Monta Ellis has already informed that he will opt out of the final year of his contract with the Milwaukee Bucks to move elsewhere via free agency.
Ellis signed a 6-year, $66 million dollar deal with the Golden State Warriors, before being dealt to the Bucks. The veteran guard was scheduled to make $11 million this year if he decided to stay in Milwaukee for the final year.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers have all expressed interest in Ellis.
Financially, however, Ellis to the Lakers is a pipe dream. Unless the two sides can strike some sort of sign-and-trade deal. Los Angeles already has $78 million committed to player salaries next season, well into the luxury tax, not including Dwight Howard. The Lakers number one priority is still to retain the services of the superstar big man.
If Milwaukee was willing to make a sign-and-trade happen to get something in return for Ellis rather than watching him walk for absolutely nothing, the Lakers probably are not the team to call.
The only comparable salaries are Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, and Metta World Peace. A deal revolving around Gasol remains a possibility, but Milwaukee would most likely not be interested in picking up the contracts of Nash or World Peace.
Howard and Ellis have a good relationship, however, and if Howard can not find a way to team up with Chris Paul this summer, Ellis may be his second option.
While Ellis and Kobe Bryant on the floor for the same team would be interesting enough, the biggest reason the Lakers would make this deal would be to try to re-sign Howard. If Los Angeles does find a way to obtain Ellis though, will the combination of him and Kobe eventually upset Dwight even more due to the fact that he would ultimately see less shots?
Despite their efforts, the Los Angeles Lakers may find out what the Orlando Magic already found out previously, that there is no pleasing Dwight for an extended period of time.