It became no secret this season that Monta Ellis was in his final year as a six-figure-a-year player. The days of rookie contracts and $770 thousand seasons are done for the Warriors' most exciting player.
The question now is where the restricted free agent will be playing his dynamic brand of basketball next season.
The Examiner's Matt Steinmetz knows of at least one likely suitor:
It is no secret that the Grizzlies will have a boatload of cash this offseason, and they just happen to play in Memphis, all of three hours from Ellis’ hometown of Jackson, Miss. The Grizzlies are said to be targeting Ellis, who has turned into one of the most explosive backcourt scorers in the league.
If the Grizzlies sign Ellis to an offer sheet that starts in excess of $10 million per year, it is going to put the Warriors smack dab in the middle of no-man’s land.
The pace is a good match for Ellis. Not much else is.
The Grizzlies were seventh in pace this past season, and Ellis would enjoy running and gunning with the youngsters in Memphis. That said, he likely wouldn't enjoy playing on a team that won't necessarily be competitive, that isn't any good defensively and that doesn't have the offensive talent his team in Golden State does. Or Don Nelson.
Ellis routinely has a field day playing off the ball in Golden State because Baron Davis does such a good job at the point, and as Steinmetz points out, Ellis' lack of strength defensively is often compensated for by the Baron's size in the back-court.
Reader nazzbo and I share a joint love for Monta, but it's hard to claim that his game wouldn't look less impressive outside the vaunted Nellieball system. He'll have to think long and hard about leaving Oaktown.