Nothing official yet, but it seems that the expected is happening: Monta Ellis opting out of his final year with the Dallas Mavericks, hitting free agency and leaving the team with another position they need to fill.
Ellis was due to make $8.7 million next season, but he feels he can get a better long term deal right now based on his performance with the Mavericks over the last two seasons: 19 points, 4.9 assists on 44.8% from the field.
But even if Ellis wouldn’t be opting out, the “word on the street” is that the Mavericks would be trying to trade him. Too selfish of a player, too problematic regardless of what he brings to the floor. The Mavericks want someone who works better within the confines of team basketball, even if it means less points.
In general the Mavericks have a lot of things to address. Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons are pretty much the only meaningful players left on the team signed. Al-Farouq Aminu and Devin Harris are signed but the Mavericks need to think about re-signing Tyson Chandler and filling up their backcourt and bench.
The Mavericks, since winning the NBA title in 2011, have been to the playoffs three times, each year losing in the first round of the postseason. It seems Mark Cuban’s plan of retooling and building a champion again has hit a couple of roadblocks, and can’t seem to get past the “fun in the regular season, not good enough in the playoffs” stage. And maybe we would all be talking differently about this had the Mavericks not crumbled in game 7 against the Spurs in 2014.