We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at [email protected] Here are this week’s inquiries:
With the Indiana Pacers really struggling despite having a talented team, what are the chances of Monta Ellis being traded? He is having an awful season, but he is also not getting the ball. — Matthew Cho
The Pacers are off to a disappointing 12-12 start and Ellis has been a major reason why. He is averaging just 9.7 points per game, the lowest since his rookie season, and is taking about half the number of shots he did in Dallas two years ago. With Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Miles and Glenn Robinson III as wing options, Indiana would be fine if Ellis were no longer on the roster. The key is finding a team that still believes in the 31-year-old, who still has two more seasons and nearly $23MM left on the free agent contract he signed with the Pacers in 2015. The Magic, with former Indiana coach Frank Vogel, have been mentioned as a possibility, but no trade talks have been reported between the teams.
Where do you think is the next destination is for Bobby Brown, who was recently released by the Rockets? — Eugene Ahn
Brown was the roster casualty when Houston matched the Nets’ offer sheet for Donatas Motiejunas. If the 32-year-old guard wants to keep playing, he will probably have to do it overseas. He has been in the Euroleague, China and Japan in recent years and could probably find another opportunity in any of those places. Brown overcame long odds when he earned a roster spot with the Rockets after six seasons out of the NBA. However, he appeared in just six games and created a minor international incident when he signed his name on the Great Wall of China.
Of the European and Chinese players whose draft rights are held, who is most likely to come over? Alessandro Gentile seemed to be close to signing with Houston until they hired Mike D’Antoni, and Bogdan Bogdanovic seems to be on the rise in Turkey. Zhou Qi and Wang Zhelin were drafted last year, but only Qi has seemed to have met with the team that drafted him. Also, would it be worth the Spurs trading for the rights to Bogdanovic to replace Manu Ginobili when he calls time? — Chris Hawkins
It would probably be hard to pry Bogdanovic away from the Kings, who are extremely high on him after acquiring his rights in a draft day trade. At 24, the 6’6″ shooting guard is one of the top players in the Euroleague and was a star on the Serbian national team. He is expected to come to the NBA next season, and will almost certainly be in a Kings uniform. It’s always a guessing game to try and figure out which overseas players are ready for the NBA, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on first-round picks and monitor their progress.