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Monta Ellis To Opt Out Of Deal

Monta Ellis has informed the Milwaukee Bucks that he will opt out of the last year of his deal, according to league sources.

Monta Ellis has informed the Milwaukee Bucks that he will opt out of the last year of his deal, according to league sources.

Ellis, who had one year, $11 million left on his contract, will become one of the most coveted free agents on the market this summer.

Sources say the Atlanta HawksDallas Mavericksand the Los Angeles Lakers have interest in Ellis, although the Lakers could get Ellis only via an unlikely sign-and-trade deal.

Ellis, who originally signed a six-year, $66 million deal with the Golden State Warriors, is close with Lakers free agent Dwight Howard. The two have long desired to play together.

If Howard cannot achieve his top goal of playing with Chris Paul, teaming up with Ellis may become an option he would strongly consider.

Ellis’ goal in signing his original deal was to give him the flexibility to become a free agent in his prime.

The Bucks reportedly had offered Ellis a two-year, $24 million extension earlier this month, but the offer was contingent on him not opting out of the final season of his contract.

Ellis led the Bucks with 19.2 points per game in the regular season, his eighth in the NBA after being drafted by the Warriors 40th overall in 2005.


By Chris Broussard | ESPN The Magazine

Heat vs. Spurs, Game 5: Danny Green’s 3-Point Barrage Again Sparks San Antonio

USA TODAY Sports Spurs shooting guard Danny Green made six more 3-pointers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, bringing his series total up to 25, a new record.

Spurs shooting guard Danny Green made six more 3-pointers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, bringing his series total up to 25, a new record.

The bright lights of a first NBA Finals can often prove to be too much for a young player, something that seemed evident when James Harden faced the Miami Heat last season. That has not been the case for Danny Green, who has burned the Heat time and time again in his first Finals appearance.

Green continued his remarkable shooting display in the Spurs‘ 114-104 Game 5 victory over the Heat, scoring 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 6-of-10 from three. Green’s fourth three of the game in the third quarter gave him 23 for the series, which broke Ray Allen’sprevious NBA Finals record of 22 3-point makes in a series, a fact that Green didn’t even realize at the time.

“I had no idea,” Green said. “After the game today, I found out. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to be on this stage. My teammates have done a great job of finding me and getting me open. Seems everything is going right for me. I’m feeling truly blessed right now. It’s got to be a higher power. The basketball gods are in our favor right now.”

Following his 6-of-10 effort on Sunday, Green is now 25-of-38 from three in the series, which is good for 65.8 percent. This has been a breakout series in a season that has seen Green become a permanent member of San Antonio’s starting lineup, which is impressive considering he was in the D-League just two years ago.

“The whole season has made him more confident,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s somebody who has gotten a lot of minutes. He basically has the green light. When you do it for 82 games, the last thing to see is if he can do it when the real lights are on. He’s certainly answered that question.”


By Jason Patt on Jun 17 2013, 8:00a

Report: Chris Paul “Angry” Over Clippers’ Portrayal Of Vinny Del Negro’s Departure

Chris Paul (center) has spent two seasons playing for Clippers owner Donald Sterling. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

Chris Paul (center) has spent two seasons playing for Clippers owner Donald Sterling. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

The franchise point guard is reportedly upset with his franchise.

ESPN.com reports All-Star guard Chris Paul, set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, is not happy with the Clippers because he feels he is being wrongly blamed for the organization’s decision to part ways with coach Vinny Del Negro earlier this month.

“He’s angry right now and his anger is directed toward the Clippers organization,” the source said. “Chris is a man of principle and if he feels like you’ve gone against his principles, it will affect how he feels about you. He’s very agitated that his name has been put out there as the reason for Vinny’s firing. He had nothing to do with it.”

The site further reports, citing a source, that Paul “refused to get involved” with the organization’s coaching position and that the decision to let go of Del Negro was made solely by Clippers management.

The Los Angeles Times asked Clippers owner Donald Sterling about the decision to part ways with Del Negro, and Sterling told the paper that he felt the need to “support” the team’s “special players.”

“Was this done,” I asked, “just to hang on to Chris Paul?”

“I always want to be honest and not say anything that is not true,” Sterling said. “So I’d rather not say anything.

“So I wonder, is this decision being made because the players are now calling the shots? Am I off base?”

“No, you’re not off base,” Sterling said. “This is a players’ league, and, unfortunately, if you want to win you have to make the players happy.”

“But if you have special players, and special players think that they know the best opportunity to win, you have to support them.”

L.A. claimed its first division title, winning 56 games this season, the most in a franchise history that dates to 1970-71. However, the Clippers were eliminated by the Grizzlies in six games in their first-round Western Conference playoff series. That result represented a step back from their semifinals appearance in 2012.

Del Negro told The Dan Patrick Show earlier this week that he was “surprised” that he was let go and said that Paul has “a lot of say-so” in the organization’s decisions.

“Well, Chris is a free agent,” Del Negro said. “They were compelled to make a decision. He’s entitled to his opinion. He made First-Team All-NBA both seasons on defense and on offense and that’s the first time he’s done that in his career. And we set every franchise record. But, in saying that, obviously he’s a free agent, he’s going to have a lot of say-so in a lot of things, as he did the previous summer when we put the team together. … It’s behind me. They are positioned for success in the future. … However it went down, it doesn’t matter.”


When word first broke that Del Negro was being let go, Yahoo! Sports noted that Del Negro wouldn’t be returning because Paul “wanted a different coach.” CBSSports.com also reported Paul was “not a fan” of Del Negro and that lack of support was “among the biggest reasons” the Clippers chose to move on.

The Clippers have not yet picked Del Negro’s successor and are expected to conduct a deep search for his replacement. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday former Suns coach Alvin Gentry, Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, former Cavaliers coach Byron Scott and ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy are among the names being considered.

Del Negro, 46, holds a career coaching record of 210-184 (.533) in five seasons with the Bulls and Clippers. He was 128-102 (.557) in his three seasons in L.A.

Paul, 28, was selected to his sixth All-Star Game, the All-NBA First Team and the All-Defensive First Team this season and posted averages of 16.9 points, 9.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. He can sign a five-year deal with the Clippers this summer or settle for a four-year contract with outside suitors.