Dollars and Sense: Monta Ellis

The NBA is about competition on the floor, but it’s also about dollars and cents. Teams now must find players that can outperform deals they’re signed to and use them as assets on the floor or as assets to flip in order to acquire a game-changing piece. ESPNDallas.com will grade how the Dallas Mavericks fared in terms of contracts of their new acquisitions.

Monta Ellis: Signed to a three-year, $25.08 million contract. Ellis will be paid $8 million in 2013-14. The final year of his deal is a player option.

Ellis declined a player option that would have paid him $11 million to stay in Milwaukee next season. He also turned down a three-year, $36 million extension

offer from the Bucks. He settled for a significantly lower offer from the Mavs.

Dallas was looking for an opportunity, someone to slip through the cracks in free agency. Like last year in O.J. Mayo, they found someone who slipped in Ellis.

There is a radical sense of the unknown when it comes to how Ellis will mesh with Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle. That will easily be the most fascinating thing to watch over the course of the season. If he can work off Nowitzki in the two-man game, they could be a very deadly combination. If they don’t work out, it will be very disjointed but still has the chance to be relatively potent on offense just based off of talent.

As for his defense, offense could be the best form of defense. Being able to get back after a made basket and getting back into position would certainly help versus having to defend in transition.

Mayo is making relatively the same amount of money (three years, $24 million) in Milwaukee. With Ellis being two years older and having three more years of experience over Mayo, the Mavs are getting more bang for their buck.

Grade: A-