NBA Rumors: Monta Ellis Wants to Play for Memphis Grizzlies

By Ryan Heckman


Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Thankfully for the Milwaukee Bucks, guard Monta Ellis has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract and test the waters of free agency. Already, there have been reports of Ellis creating a list featuring his top favored destinations. Atop the list? The Memphis Grizzlies.

Rumors have surfaced via Gary Woelfel, an NBA Summer League and Free Agency source, that Ellis has told friends of his that he would prefer to join Memphis this offseason:

“As I reported back in April, Monta Ellis planned to bolt Bucks. He has told friends he’d like to join Grizzlies,” Woelfel tweeted recently.

While this would be one of the more ideal situations for Ellis, the feeling might not be mutual. The Grizzlies are a defensive team first and Ellis offers absolutely nothing in terms of a defensive presence for Memphis to work with.

Back with the Golden State Warriors, Ellis was quite the offensive juggernaut. Milwaukee seemed to turn him into an afterthought around the league, as they do with many players that join the organization. Just look at J.J. Redick, who was having a career year, and what his production turned into in Milwaukee.

If Ellis wants to join the Grizzlies, it will more than likely be him doing the selling and not the other way around. Memphis has a phenomenal core intact that former head coach Lionel Hollins worked hard at developing, and the last thing they want to do is jeopardize that.

It will be interesting to see where Ellis lands, or better yet, what teams show any interest in the awfully expensive guard. The money hasn’t equated to the type of production teams would like to see in the past twelve months, so for the Grizzlies to decide to acquire him would be stunning.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman  or add him to your network on Google.

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