According to a report from Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, acquaintances of Monta Ellis have indicated that Ellis will opt out of the one year he has left on his deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ellis himself isn’t talking, and the risk-reward aspect of his player option for next year is interesting.
In conversations with several general managers, not one said they would pay Ellis more than he’s already receiving. That’s $11 million, which is the same amount he would be paid next season if he opted to remain with the Bucks.
But as one general manager noted, it only takes one team to be enamored with Ellis’ explosive scoring abilities and give him a long-term deal in excess of $11 million per season.
The key here isn’t for Monta to find a deal with $11 million annually; no NBA team will give him that type of salary. But in terms of security, he might be able to find a longer deal with an annual salary in the high seven figures, and if so, it may be worth it for him to give up the one year he has left.
Woelfel goes on to speculate on the teams that could potentially have interest in Ellis — teams with salary cap room and a need at shooting guard. Among those teams is Atlanta. If the Hawks indeed have an interest, last night’s 27 point-, 17 assist-, 8 rebound-, 5 steal-game was a strong ‘audition’, to borrow a phrase from Brandon Jennings. Other teams that potentially have salary cap room and a need at guard include Phoenix, Dallas, and Orlando.