by adding some firepower to the team that has relied on Dirk Nowitzki for far too long, and didn’t get enough from O.J. Mayo last season, averaging 15.3 points per game last season and not likely to stay for another year.
Ellis? He led the Bucks in scoring with 19.2 points per game, but more than that, adds a dimension of being able to reach the paint from the backcourt in a way Nowitzki probably has never seen before, at least when it comes from someone playing on his own team.
Yes, Ellis is a volume shooter who doesn’t always fit any kind of mold or offensive scheme, pretty much going off on his own, with the head coach crossing his fingers it’s going to be a good day for him, and he’s going to be passing on enough tough shots he encounters.
But each team and head coach usually believe they can be the one that changes a player for good. Kevin Martin didn’t end up being the exact perfect and ideal replacement for James Harden, but be quite sure of the fact that if Westbrook wouldn’t have gotten injured and the Thunder would have made it further in the playoffs, Martin would be mentioned as one of those players who changed his ways under the guidance of Scott Brooks.
The only problem? The Mavs don’t want to give Ellis a deal worth $11 million or anything close to that, or at least shouldn’t want to do it. Ellis is going to be someone who takes the offensive load and attention from Dirk Nowitzki, but he comes with his flaws. He opted out of the final year of his contract thinking he can get a nice multi-year deal with same kind of per-season money somewhere else.
But the Mavs shouldn’t be that place. As much as they need a slasher kind of player, and while there are barely any players, point guards especially, that can give the Mavswhat Ellis can, signing him on such a deal would hurt their future plans and might having them ending up regretting it. There are other teams interested in Ellis, including the Lakers (who can’t give him that deal), the Memphis Grizzlies (same situation), and the Atlanta Hawks.
The Hawks can afford everything at the moment, and if Ellis wants to be paid more than anything else, Atlanta should be his choice. There’s always the option of staying with the Bucks, but at the moment, it doesn’t seem very likely.