NBA suspends Monta Ellis five games without pay

Pacers guard Monta Ellis has been suspended five games without pay for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program, the league announced Friday afternoon.

“Monta’s suspension is a very serious matter to our franchise and it will be dealt with accordingly,” Pacers President Kevin Pritchard said in a statement.

Ellis is eligible to participate in preseason play. The suspension begins in the regular season and when he is physically able to play.

The 6-foot-3 guard just completed his 12th season in the NBA. His per game averages — 8.5 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game — were the lowest since his rookie season.

Ellis, who turns 32 in October, is under contract with the Pacers through the 2018-19 season, with the final year being a player option. He is the third-highest paid Pacer, set to earn $11.2 million for the 2017-18 season.

Former Pacers President Larry Bird signed Ellis to a four-year deal worth $44 million in 2015.

VigilantSports.com has reached out to Ellis’ representative for comment on the suspension.

A five-game suspension was also announced for Reggie Bullock of the Detroit Pistons.

From the Collective Bargaining Agreement:

(c) Penalties. Any player who (i) tests positive for marijuana pursuant to Section 5 (Reasonable Cause Testing), Section 6 (Random Testing), or Section 15 (Additional Bases for Testing), (ii) is adjudged by the Grievance Arbitrator pursuant to Section 5(e) above to have used or possessed marijuana, or (iii) has been convicted of (including a plea of guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to) the use or possession of marijuana in violation of the law, shall suffer the following penalties:

  1. (A)  For the first such violation, the player shall be required to enter the Marijuana Program;
  2. (B)  For the second such violation, the player shall be fined $25,000 and, if the player is not then subject to in-patient or aftercare treatment in the Marijuana Program, be required to enter the Marijuana Program;
  3. (C)  For the third such violation, the player shall be suspended for five (5) games and, if the player is not then subject to in-patient or aftercare treatment in the Marijuana Program, be required to enter the Marijuana Program; and
  4. (D)  For any subsequent violation, the player shall be suspended for five (5) games longer than his immediately-preceding suspension for violating the Marijuana Program and, if the player is not then subject to in-patient or aftercare treatment in the Marijuana Program, be required to enter the Marijuana Program.

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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