The Dallas Mavericks are trying once again to adjust their roster in order to win a championship. The clock of Dirk Nowitzki is ticking and the Mavericks only have a short time to capitalize off his talents. The team thought they had a winning roster after the additions of Chandler Parsons, Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler, but that left them with a first-round exit in the postseason. Now Dallas is re-adjusting and Monta Ellis is the first player out.
After ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported the Mavericks were planning on trading Ellis if he decided to opt in on his $8.7 million player option, the shooting guard announced that he would be foregoing the final year of his contract in favor of becoming a free agent. Ellis led the Mavericks in scoring during the regular season with 18.9 points per game. However, he had issues with the coaching staff while lacking chemistry with his teammates. Dallas figured he was the easiest person to let go of first.
Ellis will have plenty of interest in his talents come free agency time. According to Bleacher Report, the Miami Heat could look at Ellis to replace Dwyane Wade should he depart in free agency. According to the Miami Herald, Wade is planning on meeting with Heat officials and there is a real chance he could test free agency this summer. The New York Knicks could also be a landing spot. While he would have a hard time fitting in with Carmelo Anthony and the triangle offense, the scoring potential would be hard to turn down.
With Ellis out, the Mavericks have holes to replace. According to the Dallas Morning News, the Mavericks will first chase a big name like LaMarcus Aldridge or DeAndre Jordan. They could have enough salary cap space for someone like Wesley Matthews who is opting out of his deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. Matthews wants a big contract, but the idea of re-teaming with Aldridge could be enough for him to forego a year or two on the contract. Dallas could also look to Wade if he becomes available. Pairing Wade and Nowitzki together could be a winning combination.
The issue for the Mavericks will be the point guard position. The team will need to replace Rajon Rondo who is likely departing in the offseason. They have had their sights set on both Goran Dragic and Patrick Beverley, but neither player will come cheap. Getting rid of Ellis helps financially, but not enough to sign both a star point guard and star big man while replacing Ellis.