Before the Splash Brothers ran the Warriors, Golden State fans had the Mississippi Bullet — or as he was better known, Monta Ellis.
Nearly a decade after the Warriors surprisingly traded him, where is Monta Ellis now?
Monta Ellis played 12 NBA seasons
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
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?
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.