Tom Ziller predicted it, Carmichael Dave speculated on it, and now Chris Broussard (yes, I know) is reporting that the Sacramento Kings are interested in Dallas Mavericks free agent guard Monta Ellis as we head into free agency
I believe the Kings will make a strong push to sign free agent guard Monta Ellis.— Trillmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) June 30, 2015
Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix also chimed in, adding that the Ellis pursuit is being pushed by ownership. Yippie!
Hearing Kings ownership pushing hard for a pursuit of free agents Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis. Likely Sacramento can only afford one.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) June 30, 2015
I don’t need to tell anyone who Monta Ellis is, or what he’s about. The Kings have been interested in Ellis for years, literally. This pursuit didn’t start when Vivek Ranadive and his Golden State Warrior ties bought the team. This one dates back to the Maloof era.
Monta Ellis is an easy free agent target to poke fun at. First and foremost, he’s a volume scorer. He’d provide the Kings with one of the few things they don’t need, a player who uses 17 shots to score 19 points.
But for what the Kings continue to say they are looking for – a veteran combo guard with off-ball and on-ball skills, Ellis does exactly that. Despite his reputation as a scorer, he’s been a 4-6 assist per game player for most of his career. He can pass.
In the interest of fairness, Monta Ellis has been a fairly productive member of the Dallas Mavericks for two seasons. Rick Carlisle and his strict offensive system was able to rein Ellis in, but I could see George Karl’s free flowing, up and down, quick shot style bring out the worst in Ellis’ game. Not to mention the fact that the Kings are not a strong organization right now, and I don’t trust them to make DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Monta Ellis work.
I’d much rather take a run at Eric Bledsoe, or even Ty Lawson, before pursuing Ellis, but the Kings’ ability to land Ellis via free agency instead of trading what few assets they have to fill that role is a plus.
Pursuing Rodney Stuckey, which is exactly what the Kings are reportedly doing, at a fraction of what Ellis would cost makes more sense to me, if the free agency route is more appealing to the Kings front office. The point being, there are a lot of intriguing free agent guards out there. Ellis is not one of them. Not with where this roster is at right now, anyway.
Tom Ziller predicted a 3-year, $33 million dollar contract for Ellis this summer, which just feels like a massive waste of the Kings extremely limited cap room, but this is a scenario Kings fans should ready themselves for. Ellis signing in Sacramento is very realistic.