Any doubts that the Indiana Pacers were in a rebuilding mode were
erased Wednesday when they waived veteran guard Monta Ellis, a move
reported by multiple media outlets.
The other teams have 48 hours to claim Ellis and take on the final
two years of his four-year contract, which would be $22.9 million.
If Ellis clears waivers, which seems likely, he would become an
unrestricted free agent. The Pacers would still be responsible for
paying his $11.2 million salary next season, but his 2018-19 salary
will no longer be on Indiana’s salary cap for that season.
The 31-year-old Ellis, a 12-year veteran, was not part of the
Pacers’ plans to rebuild around a younger group of players.
Ellis’ production and playing time decreased significantly the past
two seasons. After averaging 18.9 points in his final season with
the Dallas Mavericks in 2014-15, his average shrank to 13.8 points
in 2015-16. This past season, he became a bench player, starting
just 33 of the 74 games he played while averaging 8.5 points and
27.0 minutes per game.
The Indianapolis Star reported the Pacers and Ellis discussed the
possibility of a buyout earlier this week, but those talks broke
Ellis would have been the third-highest paid player on the team at
$11.2 million next season.