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Report: Pacers agree to four-year, $44 million contract with Monta Ellis

Donald Sloan, Monta Ellis

Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis (11) loses control of the ball after running into Indiana Pacers guard Donald Sloan (15) who fell defending against Ellis in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


Monta Ellis declined his $8.72 million player option, even though the Mavericks made clear they wouldn’t give him a raise.

But the Pacers – who targeted the shooting guard early – will.

Chris Broussard of ESPN:

Ellis should help the Pacers, who need more scoring punch. He’ll be a nice secondary ball-handler next to George Hill, who seems ready for a bigger role.

Hill and Paul George can take the tougher defensive assignments on the perimeter, and Roy Hibbert – to whatever degree Indiana uses him – can protect the rim behind the defensively challenged Ellis. No. 11 pick Myles Turner is a capable shot-blocker, too.

It’s easy to say Ellis isn’t worth the price tag, but what was the alternative? At least he fits and has talent.

That doesn’t mean this will go smoothly, though.

In hindsight, the Hornets should have been more suspicious of the Pacers’ willingness to lose Lance Stephenson last summer. Likewise, Indiana should probably be more suspicious of Dallas’ willingness to lose Ellis this summer. Those are negative indicators.

Plus, Ellis turns 30 before next season. This deal likely carries him out of his prime.

I’m not sure the Pacers could have done better in the short term, but it’s not ideal they positioned themselves where Monta Ellis on a $44 million contract was their best option.