According to a report by Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Monta Ellis plans to opt out of his contract and the Sacramento Kings will be one of the teams he considers joining.
The Sacramento Kings’ decision to hire Michael Malone as their next head coach should improve their chances of signing guard Monta Ellis in free agency, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.
Ellis plans to opt out of the $11 million final year of his contract with the Bucks to become a free agent this summer, the source said.
Ellis’ consideration of the Kings was spurred by the hiring of former Golden State assistant coach Mike Malone to be the new head coach in Sacramento. The two reportedly had a good relationship when both were with the Warriors.
There were rumors as far back as May that the group spearheaded by majority owner Vivek Ranadive took a liking to Ellis — and that was before Ranadive’s group had even won the decision to keep the Kings in Sacramento. (The sale of the team is expected to become official today.) This hiring likely enhances the mutual attraction between the Kings and Ellis.
But it’s probably wise to take this report with a grain of salt or three. As of yet, the Kings don’t even have a general manager. Warriors’ assistant general manager Travis Schlenck is reported to be a top candidate for the job. Sensing a Golden State theme here? Ranadive was vice chairman of the Warriors for the past three seasons.
Another reason to treat the report with a smidgen of skepticism is that it reeks of Ellis’ agents try to drum up interest. As the June 20 deadline for deciding to stay in Milwaukee looms, Ellis has to decide whether passing up a big payday for next season is the right decision. Passing up that money makes sense only if there exists teams willing to bid up his services.
Ellis isn’t likely to get $11 million per season on his next deal, but if he can get close to that number — guaranteed — over a number of seasons then it would still be worth it. By threatening to leave and leaking the name of a potential suitor, Ellis’ advisors have begun to wage a campaign to lure in that type of offer.