Southwest Notes: Ellis, Randolph, Neal

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the decision not to make an offer to Monta Ellis over the summer came down to a desire to clear cap space, not because of Ellis’ age (he turned 30 in October) or any thought that he was in decline, writes Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link).

“We love Monta as a person, his family. It was one of the times where I went back and forth a lot,” Cuban said. “Not just on the basketball side but on the family side. His wife [plans to attend] law school. His wife has an amazing future as a lawyer and it was hard. That’s the down side of this business.”

Ellis instead signed with the Pacers, though he’s still feeling the effects of offseason surgery, as Buckner also reports and as we passed along earlier. See more from the Southwest Division:

  • Zach Randolph, now coming off the bench for the Grizzlies, tells Scoop Jackson of that he’s on board with his reduced role, and Randolph agrees with Jackson’s assertion that a dead-eye shooter in the mold of J.J. Redick is the missing element on the Memphis roster.
  • Gary Neal roots for the Spurs whenever he’s not playing them and has plenty of admiration for the team with which he spent his first three NBA seasons, notes Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. Neal is on a one-year, $2.139MM contract with the Wizards.
  • The Mavs‘ inability to trade a first-round pick for any draft prior to 2018 and the lack of value their expiring contracts have in a market full of teams with cap flexibility for 2016 make it difficult to envision Dallas pulling off any swap that significantly upgrades the roster this season, contends Tim MacMahon of

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