There’s a very good chance the Dallas Mavericks are going to look completely different next season. One of those changes will be Monta Ellis no longer being with the team.
Ellis has a player option worth $8.7 million he’s likely to decline. He feels like his two-year deal with the Mavericks underpaid him, but he had no choice considering the market and the offers at the time. His numbers, this season leading the Mavericks in scoring with 18.9 points per game, probably indicate he deserves a bit more, probably back into the eight-figures zone.
However, the Mavericks aren’t looking to hold on to Ellis. Not with long term deal he’ll obviously be looking for ($36 million for three years, or maybe something along those lines). Despite his ability to score, Ellis has a bad reputation in Dallas. Not as bad as Rajon Rondo, but still, pretty bad: One-dimensional player whose moodiness and selfishness negatively impacted the team’s chemistry last season, according to sources with knowledge of the front office’s thought process.
It’s hard to say where that leaves the Mavericks, who have only Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki and Devin Harris signed on for next season among significant contributors. That leaves them with plenty of money to go after significant players like LaMarcus Aldridge and to a lesser degree DeAndre Jordan, although the latter is more likely to stay in Los Angeles than go anywhere else.
Ellis? He’ll find a team. Scoring, even if it’s not the most efficient (Ellis didn’t do badly in Dallas, shooting around 45% during his two years there) kind and comes with a player who has to have the ball and doesn’t shoot well from the outside. But the Mavericks, or to be more accurate their owner, constantly think about contending for titles. These last two seasons made them realize that a team with Ellis playing a major role on it won’t be able to achieve that.