Pacers, Monta Ellis discussing a potential buyout
Following the blockbuster trade that shipped Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder last week, Monta Ellis immediately knew the new path the Indiana Pacers will be taking starting next season. Giving up their franchise player signaled the start of a rebuilding phase for the team, and he doesn’t appear to be a fan of it.
Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star reports that the 31-year-old hybrid guard and the Pacers are currently discussing a potential buy out, which will allow him to seek a better situation with another team.
The Pacers & Monta Ellis, per league sources, are discussing a possible buyout situation. Such a deal could be done later this month.
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) July 4, 2017
Since his arrival in Indianapolis back in 2015, Ellis has seen his role diminish, only averaging 27 minutes per game this past season. That resulted in the lowest scoring output for him since his rookie year. He put up 8.5 points per game, along with 2.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.1 steals.
Ellis is slated to earn $11.22 million this year. He has a player option next season. There is still risk for them should things not work out next year, as Ellis can opt in should he be worried about not being able to yield as much money on the open market.
However, he could turn out to be an important signing, especially for a contender, if he can return to his old self and play like how he did earlier in his career. Whichever team secures his services must bear in mind that he will be suspended for the first five games next year for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.