Ellis Gives Dallas A Badly Needed Jolt


HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — The Dallas Mavericks finally appear to have their big-name free agent and Monta Ellis finally gets his big contract.

Only neither is as big as originally hoped. The Mavs dearly wanted Dwight Howard. He’s in Houston. Ellis opted out of $11 million with the Milwaukee Bucks for one final season. He didn’t find the market he expected. Now he’s headed to Dallas for a reported three years at between $25 million and $30 million.

He joins a roster under extreme reconstruction that, at the moment, is stacked with newcomers in the backcourt. The athletic, volume-shooting Ellis figures to start at shooting guard next to high-IQ point guard Jose Calderon, who signed on for four years and $29 million. Dallas will pay those two around $15 million next season.

ESPN.com’s Marc Stein first reported the Ellis agreement. Stein also reported that the three-year deal that Devin Harris (who has dislocated toe) and Dallas agreed to has been shelved.

Sixth man Vince Carter is the lone returnee and only producer from last season’s train-wreck backcourt. He enters the final year of his deal at $3.2 million.

Dallas also brought in guards Wayne Ellington on a two-year deal, plus rookie free agent Gal Mekel and draft picks Shane Larkin (who will miss possibly three months with ankle injury) and Ricky Ledo. After realizing top free agents (Deron Williams last summer and now Howard) weren’t enamored with a thin roster that wasn’t winning any trades either, the Mavs are in the asset acquisition business.

It’s a different approach than the last two offseasons when owner Mark Cuban sought short-term bang for his buck, and consistently said he would save his money for foundation-type players. Perhaps the Mavs now believe that the 27-year-old Ellis, who has played in two postseasons in his eight-year career, is one. He was certainly the last remaining “impact” free agent on the market.

At the moment, eight of the 12 players Dallas has or soon expects to have under contract are guards. Talk about going small-ball. Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder fill the forward position and second-year center Bernard James, a low-minute player when he got off the bench, is the only big man in the middle.

That has to change, although how is the big question considering the Mavs’ cap situation. Dallas remains in pursuit of stop-gap veteran Samuel Dalembert (a sign-and-trade with Milwaukee could be an option) and they’ve been in discussions with their own hybrid forward-center Brandan Wright. Elton Brand also remains a possibility.

The agreement with Ellis seemed unlikely just a couple days ago when president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said he didn’t expect more backcourt additions. With all eyes focused on the depleted center position, Ellis did perk up a fan base wondering where the franchise was headed after missing out on Howard a week ago.

Ellis doesn’t turn the summer around for the Mavs, but he does bring with him some needed swag back to Big D. The roster had been virtually bare of playmaking electricity. He gives Dallas excitement, if not also unpredictability, and he’ll happily fill the role as the second — and sometimes lead scorer — the Mavs so desperately need next to Nowitzki.

The 6-foot-3 Ellis averaged 19.2 ppg and 6.0 apg sharing the backcourt in Milwaukee last season with Brandon Jennings. He shot just 41.6 percent overall and 28.7 percent from beyond the arc, but he can light it up on any given night and seemed to have a knack for fireworks when he played Dallas.

A rim protector must be on the way, though, or the Mavs’ defensive standing at No. 27 in scoring (101.7 ppg) last season could get worse. Ellis’ defensive efficiency last season benefited from the Bucks’ swat machine Larry Sanders. Ellis consistently ranks high in steals, but his overall defensive prowess is not considered a strong suit, and starting next to Calderon could cause coach Rick Carlisle to go completely bald.

The Mavs aren’t done massaging their roster. Friday at least provided a jolt and a little more intrigue for a proud franchise that was quickly looking lottery-bound for a second consecutive season.


  1. lennie says:

    they can always sign metta world piece

  2. theholyspectator says:

    i see another flop season for the mavs..yet another team goin into the dark depressed years of basketball..dirk shoulda left when he had the chance

  3. toptier08 says:

    ellis shoulve went to Indiana!! they woulda been instant contenders gain!

