Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Monta Ellis plans on opting out of the final year of his current contract in order to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Gary Woelfel of the The Journal Times reports.
While Ellis refuses to discuss his plans for the summer publicly with the Bucks on the way to the postseason, Woelfel says he's began indicating privately that he wants to hit free agency. The guard could stay in Milwaukee and earn $11 million next season, but he also has the option of opting out and hittingmarket.
The prevailing wisdom around the league once held that Ellis wouldn't be able to pass up that salary, but it appears he's ready to take a risk that some team will ante up. Multiple general managers that Woelfel spoke with indicated that they wouldn't pay him what he could earn by staying in Milwaukee, but it just takes one team enamored by his explosive scoring ability to guarantee that payday.
An inefficient but prolific scorer, Ellis is averaging 19.3 points per game this season, 11th in the NBA. He's shooting just 28 percent from beyond the arc and 41 percent overall, though, clouding the true value of all those points.
At age 27, Ellis is right in the prime of his career, making him an intriguing free agent option for a team in need of a scorer, but it's uncertain whether he can become an efficient part of elite offense. His ability to pile up points will keep him in the league, but it will be interesting to see what kind of attention he receives this summer should he follow through with his plans.