Update: David Aldridge of NBA.com:
This is a mistake. The Pacers will be lousy next season, anyway. Better to take their medicine all at once rather than having Ellis counting against the cap through 2022.
Buyout negotiations between the Pacers and Monta Ellis are complete.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Ellis had $22,917,500 remaining on his contract, though reportedly just $11,227,000 was guaranteed. It’s unclear how much, if any, money Ellis relinquished to become a free agent.
The 31-year-old has one plus skill – generating 2-pointers for himself. High-functioning offenses don’t value someone in that role, especially considering Ellis’ limitations elsewhere, particularly defensively. Teams with lesser offenses are more likely rebuilding and not targeting veterans like Ellis.
Shot creation matters, and Ellis can still help some teams off the bench. But for the same reasons Indiana was ready to part for him, don’t expect immense interest around the league.
The Pacers already had enough problems with Paul George headed toward unrestricted free agency.
The latest headache for Indiana: Monta Ellis‘ suspension.
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.
Golden State Warriors wingman Matt Barnes is one of three active NBA players left from the magical 2006-07 “We Believe” Warriors that topped Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA playoffs. That squad is remembered fondly, both by Barnes and fans across the NBA.
But Barnes probably thinks higher of that team than just about anybody around. The 37-year-old Barnes told reporters during media availability on Wednesday that he thinks that Warriors team could give the 2017 squad a run for their money come playoff time.
Barnes also mentioned that he’s playing for that squad as one of the last remaining active players left. Mike Dunleavy and Monta Ellis are the other two still in the league.
As of Thursday morning the Warriors are at -270 to take home the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Game 1 tips at 6:00 pm PST on Thursday on ABC.
Larry Bird put his stamp on the Pacers in the last year – firing Frank Vogel and trading for Jeff Teague and Thaddeus Young to join hand-picked Monta Ellis and Myles Turner as Paul George‘s supporting cast on an up-tempo, offensively dynamic team.
The plan fell flat.
Indiana played at a below-average pace and produced a middling offense. The Pacers got swept by the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
Now, Indiana’s uncertain future – with Paul George a year from free agency and the Lakers courting – gets even more chaotic.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Bird had already resigned once as Pacers president, in 2012. He returned the following year.
Bird’s patience and pain tolerance for the job due to lingering back issues from his playing days has long seemed to waver. I wouldn’t write him off for good.
Indiana promoted Kevin Pritchard in 2012, when Bird previously stepped down. Pritchard previously worked as the Trail Blazers’ general manager, and he’s a qualified replacement.
The work begins immediately with a decision on George. If he doesn’t make an All-NBA team, the Pacers won’t gain as much financial advantage in his contract offer. That could open the door to a trade and rebuilding around Turner — or making a last-ditch push to convince George he can win in Indiana.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and the San Antonio Spurs clinched their NBA-record 20th consecutive winning season with a 110-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 10 of his 19 points during the final 6 1/2 minutes as the Spurs improved to 42-13 in the season following Tim Duncan’s retirement. They have had a winning record every season since 1997-98, when Duncan was a rookie, and broke a tie with the Utah Jazz, who had 19 straight winning seasons from 1985-2004.
Paul George scored 27 points and Myles Turner had 22 for the Pacers, who have lost four straight – three on their home court.
George’s 3-pointer with 21 seconds left cut it to 107-104, but the Spurs closed it out at the free-throw line to bounce back from their loss in New York on Sunday.
Indiana took a 95-91 lead with 5:17 left. But the Pacers missed five free throws after that and turned the ball over with 29 seconds left in a four-point game.
San Antonio looked ready to pull away when it used an 11-0 run in the third-quarter to make it 81-72.
But the Pacers closed the quarter on a 7-2 flurry to get within 83-79 and opened the fourth on an 8-1 spurt to retake an 87-84 lead on back-to-back breakaway dunks from Monta Ellis. They just couldn’t hold it against the team with the NBA’s second-best record.
Leonard has scored 30 or more points in five straight games.
Spurs: Leonard also extended his streak of double-digit scoring games to 84, the longest streak by a San Antonio player since Duncan’s 91-game streak ended in 2003. … Danny Green, Tony Parker and David Lee each scored 12 points and Dwayne Dedmon had six points and 12 rebounds. … San Antonio was 23 of 27 from the free-throw line. … Coach Gregg Popovich earned win No. 1,031, moving within 24 of Phil Jackson for sixth in league history.
Pacers: Jeff Teague had 15 points, Rodney Stuckey finished with 13 and Kevin Seraphin had 12 in his first start of the season. … Indiana has lost eight of its last nine home games against San Antonio. … Indiana was outscored 15-4 on second-chance points and 44-36 on points in the paint. … The Pacers were 21 of 30 on free throws. … Starting forward Thaddeus Young sat out again with a sprained left wrist. … C.J. Miles made one 3 to move within two of Mike Dunleavy (408) for No. 7 in the franchise’s NBA history.