One of the names you haven’t heard too much about during the first week of NBA free agency has been that of Monta Ellis. The former Milwaukee Bucks guard is coming off of a down year in terms of what he is used to producing, yet still believes he can be the player he once was.
At the moment, there are two teams atop the race for the shoot-first Ellis. Both the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks have showed interest in offering him a deal, but now it appears as though the Hawks could get their man.
Recent news via Marc Stein of ESPN reveals the Nuggets could be heading in a different direction:
Volume rising on rumbles Randy Foye will wind up w/Nuggets. Which would take DEN out of Monta Ellis race & clear way for Hawks to sign Monta
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 8, 2013
If the Hawks do indeed land Ellis, it of course would be a move of desperation. After missing out on Dwight Howard and losing a big piece to their franchise, Josh Smith, they don’t want to feel left empty handed in terms of the higher-tier free agents.
It’s no secret Ellis can shoot. He’s proved that his entire career. What he hasn’t showed, is the ability to be a true point guard. At times he has played a bit of both guard spots, and depending on how the situation with Jeff Teague works out he may find himself playing point.
Can Ellis really be an effective point guard in the NBA at this juncture in his career? Well, last year he shot the ball at the lowest percentage — 41.6 — since his rookie season. However, his assist average was tied for the highest it’s ever been at 6.0. Shocking, I know.
Honestly, I don’t like Ellis really anywhere right now. But, that could change. I do believe he will contribute to the right team at the right time, but it depends on what guy we see in 2013.
If the Hawks sign him, will we see the guy that looks to score more often than not, or the one that can get his teammates involved and make smarter decisions shooting the ball? Only time will figure this one out.