With the stunning trade that sent Paul George from Indiana to Oklahoma City just hours before the start of free agency, the Indiana Pacers are headed in a different direction that has little need for long time veterans like Monta Ellis. The two sides have been working towards a buyout the last few days and the writing has been on the wall that they will be going separate ways.
On Wednesday, the other shoe finally dropped. According to The Vertical, the Pacers will be waiving Monta Ellis without a buyout. Teams will 48 hours to claim him before he can become an unrestricted free agent. Ellis still has two years left on his current contract.
At 31 years old, Ellis’ next contract might be his last chance at making striking above the vet’s minimum. He’s still a serviceable guard with the speed and handles necessary to get to the rim. However, he doesn’t draw as many fouls as he used to and he’s not much of a shooter making his skills in today’s NBA limited.
The market for Ellis will be interesting, because he should be worth more than the veteran’s minimum but the free agency market has receded so much in response to last season’s spending spree that he might end up being paid less than his value by the time he signs a new contract. This is assuming he clears waivers.