NBA

Whatever Happened to Monta Ellis, the Dangerous Scoring Machine?

Before the Splash Brothers ran the Warriors, Golden State fans had the Mississippi Bullet — or as he was better known, Monta Ellis.

An underrated guard who later helped turn Stephen Curry into an NBA legend, Ellis starred for the Golden State Warriors in the late 2000’s.

Nearly a decade after the Warriors surprisingly traded him, where is Monta Ellis now?

Monta Ellis played 12 NBA seasons

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Monta Ellis may be one of the best second-round selections in modern NBA history.

The 40th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, Ellis immediately contributed 6.8 points and 2.1 rebounds as a rookie. That was only a sign of things to come for the dangerous guard, who increased his numbers to 16.5 points, 4.1 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and two steals per night for the Warriors a year later.

Ellis’ strong season earned him Most Improved Player honors. That was somehow the only real accolade Ellis earned in his career; he never made an All-Star Game or appeared on an All-NBA team.

Ellis battled injuries over the next few years — including an infamous ankle sprain suffered in a moped accident — but remained a serious scoring threat when healthy. The arrivals of Stephen Curry in 2009 and Klay Thompson in 2011 signaled a bright future in Oakland.

Ellis wouldn’t be a part of that future, though. Golden State shipped him to Milwaukee midway through the 2011-12 season for injury-plagued center Andrew Bogut.

Ellis led Milwaukee to the playoffs a year later. He signed a three-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks in July 2013 and instantly became a fan favorite for his scoring prowess and how well he fit in alongside Dirk Nowitzki.

Ellis played with the Indiana Pacers from 2015-17. After he battled injuries and regression in his final season, the Pacers cut Ellis in July 2017.

Ellis was a scoring machine in his prime

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If Monta Ellis stayed healthy in his prime, he could have eventually led the league in scoring.

By his third season, Ellis averaged 20.2 points per game on 53.1% shooting from the field. In 2009, his first year with Stephen Curry, Ellis averaged 25.5 points on 45% shooting.

Ellis often stepped his game up in the postseason when he had that chance. Ellis averaged 26 points per game on 47% shooting from the field (36.7% from three) in the 2015 Western Conference first round.

Although Ellis retired with a 17.8 points per game average, he was a far better scorer than that number indicates.

Where is Monta Ellis now?

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Monta Ellis earned over $90 million through his NBA career, a staggering amount for a second-round pick.

Because the Pacers cut him when they did and worked out a buyout plan, Ellis has earned over $2.24 million each of the last three seasons. That payment plan will continue through the 2021-22 season.

Ellis, who turns 35 in October, now works as a coach in Mississippi. That role also allows him to work with his two children.

Ellis left the Golden State Warriors — not by his own choice — at the wrong time for him as a player. He made the most of his next few seasons, however, and appears happy in retirement.

All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.