Dallas Mavericks upgrade backcourt with Monta Ellis

Dallas Mavericks

Monta Ellis brings shooting skills and excitement to Big D

A lot has gone on since free agency started for Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks.

They had a sit down with Dwight Howard, there were rumors of a Rajon Rondo trade, just missed out on Andre Iguodala, were in talks to get Omer Asik or Andrew Bynum, and they lost O.J Mayo, Chris Kaman and Darren Collison after one year. But after all of that, the Mavericks were able to pick up some good pieces and do some damage.

First, they signed Jose Calderon to a 4-year deal, bought back Devin Harris, who played his first four years in Dallas, and now have signed former Warrior and Buck, Monta Ellis.

The deal was first reported on July 12, and is said to be worth up to $30 million for three years. The 27-year-old out of Jackson, Mississippi, has been in the league for nine years after being drafted out of high school by Golden State in 2005. One year removed from Collison and Mike James, the Mavs have reloaded their backcourt with the likes of Ellis, Calderon and Harris, the first two projected to be opening-day starters.

Ellis brings an array of shooting skills and excitement, as he’s a 19.4 career scorer. His best year came in the 2009-10 season for the Warriors, when he averaged 25.5 points on 45 percent shooting and had 2.2 steals per game. That’s another thing Ellis brings to the table; his ability to steal the ball (career 1.7 spg).

Ellis is projected to do a lot more than he did last year for the Bucks (19.2 ppg, 6.0 apg, 2.1 spg, 37 mpg in all 82 games). It was hard for Ellis and Bucks point guard, Brandon Jennings, to co-exist because both need the ball in their hands and look to score first.

With Calderon by his side in Big D this year, Ellis will be playing with a more mature point guard who can run Rick Carlisle’s offense effectively. Ellis’ assists will go down, but Dallas has the potential to have two players averaging 20+ ppg this season (Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki). If Calderon can find Ellis, he’ll score, but he also has to ability to dish it to Dirk in the paint, and if that doesn’t work, Dirk can easily kick it back out to Ellis for a wide-open three.

The Mavericks are also in talks with Samuel Dalembert, but as of now, the Mavs projected lineup would be Calderon, Ellis, Marion, Dirk and most likely Bernard James, if they can’t sign another center. As for the bench, Vince Carter, Harris, Jae Crowder and Shane Larkin form a nice second group for Carlisle’s team.