By Jonathan Hartzell, for NBA.com
Monta Ellis will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to reports. Ellis was set to make $11 million next season with the Bucks, who reportedly offered him a 3-year, $36 million extension earlier in the season.
It seems unlikely that the streaky, 27-year-old guard will garner a higher salary on the open market than the one he’s turning down, but his unwillingness to stay in Milwaukee and his reported interest in teaming up with Dwight Howard undoubtedly fueled this decision. Ellis is one of the most explosive scorers in the league. However, he’s coming off the worst shooting season of his career at only 41.6 percent from the field on 17.5 attempts per game. An offense simply cannot be successful with its main scorer shooting so many shots at such a low clip, and Ellis will need to adjust his game if he hopes to be a contributor on a championship-caliber team.
For the Bucks, they still seem to have interest in Ellis, as they were unwilling to part with him during last season’s trade deadline and they reportedly offered him the extension mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately for Milwaukee, it appears they will have to overpay for the guard if they want to retain him. The other half of the Bucks’ starting backcourt, Brandon Jennings, may also be looking to leave Milwaukee As a restricted free-agent, the Bucks can match any offer sheet Jennings signs.
No matter what the backcourt looks like on opening night, the vibe from the organization and new coach Larry Drew is they plan to build around young big men Larry Sanders and John Henson.