Monta Ellis reportedly plans to opt out of his contract, which would pay $8.72 million next season.
He could probably draw more than that on the open market. But in Dallas? The Mavericks haven’t exactly been pleased with him, apparently including his ability to mesh with last year’s prized free agent catch, Chandler Parsons.
Ellis should not anticipate that raise coming from the Mavs, who would rather move on than make a major long-term investment in a one-dimensional player whose moodiness and selfishness negatively impacted the team’s chemistry last season, according to source’s with knowledge of the front office’s thought process.
It also didn’t help matters that Ellis and Parsons didn’t click off the court, an issue many within the organization suspect was influenced by Ellis’ bitterness about Parsons being paid almost twice as much as him.
If the Mavs sign LaMarcus Aldridge, their next top priority will be keeping Tyson Chandler. That would eat up the vast majority, if not all, of their remaining cap space, forcing the Mavs to fill their starting backcourt for next season in thrifty fashion.
If the Mavs sign DeAndre Jordan, they’d attempt to fill Ellis’ spot in the starting lineup with a bigger, better defender with the perimeter shooting ability to space the floor offensively. San Antonio’s Danny Green and Portland’s Wesley Matthews are the two best fits available in free agency this summer, although Matthews might not be ready to start the season as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon.
This might be a threat to convince Ellis to opt into his below-market salary. Whatever issues they have with him, the Mavericks would probably welcome back Ellis for $8.72 million.
And if he opts out, Dallas could reverse course and offer more – especially if they miss on Aldridge and Jordan.
I can see why the Mavericks have grander plans. But unless Ellis just really wants to stay in Dallas, he shouldn’t fear the unknown. If he opts out, I’d count on him getting a more lucrative contract – maybe even from the Mavericks.