The Indiana Pacers‘ 2016 season doesn’t begin for quite some time. So, there will not be much news about the team until then. As a result, it is time to preview the Pacers’ players who will play key roles in 2016. It is Monta Ellis‘s turn today.
The Indiana Pacers acquired veteran guard Monta Ellis during the 2015 NBA Free Agency period last July — inking him to a four-year, $43.9 million contract.
Adding Ellis — who has averaged 18.7 points-per-game throughout his career — would not only provide the team with a reliable scorer to pair aside Paul George, but would allow other players like Stuckey to come off of the bench and consistently put up numbers in place of some of the starting unit.
Aside from his 18.7 points, Ellis’s career averages in assists and steals sit at 4.8 and 1.8 respectively — numbers that most would expect a starting-caliber guard to attain.
When talking about Ellis’s ability on the floor and what he’s accomplished throughout his NBA career, many indeed forget that he was drafted with the 40th selection in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. Given what he has achieved thus far, Ellis is arguably one of the biggest draft-day steals in recent years.
While appearing in 81 games for the Pacers last season, Ellis averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 points and 1.9 steals — good for 10th in the league in the steals category.
With the team’s recent acquisitions of Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson, it’s hard to tell whether or not having more scoring options on the floor will either hurt or help Ellis. It is very likely that either Young or Jefferson come off of the bench for the Pacers next season while second-year player Myles Turner is almost a sure bet to start at center in 2016.
Expect Ellis to either stay around 13 points, or average a higher number this coming season. He’ll either remain the team’s No. 2 scoring option or third next to George and Teague at worst.
Regardless, we could very well be looking at a Pacers team that has the ability to score a good deal of points this next season.
The Pacers could very well be in the running for one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, and Ellis’s productivity will be a large factor to the rest of the team’s success.
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