  4. Unkle Daddy says:

    Great pick up for Dallas as they rebuild, but they can’t rebuild around Dirk anymore, although he is still one of the best at his position. When you are great, your good much longer than most. He still needs to be traded to a contender though. I don’t figure he would ever ask to be traded, I know he loves Dallas, but they are done for the time being.

  5. marlon says:

    gud 4 d mavs..

  6. nasty says:

    i dont know why people under estimate dirk so much we will make the playoffs but as of ellis i kind of want to cry i hate that inefficient chucking turn over machine

  7. Zachary says:

    I thought it would be better for him to go to the Pacers. They would’ve been real contenders if they had a better point guard

  8. Agolli says:

    Dalas gor robbed!

  9. flying rajin says:

    great find by the mavs..monta ellis is a great scorer something that the mavs sorely needed at the shooting guard spot..now mavs needs of big men to fill the front court..by the looks of it the only power forward in the team is dirk nowitzki, they need other big body to the rotation..omer asik is a great fit for the mavs..he’s rebound and defense is a great plus for the mavs..get asik, he want to start not as a back-up..

  10. Ellis wont fit in dallas with the rest of those guards. He just want the pay

  11. McFlyHigh says:

    I think this is a great move and its the right step for Dallas. Calderon is definitely going to find Ellis if he stays on the move and whenever Ellis wants to go into Iso mode, with Dirk on the floor there will tons of floor space for him to operate. Maybe they can trade one of their many guards for Asik, or Dalembert. If they can do that they’ll be playoff bound for sure.

  12. Europacer says:

    I am one of many thinking Ellis is getting more than his worth, Calderon is as well, but unlike most I think it is actually a nice back-court, Ellis will have more ‘mental guides’ around him with the experienced crew still in Dallas, he will know he is not the #1 go-to guy (not a debate he would have in Milwaukee) and will probably improve his efficiency as a result.

    Expensive pick up, but decent enough.

  13. B Radd says:

    Mike Bibby like Brandon Jennings to the Kings? He fits…

  14. Thommo says:

    So Dallas finally get another scoring option behind Dirk, their defence wasn’t great last year and with Calderon and Ellis in the backcourt it’s going to get worse.

  15. Big Al says:

    Dallas is an awful choice for Monta Ellis. This team’s only hope is the new recruits. Dirk, Marion and Carter aren’t getting any younger. The former Buck and Warrior ought to have landed a better club. Knicks or Thunder should have picked him up as the shooting guard spot is pretty much nil (well, there’s J.R. in NY but he’s not a starter).

  16. carter says:

    acquire asik from rockets.terrific defensive player,and much needed for the mavericks.

  17. bball says:

    Why hasn’t Dallas tried to get Pecovic yet??

  18. Nate says:

    Should have taken Jennings, great shooter when he is on, better defender than Ellis and so young still. Could see his shooting % go up with Jose running the offense. Too late now.

  19. J says:

    atleast somebody signed ellis
    poor mavs

  20. panosthe1andonly says:

    Great choice for Dallas now we need a big man and in the next couple of years we can be champions again 😀

  21. SAM REYES says:


  22. pej says:

    Ellis won’t make Dallas championship team. I like the acquisition of Kaman by Lakers. He can play both as Center or power forward. Gasol can do the same thing. Both are good jump shooters. Just hope Kobe, Nash and Blake remain healthy, Lakers could be in the Final.

    • 34yr fan says:

      this blog is NOT about your lakers…….

    • Larry says:

      Thats what im saying. Even without Howard, LA is still full of very talented veterans. Dont count Kobe, Pau and Nash out yet. With Howard gone, the team will play better and not feel obligated to cater to “the new face of the franchise” in Howard. Lakers wont be a team to take lightly. Age is not as much of a factor these days. There are major scientific and medical advancements that teams employ now. Testosterone replacement therapy, among other treatments, has done wonders for older athletes. Just look at UFC, Randy Couture was 44 years old and a heavyweight champ. Anderson Silva is 38 years old and still dominates.

