Monta Ellis opts out of contract with Bucks

ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis has informed the team he
is opting out of the final year of his contract, a team official confirmed
Monday. 

Ellis, 27, had until Thursday to decide on a player option
for $11 million next season and informed the Bucks on Monday morning he has
decided to test the free-agent market. 

Acquired from Golden State in the Andrew Bogut trade on
March 13, 2012, Ellis averaged 18.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per
game in 103 games with the Bucks. 

Ellis started all 82 games last season for Milwaukee,
averaging 19.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game while shooting
41.6 percent from the field, his lowest shooting percentage since his rookie
year. 

The Bucks reportedly offered Ellis a three-year, $36 million
extension recently, with the extension requiring Ellis to not opt out of the
final year of his current contract. Ellis reportedly declined the extension. 

Milwaukee’s leading scorer from a year ago, Ellis is
expected to draw significant interest from other teams on the open market.
Ellis is now an unrestricted free agent, unlike fellow backcourt mate Brandon
Jennings, who is a restricted free agent. 

With Ellis making his decision official, the
Bucks can focus their strategy for the June 27 draft. Milwaukee has worked out
numerous guards, including point guards Shane Larkin, Dennis Schroeder and
shooting guards Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tim Hardaway Jr., Glen Rice Jr. and
Ricky Ledo.

Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter