Monta Ellis to Mavericks: Dallas Signs Star Guard to 3-Year Deal

Tim KeeneyContributor IJuly 12, 2013

Polarizing guard Monta Ellis has reportedly agreed to terms with the Dallas Mavericks.

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 23rd at 12:55 p.m. ET by Kyle Vassalo

The Mavericks made the signing of Monta Ellis official with this announcement:

---End of Update---

ESPN's Marc Stein has the news:

The Dallas Mavericks have struck a free-agent deal with guard Monta Ellis, according to sources close to the process. 

Sources told that the Mavericks and Ellis have agreed to terms on a three-year deal thatdepending on where Dallas ends up in terms of salary-cap space as it works on a number of dealscould rise to as high as $30 million.

The deal, at the minimum, will be in the $25 million range, sources said.

The 27-year-old Ellis turned down $11 million in June, choosing instead to opt out of the last year of his deal with the Milwaukee Bucks and test free agency. 

Ellis simply never got comfortable in Brew City. After establishing himself as a deadly offensive weapon and consistent 20-point-per-game scorer with the high-tempo Golden State Warriors, he saw his numbers take a dive upon being traded to the Bucks. 

Following the deal in 2012, he averaged just 17.6 points on 43.2 percent shooting in the last 21 games of the season. 

2012-13 wasn't much better—19.2 points (lowest full-season average since 2008-09) on 41.6 percent shooting (lowest since 05-06) and 28.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc (lowest since 07-08). 

That offensive inefficiency—it took him 17.5 shots to average 19.2 points—highlights the concerns many have about his game. 

Nevertheless, there's no doubt that Ellis, still in his prime after eight NBA seasons, remains a very lethal offensive weapon.

He is a versatile playmaker—someone who can play both guard positions, create his own shot, get to the rim and distribute. The latter is unarguably the most underrated aspect of his game, as he finished last season with a career-high 6.0 assists per contest. 

Defensively, Ellis averaged an impressive 2.1 steals, which ranked fourth in the NBA. Although his propensity to gamble in the passing lanes often hurt the Bucks' team defense, he certainly made an impact on that end of the floor. 

Ellis can be very frustrating to watch, and his volume shooting is obviously a concern. But in the end, he is an extremely talented player who may have just needed a change of scenery. 

And that's exactly what he got. Expect Ellis to quickly establish himself as one of the top scoring options for the Mavs, filling the shoes of the recently departed O.J. Mayo.