Pacers take next step in rebuilding by waiving Monta Ellis

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers have waived backup guard Monta Ellis.

Ellis has played the last two seasons in Indiana, averaging 11.3 points and 4.0 assists in 114 games. But he lost his starting job last season. The NBA also announced that he would be suspended for the first five games next season for a violation of the league's anti-drug policy.

He had two years left on his original contract with the Pacers. By releasing the 12-year veteran, Indiana saves about $9 million on the salary cap and won't have to pay next season's salary.

The move is the latest in the Pacers' rebuilding project that began with last week's blockbuster trade that sent four-time All-Star Paul George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

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