Kings Sign Keon Ellis To Three-Year Deal

2:05pm: The Kings have issued a press release officially confirming Ellis’ new deal and his promotion to the 15-man roster.

The three-year contract will be worth approximately $5.56MM, reports Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link). As cap expert Yossi Gozlan points out (via Twitter) that figure suggests Sacramento used the remainder of its room exception on Ellis, with minimum salaries in years two and three. It’s unclear whether the deal features guaranteed money beyond this season.

11:40am: The Kings will use the open spot on their 15-man roster to promote two-way player Keon Ellis, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Agent Corey Marcum tells Wojnarowski that the Kings and Ellis have agreed to a new three-year contract.

Ellis signed a two-year deal with Sacramento in July 2022 after going undrafted out of Alabama. The 24-year-old didn’t play much as a rookie at the NBA level, making just 16 brief appearances over the course of the season, but he has been in and out of the Kings’ rotation in 2023/24.

A 6’6″ guard, Ellis has averaged 3.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 11.9 minutes per game across 29 appearances (three starts) this season, posting a shooting line of .429/.377/.647.

Although he’s not a true point guard, Ellis was De’Aaron Fox‘s primary backup for much of December. Davion Mitchell has reclaimed that role as of late, but the Kings remain high on the former Crimson Tide standout.

Sacramento acquired Robin Lopez in a salary dump trade with the Bucks on Thursday, taking him into the open spot on the 15-man roster, but waived him shortly after completing that deal, so Ellis will now fill that opening. The promotion will create a two-way vacancy for the Kings alongside Jordan Ford and Jalen Slawson.

In order to sign Ellis to a contract exceeding two years, the Kings figure to use a leftover portion of their room exception. The 2023/24 league year represents the first time that the room exception can be used to complete a deal of up to three years instead of just two.

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