Nuggets Making Strong Push For Monta Ellis

July 5 2013 at 8:28pm CST By Chuck Myron

8:28pm: Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports also hears the Nuggets have "major interest" in Ellis, but he says more suitors have emerged in the past few hours (Twitter link).

6:58pm: The Nuggets are engaged in a serious pursuit of Monta Ellis, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com. Ellis has had "several substantial discussions" with teams, Charania hears, and some sign-and-trade possibilities arose. Still, the Nuggets will have some room available to sign Ellis now that Andre Iguodala is headed to Golden State.

Yet with about $51MM in guaranteed contracts, the Nuggets won't have that much space to offer a deal to Ellis. The salary cap is projected to be $58.5MM for this coming season, meaning Ellis would likely only be able to sign a deal with a starting salary of around $7.5MM with the Nuggets, unless the team pulled off a sign-and-trade or cleared cap room with another swap. That $7.5MM figure is a far cry from the $11MM figure Ellis turned down in an early-termination option with the Bucks.

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