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Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Mavericks officially sign Monta Ellis

By Tim MacMahon
ESPNDallas.com

The Dallas Mavericks finalized a deal with Brandan Wright on Tuesday, hours after officially signing Monta Ellis.

Wright agreed to a two-year deal worth $10 million, plus incentives, to return to the Mavericks, agent Jim Tanner said.

The Mavericks announced earlier Tuesday that Ellis has signed the contract he agreed to on July 13, a three-year deal worth more than $25 million.

Wright, 25, a center/forward who was the eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft, spent the past two seasons with the Mavs as a minimum-salary reclamation project. He had the league's 20th-best player efficiency rating (21.03) in a limited role last season.

After falling out of the rotation for a stretch in the middle of the season, Wright finished on a high note, averaging 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 24 minutes per game to help the Mavs go 15-8 down the stretch.

The Mavs envision Wright continuing in his role as a high-flying spark off the bench. He will back up center Samuel Dalembert, who signed with Dallas last week.

Ellis, 27, is an eight-year veteran who has averaged 19.4 points and 4.7 assists during his career. He is expected to start at shooting guard for the Mavs and fills a need for a dynamic scorer to complement Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas.

Ellis' shooting percentages plummeted after being traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2011-12 season. He shot 41.6 percent from the floor and 28.7 percent from 3-point range, the lowest among qualifiers, while averaging 19.2 points per game for the Bucks last season.

The Mavs are optimistic that Ellis will benefit from playing with pass-first point guard Jose Calderon and Nowitzki, whose shooting ability creates space for teammates.

The Mavs waited to make Ellis' deal official because they had to carve out salary-cap space by waiving center Bernard James and guard Josh Akognon, who had non-guaranteed minimum contracts. James agreed to re-sign with the Mavs for the minimum after clearing waivers.

The Mavs were allowed to exceed the salary cap to re-sign Wright because they owned his early Bird rights.