Better for Mavericks for Monta Ellis to Opt in or Test the Market?


Monta Ellis has played well since joining the Mavericks on a discounted three-year deal two seasons ago. He’s done a good job shedding his label as a locker room disruption, the main reason he came on a below value contract, and has flat out produced. In his two seasons with Dallas he was the only player in the league to play at least 160 games, score 3000 points, register 800 assists, and come away with 275 steals.

But he has a player option for 2015-16 and until June 24th to decide whether or not to opt in to the final year of his deal. Reports have made it clear that the 29-year old Mississippian plans to opt out to collect a bigger check next year, but it’s not a certainty.

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If he holds out one more season, and waits until the salary cap skyrockets to an estimated $89 million in the summer of 2016, Ellis could cash in even more. Especially if he returns to his pre-Rondo performances this coming year.

Dallas has some holes to fill this offseason, and has interest in some big name free agents. So would it be better for the franchise if their leading scorer opts in, or opts out, leaving the Mavericks with even more space to pursue those bonafide stars or some other intriguing shooting guards available? Our staff weighs in on the matter.

Mar 7, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard

Wesley Matthews

(2) and Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Monta Ellis (11) fight for the ball during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Trail Blazers 103-98. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Better for the Mavericks for Monta Ellis to opt in? Or test the market?

Aaron Clements: Yeesh. This Monta situation is a mess. If Monta opts out, he’ll get paid big bucks in Dallas or elsewhere. If he opts in, he’ll play another year in Dallas and, barring a terrible season, he will likely have the opportunity to sign a contract significantly bigger than the one he would have sign had he opted out the season before, due to the cap increase. This scenario greatly reduces the chances of Dallas re-signing him, and Dallas could very well be waving their shooting guard goodbye.

I expect Monta to opt out and re-sign in Dallas for a bigger and better contract. Ellis’ tenure in Dallas has been pleasant, and he seems to have a quality relationship with the staff, so re-signing in Dallas makes sense. At this point in time, I would say that it’s in the Mavericks’ best interest to re-sign Monta rather than shopping for a new shooting guard.

Daniel Devine: I don’t think it matters much financially either way whether Monta opts in or not and would probably be more beneficial to both in the short run for him to simply opt in. Who the Mavs plan to start at PG could obviously have an effect on this answer and possibly even Monta’s decision.

Jason Lee: For himself? Opting in would be good. So that he can seal a bigger contract next year when the cap explodes. For the team? Great. At only seven-digit salary, we get a guy who can do and have it all.

Charles Hughes: I think it could make financial sense for Monta to opt in, hope for a return to form sans Rondo, and then cash in after this year when the cap goes up. I think this would also be great for the team if they decide to run it back for the most part and use the cap space to get a backcourt mate for Monta that isn’t a complete disaster.

Kieran Harrell: There is no down side to Monta opting in. Period. You can never have too, too, too much Monta.

Rami Michail: Getting a 20-point scorer and playmaker, despite his defensive flaws, for slightly over $9 million a season is a good thing. Dirk Nowitzki is no longer the reliable scorer we have grown accustomed to seeing, and Chandler Parsons is probably best suited as a two or three options on offense, So Ellis’s scoring, creating, and playmaking is still vital for this team.

Also the fact he’s in the final year of a deal make him very movable if the Mavs due elect to go in a different direction at shooting guard.

Plain and simple, the Mavericks aren’t guaranteed to land another scorer in free agency, so having Ellis, especially at a discounted price, will be a big boost fro the team.

Jay Knodell: I think it’s great for the Mavericks if Monta Ellis opts in to the final year of his deal. Monta has his faults, but he’s tough not to like. And he’s worth more than his current contract would pay him next season. 20-point scorers who don’t miss games don’t grow on trees, and they rarely come at such a bargain price.

Next: 5 Things to Know About Wesley Matthews

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