According to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Bucks offered Monta Ellis a two-year extension and Ellis turned it down.
Ellis has a player option for 2013-14 worth $11 million, which together with the extension, would have kept Ellis with the Bucks for another three seasons.
As part of the discussions the Bucks offered the 27-year-old guard a two-year extension through the 2015-’16 season, resulting in a total package of nearly $36 million over three years, according to a source. Ellis would have been required to opt in to get the additional two years on the deal.
Ellis and his agent have until June 20 to decide whether or not to use the opt-out clause and become an unrestricted free agent.
From what I can gather, there is a lot of sentiment among the Bucks’ diehard fans to blow it up and start over. The Ellis/Jennings backcourt didn’t work and GM John Hammond suggested as much in a radio interview this week.
We’ll have to sort out the particulars at some point down the road, but in the short term, I would submit that the Bucks have their best shot at becoming relevant by not tanking. And if that is the case, Ellis creates offense for himself and other Bucks better than anyone else on the roster. He also fares better as a point guard than as a shooting guard, so this report could signal that the Bucks are ready to move on from Brandon Jennings.
If Jennings and Ellis were both to bolt however, the Bucks would plummet because the offensive skills of their forwards (save for Ersan Ilyasova) are nothing short of horrifying. Their guard-centric approach of recent years has masked this fact, in my opinion.
The scary part of this report is the amount of the contract and the fact that Monta actually turned it down. I can’t fathom that Ellis fancies his services are worth more than $12 million annually. The demand around the league for him cannot possibly be that high.
I would be okay with the Bucks locking Ellis into a long-term contract. I would also be contented with the Bucks signing Ellis up for another two years at a hefty price. But to put a player with obvious question marks on the books for three years at a cap crippling rate would be a mistake.
Now that Ellis has tipped his plans to test free agency, the best thing that the Bucks can do at this point is to let him try it.