While Monta Ellis was mulling over the decision of whether to sign with the Mavericks, Hawks or Kings, Sacramento potentially cost itself the ability to sign the free-agent guard. NBA.com's David Aldridge reports that Ellis is still interested in all three teams, but Sacramento's trade on Tuesday that added Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's salary to the books could make it difficult for the Kings to sign Ellis.
Sacramento took on Mbah a Moute's two years and $9 million left on his contract while shedding two future second-round picks and no immediate salary in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks. Suddenly, the Kings' salary cap space is unable to include the approximate $12 million Ellis could earn per season.
But like the Kings, the other two of Ellis' suitors are looking at options to land the free agent via a sign-and-trade.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Mavs have been shopping forward Shawn Marion and his $9 million contract to make room for Ellis and free agent center Andrew Bynum. The Kings could consider unloading shooting guard Marcus Thornton's $8.1 million annual salary. And there have been many rumors about the Hawks and Bucks working out a deal that would send either Ellis or point guard Brandon Jennings to Atlanta in exchange for Jeff Teague.
Ellis became a free agent when he opted out of the final year of his contract with the Bucks that was worth $11 million next season. He also turned down an offer to remain in Milwaukee on a three-year, $36 million deal.