The Kings' hiring of Michael Malone as their new head coach should improve the team's chances of landing Monta Ellis in free agency this summer, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. According to Spears, Ellis gained a great deal of respect for the former Warriors assistant while both Ellis and Malone were in Golden State.
The link between Ellis and the Kings stems from a report earlier this month that indicated Sacramento's new ownership group liked Ellis. Of course, like Malone, new owner Vivek Ranadive also has a history with Ellis' old team in Golden State. Still, in a second report, a source from Ranadive's group downplayed the team's interest in Ellis, so it's not clear if the Kings will actually pursue the free agent guard this summer.
Ellis has an $11MM player option that he still could exercise if he chooses, but every indication is that he'll opt out in search of a larger payday. Assuming he does, he'll be one of three Bucks guards expected to land a big multiyear deal in free agency, with one recent report suggesting that Milwaukee may prefer to keep Ellis and J.J. Redick over Brandon Jennings.