After hiring a new head coach, it’s time for the Sacramento Kings to start thinking about what they’re going to do in free agency, and one of the options they have in front of them is signing Monta Ellis, if he does as expected and opts out of his contract with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks did make the playoffs with Ellis, but as usual, it seems very hard for them to keep their top players, showing no tendency to give them the kind of money they think they deserves. Ellis can make $11 million next season if he remains in Milwaukee, but despite not bringing anything to the table besides his scoring ability (volume scoring) with 19.2 points per game, the Kings, and other teams, are likely to give him the deal he’s looking for, which is a long-term one with the kind of money he’s been making over the last four seasons.
At the moment, after the head coach and saying in Sacramento business have been completed, the Kings are under the salary cap, owing $42 million in salaries for next season. The key to the Ellis deal is whether or not they re-sign Tyreke Evans, who has now completed his four-year rookie deal, becoming less and less productive as his career progressed, averaging 15.2 points per game last season on 31 minutes, both career lows.
While Ellis is better than Evans in generating points and quickly, while also being a better passer, he too has the problem of the selfish streak bug possessing him, which led to him posting some of the worst shooting numbers in NBA history last season. Evans can play as small forward if necessary, but has also struggled with injuries in his short NBA career, and the closer we get to the decision-making day for the Kings, it seems the former rookie of the year isn’t going to get another chance with the Kings.
Ellis is a player that also played under Malone for half a season during his final season with the Warriors, which some think might help influence his decision to go to Sacramento, while Malone will try and give the Kings some incentives to sign Ellis, who if he can be a tad subdued by his own teams when it comes to his shot selection can be a very effective guard at both positions, not to mention quite exciting to watch when he catches on fire.