Free agent guard Monta Ellis and the Indiana Pacers are "engaged in serious talks" on a three-year contract worth $32 million, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Ellis is one of the top scorers on the market and would immediately add a new element to the Pacers' backcourt next season.
Pacers front office and coaching staff members will meet with Ellis in Indianapolis on Wednesday, with the hopes of putting the finishing touches on a deal, according to Wojnarowski. Team president Larry Bird and coach Frank Vogel have decided "to play smaller and faster next season," and the 29-year-old is reportedly a core part of that plan.
Ellis opted out of the final year of his contract with the Dallas Mavericks earlier this month in order to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He played well during his two years with the team, averaging 19 points per game, but there were rumored locker room issues and the opportunity to sign a long-term deal elsewhere this summer was too much to pass up.
In Indiana, Ellis would immediately become one of the team's primary scorers along with NBA All-Star forward Paul George. The top guards on the Pacers' depth chart right now are George Hill and C.J. Miles, so Ellis should be expected to handle a lot of responsibility on offense from the first day, assuming a deal goes through.
SB Nation presents: NBA Draft winners and losers