Monta Ellis is finally off the Pacers' cap sheet
After seven seasons, the Pacers are finally free of their obligation to Monta Ellis, who they waived in 2017. He hasn't played in a game since.
Monta Ellis is no longer attached to the Indiana Pacers.
The NBA’s fiscal year runs from July to June so as of July 1, it is now a new year for the league. And the Pacers have completed their obligation to Ellis.
Since July 14, 2015, Ellis has been on the Pacers’ cap sheet despite the fact that he was waived less than two years later on July 5, 2017. He has been out of the NBA ever since.
Three weeks before he was waived, Ellis was suspended by the NBA for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program. And he never played in a game again.
“He’ll be a great addition to our team,” then-team president Larry Bird said after signing Ellis to a four-year deal. “And he fits our needs for how we want to play. We’re excited to have him.”
However, it was a bad match and did not work out. The signing never made sense from the beginning and he was a poor fit for the locker room. (They also signed Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger that offseason.)
Therefore, the team waived him two years into a four-year deal. However, his impact lived on for another five years. That’s because the front office used a function available to handle these type of situations. They used the stretch provision.
When the Pacers waived him, they still owed him $11.2 million. The stretch provision enabled them to spread out the cap hit over five seasons. So each season, the Pacers’ cap sheet included Monta Ellis for $2.24 million.
At last, that’s no more.
And credit to the Pacers for diligent crafting of Ellis’ contract in the first place. This was a four-year, $44 million deal. But, as I reported back in 2017, Ellis had a player option for the final season and it was wiped away if waived. That ultimately saved the Pacers more than $11 million.
But it doesn’t make up for the fact it was a bad signing in the first place and they paid him about $34 million for two seasons.
Ellis appeared in 155 games with the Pacers and 833 total games in his career, which included six teams. He averaged 17.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game over his career, but just 11.3 points per game on the Pacers.
Entering 2022 free agency, the Pacers have 11 players under contract (not including the three draft selections).