Despite an option to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks for another season and make $11 million, it seems that Monta Ellis will use his early termination option and hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent once the season is over, thinking he’ll be able to make more money elsewhere on another long-term deal.
Ellis is averaging 19.3 points per game this season, but his shooting (41.3% from the field, 27.9% from beyond the arc) means that he’s much more of a volume scorer than an actual efficient scoring machine. His numbers on course to one of the worst shooting numbers for someone who puts up that many shots.
There’s no doubt someone, or a few someones, are going to try and land the 27 year old, who is averaging 19.4 points so far in his NBA career, and if he doesn’t have to share his shots and the ball with another similar player like Brandon Jennings, will likely score more than 20 points a night. The questions are – can Ellis adjust to be part of a good offense instead of a selfish, underachieving one, and can he make the kind of money he’s giving up on?
Basing an offense on his skills alone is part of the reason the Golden State Warriors have made the playoffs only once while he was on the team. The Bucks are entering the playoffs as a sub .500 team, facing the Miami Heat in the first round, more than likely to be swept away. The future doesn’t offer any special improvements next season which might be another reason Ellis is thinking about looking for a new place to play.
So far, to the media, both Ellis and the Bucks are keeping quiet regarding the future, focusing on the playoffs. According to rumors and behind closed doors, right now his decision is to opt out and look for a new deal, hopefully coaxing a GM and a team to give him a long term deal worth more than $10 million a season in what might be his final meaningful deal in the NBA, before someone realizes that his scoring come at a cost most of the time.
On the other hand, he does have his 6.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game this season to show that he’s more than just a volume scorer. Maybe there’s more than Ellis than meets the eye, and he just needs the right chance, or more likely the right team, to show that side of him?