Free agency is on the back burner in some circles as the 2015 NBA Draft rapidly approaches. However, the Atlanta Hawks have a great deal of flexibility and intrigue in advance of the July 1st frenzy, and a somewhat interesting name has expressed interest in joining the fold. Shams Charania of RealGM reports that Monta Ellis, who is now an unrestricted free agent, has visions of landing in Atlanta for his next contract.
Ellis plans to discuss a long-term contract with the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat in free agency after opting out of the final year of his contract on Wednesday, sources told RealGM. He had an option worth $8.72 million.
Amusingly, this is the rare instance where a player is reported to have interest in a team that... may not have reciprocal interest. The Hawks are currently loaded at the point guard spot with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder, and while Ellis is better suited at the shooting guard spot, Kyle Korver isn't going anywhere and a potential pairing with either of the incumbent point guards would be a challenge.
In addition, Ellis is a player who desperately needs the ball in order to be effective offensively, making him a "square peg in a round hole" fit with Mike Budenholzer's offense. There is a school of thought that Ellis could be a fit as a bench scorer who can create his own shot, but given that he just opted out of nearly $9 million, it is hard to envision Ellis taking a discount in order to do so.
The Atlanta Hawks will certainly be players in free agency beginning in just one week, but the full range of recent actions from the organization would indicate that Monta Ellis probably isn't in the plans, and this could simply be a case of agent posturing.