  23. caloyski says:


  24. molla says:

    roddy b is 25 please give him a chance before u regret

  25. Ziden says:

    I think Monte Eliss is very good! They is so good!!!! Why get Omer Asik? I love this Eliss dude!

    • Larry says:

      @Ziden because Asik plays center. Ellis plays guard. They are 2 totally different positions. There is a reason why most teams prefer to build around a good Center rather than any other position.

  26. northernhoops says:

    Asik could be a good find for the mavs..although they would definetly need a defensive minded big man they’re hard to come by

  27. Max says:

    Ask TNT about what a great center. D.howard is? Houston going down 3rd team! Bought the dud! Cannot play offense ATF all. Other teams. Hack. A Howard!!! Howard is a dud wrapped. In expensive paper! J, harden not goin to like new Houston’s. center!

    • yolo says:

      Oh wont be that easy, remember harden goes to the line 9 times a game, parsons gets to the line, so you can imagine the foul trouble if they start hacking dwight.

  28. jordine says:

    This is a result of letting go priced players after winning a championship.. Less top caliber players believe in the commitment of the mavs to build another championsh er team. No kirinlenko will do it for the nets or a ray allen for miami would take a pay cut just to sign for a team whom they beleive can with it all! That is when you know that you have something special!

  29. W/E says:

    lol Ellis wont help Dallas at all, they are doomed to miss the playoffs again, they just wasted their money honestly

    • caloyski says:


    • Tom says:

      pretty much, there’s a reason Ellis was the last major FA to be picked up

    • Dieter says:

      I would’ve understand a 1 year deal because they need to go over the minium cap, but a 3 year deal for almost 10m a year…c’mon Cuban, what are you thinking? They start rebuilding with a 6th man who gets overpaid. Future ain’t looking bright for the Mavericks.

    • LBJKIN6JAMES says:

      Ellis & Calderon LOL .. Dallas should have just let the season go and get a good draft pick next summer, because they are going nowhere!!!

  30. K says:

    Excuse me, did you just use the word ‘swag’?

  31. da best says:

    i believe dallas can win it all this year because ellis is in the top 3 SG in the league and dirk is one of the best in the league. if this is theyre starting lineup PG: Calderon SG: Ellis SF: Carter PF: Dirk C: Oden, They could win it all or at least get to the finals because theya re all good defensive and offensive players!!!!

    • Pakyaw says:

      Top 3 SG in the league? Ellis?..I wanna have , what u smoking…

    • Jordan says:

      Is this a real post??

    • daniel says:

      You are absolutely clueless about basketball if you think an avg SG shooter, Dirk is coming off injury season, Carter is ancient n a cracked shell of his former self and Oden will play half a season if he’s lucky and if Mavs get him at all. You are lost.

    • 34yr fan says:

      ….excuse me, butdid you write C–Oden?????? How so????

    • evang says:

      to his defense the SG position has faded away. There are only 4 true SG in the league. Kobe, JR Smith Jason Terry, Lou Williams and Monta Ellis…(sorry if i left anyone out) of those 5 he may be the 3rd best…maybe. That said, I would of liked to see him in a sixers jersey but he doesnt have bad knees and the sixers are only signing players w/ bad knees…im just sayin’

  32. sleeplessbull says:

    Dalls should move earth and sky to get Asik from Houston.. he wants to start he will start in Dallas!!! wake up Cuban.. u dindt get Dwight – you knew you wouldnt – Asik is just a step lower!!!

  33. Michael Stoll says:

    Congrats to Ellis on getting the contract he wanted in Dallas. I feel that the Bulls really struck out on not getting neither Iggy or Ellis.

    • Tom says:

      Iggy, yes. Ellis isn’t worth half the money he’s getting. A chucker who doesn’t defend is worse than useless.

      • Kenny says:

        Good point! I often caught myself wondering why he hasn’t gotten many offers on his table. That pretty much sums it up. But let’s admit, offensively he got it done!

  34. Shawn K says:

    To many guards!!! they’re going to end up(at times0 playing Ellis at SF, its going to be a train wreck season for Dallas!!!!!