DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) – Monta Ellis’ camp tells 105.3 The Fan and DallasBasketball.com that the electric guard has been contacted by the Dallas Mavericks as part of Monday’s opening of NBA free-agent shopping. Where does Dallas rank him? That’s an empty exercise without proper context.
“Do The Mavs Like Monta Ellis?’ The answer is ‘yes,’ depending on bridging of the gap between what Monta thinks he’s worth vs. what Dallas thinks he’s worth.
Monta Ellis has opted out of the final year of his contract and on July 1 will become a free agent next month. In doing so, he’s forfeited a guaranteed $11 million – a gamble on himself that seems ill-advised unless one of his main objectives was simply to escape Milwaukee.
Ellis, 27, is an explosive scoring point guard who averaged 19 points, four rebounds, and six assists last season with Milwaukee. He’s hardly the “pure point guard’’ Dirk would love to play with. But Ellis is bigger than he looks at 6-3, and for his reputation as a non-passer and a poor defender, he did rank 11th in the league in scoring and fourth in steals.
At a different time, in a different place, under the terms of a different CBA, Monta Ellis is an $11-mil player.
But not with the Dallas Mavericks. Not now.
At $11 million – almost certainly the basement of what Ellis is hoping to hear this week – he’d be a bloated addition.
But Dallas can like Ellis at the right price. And in the right situation.
Will teams line up to pay Ellis $11 million a year? We assume not. How close will his sales price come down to half of Dallas’ easily available $14 mil? In other words, is Monta Ellis a fit at under $8 million? Or $7 million?
Now we’re talking. And so are the Mavs and Monta Ellis.
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