A decision is creeping up on Milwaukee Bucks free agent Monta Ellis, and it's not going to be an easy one. The free agency moratorium period ends on Wednesday and the guard will likely have a choice between three teams currently vying for the veteran scoring guard.
The Kings hurt their own chances on Tuesday with a trade of two future draft picks for Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. His two-year, $9 million contract goes on Sacramento's books, meaning they'll need to make a trade in order to acquire Ellis. Some at Kings blog Sactown Royalty don't see it happening and hope Ellis lands elsewhere:
If Sacramento couldn't find a trade partner, they could also use the amnesty provision on John Salmons to create space. That would give them about $10 million in cap room.
We'll see what happens, but for our sake, I hope Ellis chooses Dallas or Atlanta.
All three teams interested in Ellis are reportedly mulling over sign-and-trade scenarios with the Bucks.
Ellis does have interest in the Kings still but they'd need to move a player such as Marcus Thornton to take on Ellis' expected $12 million per year contract. ESPN reports that the Hawks are also discussing a deal involving Ellis joining Atlanta and free agent point guard Jeff Teague going to the Bucks. Dallas could be another landing spot, and the Mavs hope to offer lucrative deals to both Ellis and center Andrew Bynum; to do so, they'd like to move forward Shawn Marion's contract.
Morrow to sign with Pelicans
Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports the New Orleans Pelicans have agreed with guard Anthony Morrow to a two-year deal worth the veteran's minimum. The contract will have a player option in the second year.
Morrow has had prolific spurts in the NBA but struggled to be productive when given extensive minutes over long periods of time. New Orleans appears set in the backcourt right now, but there are worse things than having too much depth.
Hopefully, the Hornets aren't expecting much more than a reliable floor spacer. Morrow's handle has never been adequate and his stature has led to many defensive shortcomings. Guess this means Roger Mason will undoubtedly be looking for employment outside of New Orleans.
Golden State adds Douglas
The Golden State Warriors lost backup point guard Jarrett Jack to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it's bigger than that when considering he was also a complementary piece alongside starting point guard Stephen Curry. But they filled that void by agreeing to sign Toney Douglas, who similarly will be able to give coach Mark Jackson some point production off the bench.
The length and value of Douglas' contract were not reported.
Veteran O'Neal agrees on deal with Warriors
The Warriors were busy on Tuesday. In addition to agreeing with Douglas, they also added veteran center Jermaine O'Neal to a one-year deal. O'Neal was useful when healthy with the Suns last season, though he missed time with minor injuries and personal health issues.
Though Golden State has Andrew Bogut and young big man Festus Ezeli in tow, they now have added depth after trading away Andris Biedrins to the Utah Jazz.
Turkoglu being bought out
The Orlando Magic are close to buying out veteran forward Hedo Turkoglu, who has one year left on his contract worth $12 million. It's the final season of a five-year, $53 million deal Turkoglu signed with the Toronto Raptors in 2009.
Turkoglu was a key member on the 2009 Magic team that went to the NBA Finals, but has struggled to find his footing in the league since. Turkoglu was traded from the Raptors to the Phoenix Suns in 2010, and was then sent back to Orlando in December.
Turkoglu was suspended 20 games for violating the NBA's anti-doping policy last season.