The Indiana Pacers could part ways with Monta Ellis before the annual NBA trade deadline if things do not pan out for both sides in the upcoming season.
Ellis still has three seasons left in his four-year deal worth $43.98 million with the Pacers. He was initially viewed as a long-term option at both guard positions but that could change soon, CBS Sports reported.
The 30-year-old shooting guard averaged 13.8 points on top of 4.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game with the Pacers last season. While his numbers look good, the report said that Ellis is still an awkward fit to the Pacers.
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Ellis played alongside George Hill, who can be effective operating off the ball. Yet, he still failed to fit into what the Pacers are running. What more this season with Jeff Teague’s arrival from the Atlanta Hawks?
Teague, who was acquired by the Pacers in a three-team trade with the Hawks and Utah Jazz in June, needs the ball in his hand to become effective. This means Teague or Ellis will sacrifice. From the looks of it, Ellis’ touches will be affected since Teague is the point guard. Star forward Paul George will also get a lot of touches next season.
“If Ellis has to cede even more ballhandling duties to Teague, how is he going to make up for it this year?” Chris Towers of CBS Sports noted. “My bet is, he takes another step backwards, and might even be an ideal trade candidate for Indiana, given his awkward fit between Teague and Paul George.”
So where will Monta Ellis land?
There is no imminent deal at this point. But in the event the Pacers decide to move on from Ellis, they will likely revisit talks with the Sacramento Kings.