Here’s another free agent, exercising their player option. There were some naysayers who doubt that Monta Ellis will make more than the $11 million guaranteed on his contract. Ellis was traded and was rumored to be a poor team player (read: ballhog, chucker). Yet, he had an extension on the table, which he turned down. Does the new management team of the Sacramento Kings have something to do with it?
Monta Ellis has informed the Milwaukee Bucks that he will opt out of the last year of his deal, according to league sources.
Ellis, who had one year, $11 million left on his contract, will become one of the most coveted free agents on the market this summer.
Sources say the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers have interest in Ellis, although the Lakers could get Ellis only via an unlikely sign-and-trade deal.
Ellis, who originally signed a six-year, $66 million deal with the Golden State Warriors, is close with Lakers free agent Dwight Howard. The two have long desired to play together.
If Howard cannot achieve his top goal of playing with Chris Paul, teaming up with Ellis may become an option he would strongly consider.
Ellis’ goal in signing his original deal was to give him the flexibility to become a free agent in his prime.
The Bucks reportedly had offered Ellis a two-year, $24 million extension earlier this month, but the offer was contingent on him not opting out of the final season of his contract.
Ellis led the Bucks with 19.2 points per game in the regular season, his eighth in the NBA after being drafted by the Warriors 40th overall in 2005.