WEDNESDAY, 2:49pm: The deadline passed without an opt-in from Ellis, so he has officially opted out, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).
11:29am: Agent Jeff Fried confirms to MacMahon that Ellis will opt out. Fried expressed that Ellis would be interested in re-signing with Dallas, as MacMahon relays, though the Mavs don’t appear to have strong reciprocal desire for that. The Pacers and Heat are interested, as we passed along in a separate post.
9:59am: Ellis has decided to opt out, a source tells MacMahon (Twitter link).
TUESDAY, 9:00am: A 90% chance exists that Monta Ellis will opt out from the Mavs to hit free agency next week, as has been expected, a source tells Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Ellis has until midnight tonight to decide. The news comes in the wake of a Tuesday evening report from Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com indicating that the Mavs would be likely to pursue a trade that would send Ellis away if he were to opt in. Dallas would seek a draft pick in that scenario, as MacMahon writes in a full story, and the team would target Emmanuel Mudiay in particular, according to Sefko, who suggests Dallas would try to bundle its first-round pick, at No. 21, with Ellis in trade proposals.
Trading Ellis for a pick would help the team’s free agency push, clearing the $8.72MM salary that he would receive if he were to opt in. Still, the Mavs would have the cap hold for that pick to contend with if they brought back a first-rounder. Sefko suggests that MacMahon’s report that the Mavs would look to trade him if he opted in is helping sway him to opt out instead. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team advanced the idea of trading him for just that purpose, though that’s just my speculation. If Ellis opts out, the Mavs can renounce his rights and wouldn’t have to bother with any cap hit for him. The team has no intention of giving Ellis the raise he’d seek if he were to opt out, MacMahon hears.
The Mavs have about $32MM in guaranteed salary on the books as it stands against a projected $67.1MM cap. Ellis just compiled his lowest scoring average, 18.9, since 2006/07, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Relativity Sports client nonetheless command eight-figure salaries in free agency, if he indeed opts out.