The Mavericks are nearing a three-year contract agreement with Monta Ellis that could be worth as much as $30MM, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter). According to Stein, the deal is on course to be finalized later today.
It was just two days ago that GM Donnie Nelson told reporters that the Mavs likely wouldn't be too involved in the Ellis sweepstakes, but it appears that was just a smoke screen. The Kings, Hawks, and Bobcats were cited as other potential suitors for the free agent guard.
Ellis reportedly parted ways with longtime agent Jeff Fried recently, after being disappointed by the lack of interest he was receiving on the open market. Dan Fegan of Relativity Sports was expected to replace Fried as Ellis' rep, though players typically have to wait 15 days before hiring a new agent, so it's not clear if Fegan is negotiating with the Mavs.
If Dallas reaches an agreement with Ellis, the team should be able to create the room to squeeze his first-year salary under the cap, perhaps even without waiving their non-guaranteed players, Josh Akognon and Bernard James. However, it would likely only leave the Mavs with the $2.65MM room exception to sign a free agent big man.
This post was first published on July 12th at 2:24pm.