Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis seemed to be headed for free agency before the Bucks went to him with a contract extension, but if that wasn’t enough evidence, Ellis turned down a two-year, $36 million extension on Friday, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The deadline for players to make up their minds about picking up or denying options is June 20. Gardner notes that Ellis is still owed $11 million in the final year of his six-year, $66 million deal that the Golden State Warriors inked him to in 2008.
If he did accept the Bucks’ extension, he would be owed $36 million over the next three years. If your long division is a little rusty, that would equate to an annual salary of $12 million, which is just a rough estimate, but it gives you a good idea of his value.
But given that Ellis rejected Milwaukee’s more-than-reasonable offer, it’s clear that he thinks a wealthier contract awaits him elsewhere.
Is a lucrative contract actually waiting for Ellis?
A slew of potential destinations have been tossed around, most notably the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timerwolves and Sacramento Kings.
Per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Ellis has “potential” interest in joining the Kings because of his relationship with former Warriors assistant coach Mike Malone, who was recently hired to be Sacramento’s head coach. Ellis was also one of Vivek Ranadive’s favorite players when Ellis was a member of the Warriors, per Tim Kawakami. Ranadive is the current majority owner of the Kings and former minority owner of the Warriors.
As I’ve mentioned, it’s my understanding that one of @vivek‘s favorite Warriors was… Monta Ellis. But Monta on that SAC team? Yecch.
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 31, 2013
Ellis is an elite scorer, and he is on the right side of 30, but he may find a lack of suitors of his demands eclipse reasonable. And if his denial of the Bucks’ extension is any indication, that may be the case.