Report: Spurs contacted Monta Ellis when Free Agency began



Per Ken Berger of CBS Sports, the San Antonio Spurs contacted free agent Monta Ellis when Free Agency began at midnight.

The Bulls, Spurs, Nuggets and Suns also are among the teams who expressed interest in Ellis as the free-agent negotiating period began Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET, league sources said.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, the San Antonio Spurs could be a possible team that could take a look at Milwaukee Bucks free agent guard Monta Ellis.

A trio of contenders – the Lakers, Clippers and San Antonio Spurs – also could make a run at Ellis, but would need to work a sign-and-trade.

Ellis, who is a 27-year old unrestricted free agent, averaged 19.2 points, shot 42% from the field (29% from 3PT), averaged 5 free throw attempts per game, passed for 6 assists, had 2.1 steals, but turned the ball over 3.1 times per game in 82 games for the Bucks during the regular season.

Though Ellis is more a liability on the defensive side of the ball due to his 6'3" frame, he'd instantly give the Spurs another dominant offensive weapon in that he has the ability to run the pick-and-roll and either attack a defense, create for others, or he could create his own jumper.

With Gary Neal entering free agency as a restricted free agent, there's a possibility he could sign elsewhere if a team offers him a contract the Spurs refuse to match. With the expectation Manu Ginobili will be returning for at least one more season, Ellis could take a strong role on the bench as the 6th man for the team and help carry the scoring load for the Spurs' second unit, as opposed to Ginobili having to shoulder the responsibility mainly by himself.
Even if Ellis doesn't want to come off the bench, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich would probably find a way to implement him into the system with a strong role. Even though the Bucks don't expect Ellis to return, the Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers are all said to have interest in Ellis according to Spears.
Ellis is coming off a season where he earned $11 million with the Bucks. Depending on what happens with Tiago Splitter, another Spurs restricted free agent and Ginobili would dictate how much the Spurs could offer Ellis. As Spears indicated, a sign-and-trade with the Bucks would most likely the be the best option for the Spurs to sign Ellis.