Ken Berger reported today that Milwaukee's Larry Sanders and Monta Ellis got into a bit of a confrontation following Game 3 of their first round playoff series against the Heat. But that's not important right now, because hidden in the article near the end is this tidbit:
Oddly, a member of the proposed ownership group trying to keep the Kings in Sacramento has done some background checking on Ellis as a possibility for the Kings if the team decides to part ways with restricted free agent Tyreke Evans this summer, a league source involved in the discussions said.
Both Mark Mastrov and Vivek Ranadivé have connections to the Warriors, who traded Monta Ellis to Milwaukee last year. In case you hadn't noticed, Golden State has blossomed since the trade, and is currently tied 1-1 in a best of 7 series against the San Antonio Spurs. The Ellis-led Bucks made it to the Playoffs (in a much weaker Eastern Conference with a sub-.500 record) and were soundly swept by the defending Champion Heat.
Ellis has not yet decided whether he will exercise or opt out of his Player Option for next year, which is set to pay him $11 million. If he does however, I would much rather opt to re-sign Tyreke Evans than sign Monta Ellis.
1. Tyreke Evans is a Restricted Free Agent, meaning the Kings can match any offers that he signs. Ellis is unrestricted.
2. Tyreke Evans is 4 years younger than Ellis, and has much greater size, strength, and upside potential, particularly on the defensive end, where Ellis is a sieve.
3. Ellis is extremely ball-dominant. The last thing this team needs is another ball-dominant, shoot-first player, and that is what Ellis is. His Usage Rate has topped 25.8 every year since his rookie year, going as high as 29.4%. Evans' Usage Rate has been going down since his Rookie Year.
4. Ellis is highly inefficient. He's skilled in the mid-range and going to the basket, but shoots way too many threes for being a sub-par three point shooter. Evans' efficiency has been getting better since his rookie year, culminating in career-high marks from the field and from three this past season.
I could continue but I think I've made my point. By all means, do your due diligence on Monta Ellis. He is one of the bigger names available in Free Agency. But he is not what this team needs.