Monta Ellis: Finding Best Fit for Milwaukee Bucks Star

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2013

Jan 15, 2013, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis (11) dribbles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Bucks 104-88. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

It's about time for the Milwaukee Bucks to move Monta Ellis.

Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times reported back in October that Ellis would opt out of his contract at the end of the season.

Trading him now would make sense for the Bucks because it frees up the cap space to sign Brandon Jennings to a long-term deal. Then Ellis could likely make more than the $11 million he's due next year on the open market.

Ellis isn't the kind of player he was once. His scoring numbers were inflated in Golden State because of the complete lack of defense it played.

His 2012-13 year has been very underrated. He's averaging 18.8 points and 5.4 assists, while becoming a better defender than he has in the past.

The guard still has more than enough to offer a good basketball team. Here's three teams that could use Ellis


Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz need to part with one of their big men. They've gone as far as they can with Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. One of the two could be a piece in a possible Ellis deal.

Ellis would be that explosive kind of scorer the team lacks right now. Gordon Heyward has been very good this year, but he could use some support in the backcourt.

Mo Williams has been hurt this year, and Randy Foye isn't exactly who you want to get a ton of minutes in your offense.

If Ellis was to get traded to the Jazz, he would immediately be the team's best offensive option.


Detroit Pistons

While Kyle Singler had a very good start to the season, his production has leveled off in recent weeks. The Detroit Pistons could certainly use an upgrade at shooting guard.

In addition, securing Ellis would allow the Pistons to move Tayshaun Prince without getting hit too hard. With Singler's size, he could be transitioned into taking Prince's place if management is that high on the rookie.

Detroit is only averaging 95 points a game, 21st in the NBA.

Ellis won't make a major contender that much better. A team like the Pistons, though, could make a run for playoffs with Ellis, and that's a major improvement from where they are now.


Indiana Pacers

A move to the Indiana Pacers would let Ellis focus almost exclusively on the offensive side of his game. The Pacers have one of the best team defenses in the league, so trading for Ellis wouldn't hurt them too much on that end.

What the Pacers lack right now is scoring. Indiana's averaging only about 91 points a game. Danny Granger's injury has really hit this team offensively.

Gerald Green hasn't worked at all this year. He looked like he could be a very good scorer during his spell with the New Jersey Nets last year. However, his scoring average is down five points.

The Pacers could really use Ellis' scoring ability.