DALLAS — Termed a “long shot” to come to Dallas two days ago, free-agent guard Monta Ellis is in the process of agreeing to a three-year Mavs deal, sources tell FOXSportsSouthwest.com.
Still being defined is the base salary and also the structure of the acquisition, which could come in the form of a sign-and-trade deal with Milwaukee.
One report suggests Ellis’ total salary could be $30 million. But the Mavericks presently have closer to $8 million available for his starting salary. More moves can be made to accommodate Ellis — while possibly still finding a way to squeeze free-agent center Samuel Dalembert on the roster as well. Among those: a sign-and-trade with the Bucks (involving Ellis and Dalembert in exchange for O.J. Mayo and pieces along the lines of Josh Akognon). Mayo has already agreed to a deal with Milwaukee after spending last season with Dallas.
Dallas entered free agency hoping the market would dry up on a player of Ellis’ caliber, allowing the Mavs to get him at a bargain price (compared to the $12 million a year he turned down to stay with the Bucks). The goal was to acquire Ellis in the same manner with which they added Mayo a year ago – at half his original asking price. Mavs GM Donnie Nelson earlier this week termed the chances of such a get a “long shot.”
Ellis, 27, is considered a volume shooter and an offensive weapon who at 6-foot-3, could play shooting guard and become Dallas’ No. 2 scorer. He averaged 19.2 points and 6.0 assists last season, and though he records steals at a high rate is not considered an above-average defender. Ellis will join a crowded Dallas backcourt featuring veteran newcomers Jose Calderon, Devin Harris and Wayne Ellington along with rookies Shake Larkin, Ricky Ledo and Gal Mekel.