Suddenly everyone wants to go to Charlotte.
The Bobcats made a huge splash last week when they signed free agent big-man Al Jefferson, and it appears they could be on the verge of making waves yet again.
Monta Ellis, possibly the premier name remaining on the free agent market, has reportedly narrowed his list of suitors to four teams and the Bobcats are one of them. The mercurial guard comes at a high price, both financial and on the court, but would definitely add scoring punch to whatever team he chooses.
Scoring punch is something the Charlotte Bobcats desperately need—they ranked 26th in the league in points-per-game last season—but if they were smart, they'd find it elsewhere.
To say the book on Monta Ellis is mixed would be an understatement.
It's more accurate to say that it has more peaks and valleys than Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde—whom Ellis often resembles on the court—and more than any Bobcats fan should be comfortable with.
Some games you'll watch Ellis play and you can't help but wonder why he isn't a superstar in this league. He can be a dominant scorer, and runs the transition as well as any player in the league.
He can get hot, really hot, and carry a team to victory on his back. In nine NBA seasons he's proven to be a prolific scorer, with a career average of 19.4 points-per-game, and has averaged over 20 PPG four times.
Sounds like everything you'd want on a team starved for offense, right?
If the story ended here, every Bobcat fan in the known universe would be salivating at the chance to land this type of player.
Unfortunately for Ellis, and the Charlotte Bobcats, there is a lot more to tell.
If you want to see the Monta Ellis capable of taking over a game you'll need to make sure you tune-in on the right night. He's woefully inconsistent, and it's just as likely he'll shoot you out of a game as keep you in one.
He averaged 19.4 PPG last season in Milwaukee, but he did it while averaging the ninth most field-goal attempts per game in the league. The guys in front of him were some of the most recognizable names in basketball—and Ellis is not Kobe Bryant or LeBron James.
Last season, he was woeful from the field (.416%) and even worse from behind the arc (.287%). Those are two areas where the Bobcats need improvement and not more of the same.
Ellis is going to get his points on a nightly basis whether it helps the team or not.
Also, his shot selection is often terrible. Near the basket, he's a dynamic scorer. But for some reason, some would say an overconfidence in his abilities, he insists on chucking up shots from the perimeter. He'll often continue to do this even when it's clear that he's not having a good shooting night.
The Bobcats are a very young team with potential future stars in key spots.
It's easy to see the allure of adding a piece like Ellis, he's still young and can score, but he's not a superstar no matter what he thinks.
There are just too many questions—and too few answers—for this signing to make sense.
Does a young team really want to invest somewhere in the neighborhood of four years and close to $50 million dollars in a player who will provide them with brilliance on some nights but headaches on most others?
Is he the right backcourt mate for Kemba Walker?
Walker improved his game in virtually all statistical areas last season, and he has all the makings of a possible star. How does he benefit from partnering with a guard who dominates possession and has poor shot selection?
Have the Bobcats improved enough on the boards to compensate for all Ellis' missed shots?
The 'Cats were a brutally bad rebounding team last season, and Ellis misses a ton of shots. This wasn't a killer in Milwaukee, but could be in Charlotte even with Al Jefferson improving a team that finished 27th in rebounds per game last season.
Most of all, why spend all this money on Ellis when you can re-sign Gerald Henderson for a fraction of the cost?
Henderson isn't going to match Ellis' scoring on a nightly basis, but he's younger, cheaper and won't take as many bad shots.
Adding Monta Ellis to a team that already added Al Jefferson this offseason is certainly flashy, but flashy doesn't always equal smart.
This is absolutely one of those cases.
The Bobcats definitely need scoring, and Monta Ellis provides that. He just does it at too high a price.