With the trade deadline less than a month away you have to wonder if the Milwaukee Bucks are going to deal shooting guard Monta Ellis.
Acquired at the trade deadline last season, Ellis hasn’t been spectacular since joining the Bucks though his numbers may say otherwise. During his time with Milwaukee Monta Ellis is averaging 18.2 points (on 17.6), 5.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds a game . For the general NBA fan that looks solid, but his lack of defense and reputation of being a “chucker” (shooting a poor 40% from the floor and 24% from three) proceeds him.
As of now the Milwaukee Bucks are the currently 7th in the Eastern Conference at 23-19 and 2.5 games behind the slumping Atlanta Hawks.
If the team believes they can cope without Ellis, then they should explore options. When Monta Ellis is on the floor the team has a net rating of -2.3, +2.0 when he’s off the floor. This includes the defense going from giving up 105.4 points when Monta is on the floor to 100.9 off.
After this season, Monta Ellis has a player option for $11 million. Alongside Ellis, the Bucks other free agents will be Brandon Jennings (RA), Beno Udrih, Samuel Dalembert, Mike Dunleavy, Marquis Daniels and Joel Pryzbilla. They’ll have a little over $40 million in cap space before they re-sign Jennings, so they’ll have money to sign some quality free agents, but being a small-market team will make it hard for them to get a big name.
By dealing Monta Ellis, they may be able to get quantity over quality. And with the shooting guards position being the weakest position in the NBA, someone may jump at the chance to get a 18 point per game player. When the Golden State Warriors traded Ellis for Andrew Bogut, they were able to replace Ellis’ production with a rookie shooter and maybe a draft pick or solid bench players could do the same for Milwaukee.
It makes sense why the Bucks would stand pat as they would make the playoffs if they started today, but tying down Monta Ellis for the future won’t be positive. It’ll be interesting to see if Monta’s name comes up in future trade rumors.