Monta Ellis at least addresses the Mavericks’ desperate need for speed.
“Possibly the fastest player ever to wear a Mavs uniform,” coach Rick Carlisle said via text message. “Scores, makes plays and is great in transition. We consider him a unique talent and look forward to integrating him into our team.”
Dirk Nowitzki has never played with a guard as good at getting to the rim as Ellis, who has a career average of 19.4 points per game. Ellis has never had a teammate who draws defenses the way Nowitzki does, which should create a lot of space for Ellis to do what he does best.
And the Mavs expect both of their top scoring threats to benefit greatly from playing with pass-first point guard Jose Calderon.
The key for Ellis, who made his three-year, $25 million deal official Tuesday, will be becoming much more efficient than he was the last season and a half with the Milwaukee Bucks. His shooting percentages plummeted to 41.6 from the floor and 28.7 from 3-point range last season, the latter the lowest among league qualifiers.
Ellis’ shot selection needs to improve, and the Mavs believe they can help put him in situations where he can get good looks on a consistent basis.
They also think they can help him improve his jumper, with Carlisle intending to spend a lot of time working with Ellis on an individual basis, much like he did last year with O.J. Mayo. Mayo shot a career-best 40.7 percent from 3-point range during his lone season in Dallas.
Ellis’ best 3-point shooting season came in 2010-11, when he hit 36.1 percent of his long-distance attempts. That’d be a bonus if he hit at that clip for the Mavs, who signed Ellis primarily for his ability to get to the bucket.