Keep or Kick Mavericks Free Agents: Monta Ellis
By Rami Michail
Mar 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guardMonta Ellis
(11) leaves the court during the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 101-94. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Dallas Mavericks potentially have ten players hitting the market this offseason. And if past seasons have shown us anything, a roster overhaul is not out of the question.
We’ll look at every Mavericks free agent and decide if Dallas should attempt to keep them on the roster or to kick them to the curb.
First up? The team’s leading scorer and Dirk Nowitzki‘s sidekick.
Jan 30, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Dallas Mavericks forwardDirk Nowitzki
(right) greets Dallas Mavericks guardMonta Ellis
(left) after Nowitzki made a three point basket against the Miami Heat during the second half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Season Averages: 18.9 points, 4.1 assists, 1.85 steals, 2.5 turnovers, 44.5% FG
If there’s any player that fans flipped-flopped most on this season it was Monta Ellis. He quickly went from Mavs’ most deserving All-Star, to the team’s achilles heel, and back to winning the love of fans in the postseason.
“Have It All” Ellis greatly struggled fitting alongside Rajon Rondo, seeing his play and numbers suffer, along with the rest of the team, which led to plenty of resentment for the attacking guard. With Rondo getting sent home, Ellis reminded many why he was so valuable to the team; he averaged 26 points in the Mavs’ first round loss to the Houston Rockets.
Ellis has a player option for next season. If he elects to opt out, the Mavs will need to decide if they want to invest money in the 29-year old guard or to find a new option at the position and hand the keys to the offense to Chandler Parsons.
Mar 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) helps up forwardChandler Parsons
(25) after Chandler is fouled while shooting a three point shot against the San Antonio Spurs during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Monta Ellis: Keep or Kick?
Kieran Hairell: Kick ’em. $8.7 million for a 30 year-old shooting guard seems expensive in my mind. If he opts out & expects a raise above that $8.7 million, then kick ’em faster and harder. Go find a younger, quality SG, pay them the $8.7 mil (or less), & let Carlisle do what Carlisle does – develop talent.
Charles Hughes: Kick. If Monta opts out, I’m afraid the writing is on the wall for Mr. Have it All. During his tenure, he provided a sense of toughness and aggression that this team needed. If he opts out, there will be times in the fourth quarter where he will be missed. At the same time, he’s doesn’t fit into the team’s plans going forward.
There were reports of some friction between him and Chandler Parsons over the disparity in salaries, so if Monta opts out I’d imagine he’ll seek something in that same neighbrohood. In that case, the Mavs are much better off putting that money towards a bigger, less moody shooting guard who can defend, spread the floor, and not clash with the fun younger player who’s already signed in Chandler Parsons.
Aaron Clements: Kick ’em. I hate to say it, because I love him as much as the next guy, but this offense needs to run through Parsons now, and Monta certainly isn’t doing this team any favors on the defensive end (leaving shooters open, gambling on steals too much, etc.).
Dallas needs to find a younger, more defensively-minded 3-and-D guard to replace him for a lower salary. However, if Monta opts in (he won’t), I won’t be complaining.
Brandon Moore: Kick. As much as every Maverick fan seems to love him, its time to move on. The Mavs will have to pay him $8.7 million this offseason or even more if he opts out of his deal. It just wouldn’t make sense to give him this money. Because if the Mavericks did pay him his money, then it would be clear that the Mavericks are trusting Monta to be their number one offensive guy, with Dirk now being in his final years. Yes, he does put up 20 points a game, but we all know by now that Monta is not a star. There’s no way the Mavericks will win a championship with Monta being the number one scoring option. Not to mention, he’s a liability on the defensive end.
Daniel Devine: Keep! This certainly depends on whether or not he decides to opt in or out. If Monta wants to opt in, I’m all for him coming back and joining the party for another year on an under the market deal.
He isn’t a perfect by any means, but he does provide plenty of value on the offensive end which is always welcome. However, if Monta decides to opt out with the intention of seeking a bigger payday long term than I don’t think Dallas should fiddle around with the idea of keeping Monta as the team restructures.
Dallas could do much better on the free market by surpassing Monta and looking to sign say a Danny Green,Wesley Matthews, or Khris Middleton for example. Those guys would cost around the same dollar amount give or take while being taller, longer hence much more capable 3-and-D players to help Parsons on the wing.
Jason Lee: Kick ’em. The aphorism about “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is all that matters in Monta’s case. It’s fair to say that his two seasons in Dallas came at an incredible value. If he decides to come back for the almost $9 million owed to him in 2015-16, from a financial perspective, it ain’t broke so we can keep a guy who to have it all again for another year. Nothing to fix.
But Monta is almost certainly opting out and forcing the front office to put a new deal on the table for him. That’s broke up. A new deal would get him an eight-digit salary, and while I love Monta’s intense passion and scoring ability, it’s not worth it.
Jay Knodell: If he opts out of his deal it’s gotta be kick ’em, strictly because it means he’s got a basement figure of $11-12 million a year in mind. I do believe he’s worth it to someone, and that he’ll probably get it somewhere, but it can’t be in Dallas and the front office knows it.
Look, I like Monta and his Iverson-ish qualities a lot. He’s tough as nails, isn’t afraid of the big moment, and his offensive production for the Mavericks the last two seasons has been right up there with the best of them. But he’s a one-way player on a team full of one-way players. The most expendable one of the core, at that. Dirk isn’t going anywhere. Same goes for Parsons. Monta must.
Next: Danny Green: Get to Know the Potential Maverick
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