In NBA news, trade rumors are swirling around Indiana Pacers guard Monta Ellis. According to Sportsrageous, the Pacers have been trying to trade Ellis, but so far, a deal has not been made.
The Brooklyn Nets are a team who could be interested in Monta Ellis’ services. The Nets attempted to sign two shooting guards during this summer’s free agency period but failed to land either player. Brooklyn made offers to restricted free agents Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson, but their original teams (Portland and Miami, respectively) matched the offer sheets and thus were able to retain those players.
The Pacers may want to deal Monta Ellis after having made a fairly significant roster overhaul this summer. Ellis is most effective with the ball in his hands, but now that Indiana has acquired point guard Jeff Teague, it appears that Ellis would not be a good fit playing alongside him in the backcourt.
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Bleacher Report opines that the Pacers’ rumored interest in trading Monta Ellis may primarily be financial. Ellis is owed about $11 million annually over the next three years, and while that is an affordable contract in today’s market, Indiana might not want to be tied to an aging Ellis until 2019. The potential salary cap room and roster flexibility gained by dealing Ellis could be a plus for president of basketball operations Larry Bird and the Pacers.
With most of the attention this summer on big-name free agents like Kevin Durant, the Indiana Pacers have remained under-the-radar, but they’ve had a successful off-season. They swung a trade for former All-Star Jeff Teague, dealt this year’s first-round draft pick for Thaddeus Young and signed a very savvy big man in Al Jefferson. The team also added proven backup guard Aaron Brooks, as well as former Iowa State star Georges Niang via the draft.
Monta Ellis joined the NBA right out of high school back in 2005. He was taken in the second round (40th overall) by the Golden State Warriors that year, and after a season of adjusting to life as a professional basketball player, his career began to take off.
Ellis has been a dynamic scorer over the course of his career, topping out at 25.5 points per game in 2009-10. In 2012, Monta Ellis was sent via trade to the Milwaukee Bucks and played there until 2o13 when he signed a free agent deal with the Dallas Mavericks. After two productive seasons in Dallas, Ellis left as a free agent to join the Indiana Pacers last season.
Monta Ellis has been a consistent point producer for the better part of a decade, but his numbers fell off in his first year in Indiana. He averaged 13.8 points per game in 2015-16, the lowest output since his rookie season.
Even though he is still relatively young at 30 years of age, Ellis has been in the NBA for 11 years and has logged more than 27,000 minutes during his career. Based on the physical wear and tear and his decreasing productivity, it appears that Ellis is on the decline. There have been rumors that Ellis’ knees have not been healthy during his time with the Pacers, and his play on the court would seem to indicate that he isn’t the player he once was.
Current NBA news and circulating trade rumors are pointing toward a potential Monta Ellis deal. Do you think he still has enough gas left in the tank to help a contending team?
[Photo by David Goldman/AP Images]