Monta Ellis, the scoring machine who never met a shot he didn’t like, signed a 3-year, $30 million deal with Dallas. It’s a puzzling move by the Mavericks, who could have gone the “just find a warm body” route this year, won 20 games, and been in the mix to win the Andrew Wiggins lottery.
Instead, the Mavericks signed point guard Jose Calderon (4-years, $29 million) and Friday landed Ellis, who I enjoy watching hover around rim and make terribly difficult shots. Efficiency and making teammates better? Not so much.
So what was Dallas thinking? Perhaps a healthy Dirk can draw some double teams, giving open 3-pointers to Calderon and Ellis?
Last year, they signed OJ Mayo, I scoffed, and Mayo actually had a solid year (started hot, tailed off). Despite Dirk missing 29 games due to injury, Mayo (along with others) helped Dallas finish 41-41, good for 10th in the West and a weak lottery pick.
The Mavericks ended up drafting Miami point guard Shane Larkin, who I’m bullish on, but he already broke his ankle. He’s expected back for training camp.
A lineup of Calderon, Ellis, the Matrix, Dirk and Brandan Wright should be good for another 40-ish wins, no playoffs, and a pick in the 10-14 range. Dallas has no bench, three starters will be 32 or older when the season begins, and the West is loaded. I’ve got Minnesota and Portland ahead of Dallas right now.
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