Monta Ellis is expected to opt out of his deal, making the Dallas Mavericks’ former starting SG a free agent. Here’s why the Mavs should re-sign him.
Monta Ellis is perhaps the most polarizing player on the Dallas Mavericks these days. Some love him and some don’t. It’s not exactly a mystery why either. The Dallas Mavericks diminutive scorer has strengths and weakness that encourage a divided reaction.
Ellis, the offensive player, has been an asset for the Dallas Mavericks. Averaging 18.9 points per game, Ellis often served as the Mavs’ top scoring option. He rounded out his impressive stats with 4.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game earning him a 16.59 PER, ranking him 12th among his NBA peers.
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Offensively Ellis does what is asked of him. Called a “volume shooter” throughout his career, Ellis is asked to be just that in the Dallas Mavericks’ offense. The fearless shooting upsets some fans, but that is what’s often asked of him in this offense, and that is what makes him such a threat in high-pressure situations late in the game.
It’s the defensive side of the floor where Ellis is a complete liability. His ineffectiveness and sometimes unwillingness to defend is tragic. Monta Ellis is small and quick. He has the ability to jump passing lanes and come up with turnovers on a regular basis, but doesn’t always make the effort.
Re-signing Monta to a multi-year deal may seem like a bad idea, but when the salary cap balloons in 2016, there will be more money to spend than players available in the NBA.
Monta’s lack of size also caps his ability to defend, even when motivated. In order for a team to succeed at both ends of the court with Monta in the lineup, it needs a larger-than-average PG to pick up the defensive slack and an active shot-blocker at the 5 to clean up mistakes. With Tyson Chandler set to be a free agent, the Mavs really need to find both this offseason.
But while it’s apparent the Mavs need to upgrade the roster everywhere, filling spots with strong two-way players, Monta may still have a valuable role on this team should the Mavs re-sign him…
As a trade asset
The Mavs have historically made their biggest impacts in talent acquisition, by trading. Think back the last decade and a half, and most of what the Mavs built, was based on trading and acquiring players – not drafting or luring free agents.
If the Dallas Mavericks can’t lure LaMarcus Aldridge, they likely need to re-sign Monta Ellis just to compete in 2016. Re-signing Monta to a multi-year deal may seem like a bad idea, but when the salary cap balloons in 2016, there will be more money to spend than players available in the NBA. Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban can then do what they do best – trade players and contracts to build a better team.
The Mavericks need to get back to what made them successful and that’s acquiring and trading. Obviously, Monta needs to officially opt out first, and signing LaMarcus Aldridge is priority #1, but if the dream of Aldridge doesn’t come to be, the Mavs need to start the process. They need players that can contribute now, with contracts that will be valuable in the future.
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