Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis will opt out of his contract and become a free agent, according to an ESPN report.
Late Tuesday night, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reported that it was "likely" Ellis would opt out. According to Sefko, the move would give Dallas more than $30 million to spend in free agency in addition to a $2.8 million exception. He noted that this scenario would allow Dallas to pursue Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge, a heavily rumored target, while also being able to re-sign center Tyson Chandler.
ESPN's report indicates that Dallas does not intend to re-sign Ellis, who led the team in scoring last season with 18.9 points per game. However, Ellis' former agent Jeff Fried, who reportedly remains close to the player, "did not rule out" a return to the Mavericks for his client.
"This decision was made because it's in the best interest of Monta," Fried said, according to ESPN. "It was more about him taking his future into his own hands."
"Monta's experience in Dallas was definitely a positive one," Fried said. "The team and the organization had success and Monta grew as a player. A door to return there will always be open."
Wednesday was the deadline for Ellis to pick up his $8.7 million player option for next season. ESPN reported that Indiana and Miami have already emerged as suitors.
- Jeremy Woo