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Dallas Mavericks Swallow The Monta Ellis Pill, Sign Him To 3-Yr Deal

Monta Ellis
Latest posts by Bogar Alonso (see all)
Monta Ellis

Apr 28, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis (11) drives with the basketball as Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) and forward Rashard Lewis (9) defend during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have plugged up a backcourt hole left by the departure of O.J. Mayo by signing the smaller, and older, combo guard Monta Ellis. After missing out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes, the Mavericks did the NBA equivalent of swallowing a cyanide pill by not only signing the notoriously deficient 2-guard, but also paying him superstar money. A superstar he is not.

O.J. Mayo contributed 15.3 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.5 RPG, and 1.1 STLPG to Dallas last season while Monta put up slightly better numbers: 19.2 PPG, 6.0 APG, 3.9 RPG, and 2.1 STLPG. Neither were very sound players as O.J.’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER) was below league average (14.00 compared to 15.00 PER) and Monta barely scraped over the mean with 16.30. Both also play lukewarm defense. But the biggest crux of Ellis are his shooting numbers and 6’3” (on a good day) frame. Monta doesn’t do a bad job of facilitating halfcourt sets, but will hurt your offense in a litany of other ways.

Here are some:

1) 28.7%. No, that isn’t the likelihood of Kobe Bryant taking a paycut in 2014. It was Ellis’ 3-point shooting percentage for 2012-13. Abysmal, especially considering that you want shooters around Dirk. Calderon will help on this front but Ellis will sink Dallas wherever Calderon might propel them shooting wise.

2) Plenty of guards, surprisingly, shoot the 3-ball poorly. Dwyane Wade anyone? But Ellis doesn’t help his case by shooting the ball very poorly overall (41.6% last year). Factor in his true shooting percentage (49.3%) and his effective field goal percentage (44.8%) and you have a shooting guard who can’t hit anything even if armed with a scope.

3) He has the shot selection of an eight-grader. Maybe ninth-grader.

4) He’s 6-foot-3! Though that affects him more on the defensive end where he’ll have to stop shooting guards who are typically 6-foot-5 or taller. That added exertion kills him offensively where he also has to battle the advantageous height of anyone guarding him. Greivis Vasquez, a point guard, is 6-foot-6. The world may be a small place, but an NBA court isn’t.

His contract is projected to be as high as $30 million for three years. When placed against Mayo’s own $24 million for three, J.R. Smith’s $25 million for four, J.J. Redick’s $27 million for four, or Kevin Martin’s $28 million for four, the signing gets even more worrisome. Other than the Mayo deal, all other three are light years beyond Monta Ellis nabbing 10 million a year for making 19 points on 17 field goal attempts, defending little more than his own shadow, and doing little for a Mavs team that need an effective wing scorer and defender.

The only high point of the move is that Ellis will be playing for Rick Carlisle, who can help curb his schizophrenic shooting, and playing alongside Dirk, an NBA champ and stand-up guy. Maybe there’s still hope for him after all.

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