Monta Ellis, Reggie Bullock suspended five games each for drug violations

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The Pacers already had enough problems with Paul George headed toward unrestricted free agency.

The latest headache for Indiana: Monta Ellis‘ suspension.

NBA release:

The NBA announced today that Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons and Monta Ellis of the Indiana Pacers have each been suspended without pay for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. Their suspensions will begin with the next NBA regular season game that they are eligible and physically able to play.

A five-game suspension is the penalty for a third marijuana violation (following entering the league’s marijuana program for the first offense and a $25,000 fine for the second offense).

This could slightly increase Indiana’s interest in re-signing C.J. Miles, who fit better in the starting lineup than Ellis anyway.

Bullock will be a free agent, and it’s still questionable whether Detroit will extend him a $3,313,542 qualifying offer to make him restricted. This could push the Pistons away. Or, with Caldwell-Pope’s contract taking them near the luxury tax, they might prefer Bullock on a slightly reduced salary.