Shooting guard Monta Ellis opted out of his contract with the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday and as a result, will test the free agent market. Rumors immediately flew afterwards of how the Heat are interested in signing Ellis in case Dwyane Wade does indeed leave Miami.
If Ellis opted in, he would have made roughly $8.7 million next season, but due to a strong year with season averages of 18.9 points and 4.1 assists per game, the 29-year-old is looking for a raise.
Here are our local reporters breaking the news:
ESPN's Chris Broussard says Heat interested in Dallas' Monta Ellis, who is opting out. Miami lacks cap space unless LOTS of money exits.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) June 24, 2015
So ESPN, http://t.co/1oeVQ8ocHr both linking Heat to Monta Ellis. Hmm, the heat on Wade? Or is the end game going to get uglier? Ah, rumors.— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 24, 2015
Other than Mavs' seeming desperation to move on from Monta Ellis, other issue is Heat can't slide him into Wade's slot. Not really leverage.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 24, 2015
According to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel:
"In order for the Heat to fit such a salary into their 2015-16 payroll, it would require the team to go move forward without Wade and starting small forward Luol Deng, who has until midnight Monday to opt into his $10.2 million salary for next season, on the final year of his contract."
Now Monta Ellis is just a possible option from the worst case scenario. If the Heat end up resigning Wade and Deng, then Ellis is no longer a viable option.
The best news about the Ellis possibility is that Miami will likely fit into this upcoming season's salary cap comfortably, while being flexible for the summer of 2016. The bad news is...well...you know what the bad news is.
We'll keep you updated as more rumors make news!