Andre Iguodala declined his option to stay with the Denver Nuggets early in NBA Free Agency, but that didn’t stop them from pursuing Iguodala in an attempt to re-sign the shooting guard. Despite reportedly offering him a five-year, $60 million contract, the Nuggets lost out on Iguodala who signed a four-year, $48 million deal with the Golden State Warriors.
Now the Nuggets are looking to plan B to address the whole in shooting guard on their roster. According to Yahoo! Sports Marc Spears, the Nuggets have shown strong interest in former Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis, though no agreement has come to fruition yet.
Ellis played and started all 82 games for Milwaukee last season and played 37.5 minutes per game. He averaged 19.2 points, six assists, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, but shot only 41.6 percent from the floor and only 28.7 percent from long range. In Bucks’ four games in the playoffs, Ellis struggled and seemed passive as he averaged only 14.3 points, 5.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 3.5 turnovers per game in 38 minutes per game.
If you ask Ellis, he will tell you he “have it all.” However, that’s not really the case. Ellis is an inefficient scorer that has never seen a shot that he hasn’t wanted to take. On top of that, he’s not a great defender and he’s never really shown the ability to meld into a team concept. He wants to be a star, but he doesn’t really have the tools for that to happen.
In actuality, Ellis is a poor replacement for Iguodala for the simple fact that it is a huge downgrade and that Ellis doesn’t fit into Denver’s philosophy. Denver is likely going to be running the triangle offense under Brian Shaw, which necessitates solid outside shooting on the wings. Considering Ellis is just a 31.8 percent shooter from three in his career, that’s not ideal. Moreover, there’s also no guarantee that he won’t just try and take matters into his own hands on offense.
The biggest downgrade from Iggy to Ellis, though, is in defense. Iguodala is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league and Ellis isn’t. It’s not a lack of skill that limits Ellis, but more of a seeming lack of caring about playing defense on his part.
There’s no doubt that Iguodala left a huge hole in the Nuggets roster that they have to find a replacement for, but Ellis isn’t the right answer. He might be the biggest-named shooting guard on the market, but he’s not the right fit for Denver’s system.