Monta Ellis will take the first step in the Milwaukee Bucks’ free agent dance when he decides whether to opt in for the final year of his contract or become an unrestricted free agent. Ellis and his agent Jeffrey Fried face a June 20 deadline to make their decision. Ellis is owed $11 million in the final year of a six-year, $66 million deal he signed while a member of the Golden State Warriors. But the contract has a player option for the 2013-’14 season and he can choose to end the deal. If he does, Ellis will be a free agent on July 1. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has learned that discussions were held to extend Ellis’ deal with the Bucks but no agreement was reached. As part of the discussions the Bucks offered the 27-year-old guard a two-year extension through the 2015-’16 season, resulting in a total package of nearly $36 million over three years, according to a source. Ellis would have been required to opt in to get the additional two years on the deal. That includes the opt-in first year at $11 million, with annual raises bringing the total to $11.8 million in the second year of the deal and $13 million in the final year. The average salary in the deal would have been about $12 million. Ellis would have received some protection against injury with a three-year deal while also having the chance to be a free agent at the age of 30. But he may be interested in testing the market now. Yahoo Sports recently reported that Ellis plans to opt out of his contract and could be interested in the Sacramento Kings, who hired former Golden State assistant Mike Malone as their new coach after undergoing an ownership change. Ellis worked under Malone’s tutelage in Oakland while playing for the Warriors.
Bucks offered Ellis a 2-year extension but no deal reached
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Jun 7