DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks have contacted free-agent guard Monta Ellis during the first day of NBA free agency, a source told FOX Sports Southwest and DallasBasketball.com on Monday.
Ellis, who averaged 19.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and six assists last season with the Bucks, opted out of the final year of his contract and forfeited a guaranteed $11 million – a gamble that seems ill-advised unless one of his main objectives was simply to escape Milwaukee.
Ellis, 27, is hardly the “pure point guard” Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki 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-million 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.
Dallas benefitted last year when the market shocked O.J. Mayo by drying up, leaving him having to sign for $4 million. Can the market dry up similarly for Ellis?
This is why, frankly, a “list of PG’s the Mavs like” is a futile exercise. Who do they like?