Hawks, Mavs, Kings Finalists For Monta Ellis?

July 9 2013 at 3:44pm CST By Luke Adams

3:44pm: The Bulls made a run at Ellis in hopes of acquiring him via sign-and-trade, but couldn't make the other roster moves necessary to complete a deal, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.com. Charania writes that the Kings appear to be in the lead for Ellis, with the Hawks and Mavs also in play. Whatever team Ellis decides on will likely have to make at least one roster move to create room for him.

2:46pm: A source tells TNT's David Aldridge that Ellis' decision may come down to the Hawks and Mavericks (Twitter link). Aldridge adds that Ellis remains interested in Sacramento, but the Kings' acquisition of Luc Mbah a Moute may take them out of the mix.

Meanwhile, in his full story on Ellis, Broussard goes into detail on each suitor's pursuit of Ellis, noting that the Mavs are hoping to land both Ellis and Andrew Bynum, and are shopping Shawn Marion in an effort to make room. The Hawks are considering a sign-and-trade involving Jeff Teague, the Bobcats are waiting to see what happens with Gerald Henderson, and the Kings are exploring trading Marcus Thornton, though again, the Mbah a Moute deal could reduce Sacramento's chances.

2:00pm: Among the free agents still on the board, none had a higher scoring average last season than Monta Ellis. But the top scorer on the market may not be available for long. According to ESPN.com's Chris Broussard (via Twitter), Ellis hopes to make a decision on his destination within the next 48 hours, choosing from a group of suitors that includes the Hawks, Kings, Bobcats, and Mavericks.

The Hawks and Kings have been the teams most often linked to Ellis in the last several days, though the Mavs were also identified as a potential destination for him earlier in the free agent period. I believe this is the first we've heard of the Bobcats' interest, though it's probably not "serious," according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). Depending on what other moves are made, and how big a starting salary Ellis receives, some of those teams may need to negotiate a sign-and-trade with the Bucks rather than signing him outright.

Ellis, 27, declined an $11MM player option to hit free agency, and also reportedly turned down a three-year, $36MM extension offer from the Bucks last season, so he'll likely be seeking a starting salary in that $10-12MM neighborhood.

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