The reason Monta Ellis has a career average of 19.4 points per game isn’t because he’s such an excellent scorer, but because of being a high-volume one, which means he takes more shots than his success ratio suggests, which makes it no wonder the Milwaukee Bucks are considering trading him in the next couple of days.
Even though Ellis is signed on for next season for $11 million, there is an early termination option for the Bucks, who might actually use it to break up the backcourt tandem of Ellis and Jennings, which should have been one of the more exciting to watch in the NBA, but when the two are the same type of player, while Jennings is slightly less selfish and younger, the place of Ellis on the team is less and less safe.
Ellis is saying that all the trade talk isn’t affecting him, but his numbers suggest differently. The Bucks have lost 7 of their last 10 games, while Ellis has failed to make more than 45% of his shots over the last four. Worse? He has only one game over 50% from the field out of the last 12, shooting a terrible 36.9% from the field over that stretch.
What’s even more worrying is his tendency to shoot from beyond the arc, despite not really being good at it this season. Ellis is 31.3% from beyond the arc for his career, averaging 2.7 attempts per game. This season he’s throwing 3.5 shots from beyond the arc per game, but making a terrible 23.1% of them. That’s not just the worst shooting from long range this season among NBA players with that many shots (182 so far this season), but it’s the worst in NBA history.
Only one other player, Jerry Stackhouse, has taken that many shots in a regular season (195 in the 1997-1998 season) and made less than 25% of them, finishing that year with 24.1% from beyond the arc. Ellis is one of six NBA players averaging more than 3 shots from beyond the arc each game this season while making less than 30% of them, and does have someone shooting worse than him: Kevin Love has made only 21.7% of his shots, but he has played in only 18 games.