Monta Ellis, Pacers Discussing Buyout

Monta Ellis and the Pacers are discussing a possible buyout, sources told Nate Taylor of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). The buyout could be completed later this month, Taylor adds.

It wouldn’t be a major surprise for Ellis to be seeking a better situation or to join a contender, considering his diminished playing time last season. Ellis, 31, started 81 games for Indiana in 2015/16 but started just 33 of 74 games last season. He averaged 8.5 PPG and 3.2 APG in 27 MPG, all career lows except for his rookie season of 2005/06 with the Warriors.

Ellis is due to make $11.2MM next season and holds a player option for $11.69MM in 2018/19.

A buyout would leave the Pacers a little thin at both guard positions even with the addition of Victor Oladipo in the blockbuster trade with the Thunder that shipped Paul George to the Western Conference. Indiana also agreed in principle to a two-year contract with point guard Darren Collison on Monday. Ellis knows he’d likely be a backup at either spot for a team in a rebuilding phase.

Ellis will be suspended for the first five games of next season for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.

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