Pacers waive Monta Ellis

The Pacers waived guard Monta Ellis on Wednesday, halfway through the four-year deal Larry Bird signed him to back in 2015.

Ellis is due $11.2 million from the Pacers for the 2017-18 season. Because of great contract work but the Pacers front office, they are not on the hook for the final year and the $11.7 million. Ellis holds a player option but by being waiving, it leaves with Ellis.

The same language existed in Rodney Stuckey’s deal.

Ellis will turn 32 in late October and he has dealt with knee issues in recent years, having fluid drained to ease the discomfort. That, and lineup changes, led to inconsistencies. The 12-year player never produced or provided what the team had hoped — a reliable scorer who could attcack the paint and could make big shots down the stretch.

It got even worse three weeks ago when Ellis was suspended five games by the NBA for violating the anti-drug policy.

“We’re working through it but for us that’s a serious deal,” Kevin Pritchard, the Pacers president of basketball operations, said on draft night. “The league has to go through it’s process and we’re working with the league on that.”

Including the free agent and trade agreements in place, Indiana has 15 players on the roster with a few additional moves expected. They could use shooting and a small forward.

It’s not immediately clear if the Pacers will take the full cap hit during the 2017-18 season, or use the stretch provision to stretch out the payments over five years. NBA.com’s David Aldridge reports that the Pacers will use the provision.

This past year, Ellis averaged 8.5 points, the lowest since his rookie season, along with 3.2 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game.

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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