In the midst of deciding which team he will join this summer, free agent Monta Ellis has fired agent Jeff Fried and is expected to hire Dan Fegan, according to Chris Broussard of ESPN.
Broussard tweeted on Wednesday:
Naturally, that set the nation on fire because Fegan has strong ties to the Dallas Mavericks and, as we all know (insert sarcasm here), that must mean Ellis is headed to join Mark Cuban and Co...right?
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on a second. Everybody take a deep breath.
Just because Ellis may hire Fegan doesn't mean he automatically is going to join the Mavericks. Remember who else Fegan is employed under? That's right, Dwight Howard. Tell me, how did that work out for the Mavericks this summer?
As Marc Stein of ESPN.com noted before Howard joined the Houston Rockets, a strong bond between team owner and agent doesn't guarantee anything.
Stein added that Drew Gooden—a Fegan client—was dealt to the Washington Wizards back in February 2010. Remember Delonte West? He was waived by the Mavericks when Fegan was his agent. Heck, Jason Terry fired Fegan after the Mavericks showed little interest in making a long-term commitment to him during his last season in Dallas.
So you see, hiring Fegan isn't automatically going to hand Ellis over to the Mavericks on a silver platter. Does that mean the Mavericks won't land him? Of course not—he could still end up in Dallas. But to discount the other three teams he narrowed his list down to—the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Bobcats—is making way too much of his agent change.
In fact, isn't it possible that Ellis, I don't know, could have fired Fried because he wasn't getting the job done?
As Moke Hamilton of SheridanHoops.com wrote in his free agency breakdown for the summer:
The biggest winners, we would say, are the shooting guards. Monta Ellis is the exception, and that probably explains why, on Wednesday, we found out that he fired his longtime agent, Jeff Fried.
I'm much more inclined to believe that was the reason Ellis fired Fried than it was simply "Dallas or Bust."
Let it play out, folks. Ellis hasn't made an announcement yet.