The Los Angeles Lakers have been the subject of many rumors this offseason, many of which never came to fruition. The latest player the Lakers have been linked to is former NBA guard Monta Ellis.
The veteran guard’s business manager Derrius Nelson told Empire Sports Media’s Alder Almo that the Lakers are interested in hosting Ellis for a workout. Ellis has a connection to the team with new Lakers basketball operations associate Jordan Henriquez-Roberts.
“I told coach Roberts that Tae is not big on being a star anymore,” Nelson told Empire Sports Media. “He’s been there already. His [possible] addition can make them one of the best LA Lakers teams to go down in history. With Tae being there, it would be crazy!
“’Derrius, that’s why I’m calling because I know what type of player Monta is. I was a huge fan of him; his [past] works and the time he put in the NBA override a lot of guys that’s been coming to work out because he is reliable,’ Roberts was quoted as saying to Nelson.”
Ellis Has Not Played in the NBA Since 2017
The Lakers may very well host Ellis for a workout as the team has done with several veteran players this offseason. That said, Ellis faces an uphill battle just to receive a training camp invite. Ellis turns 36 in October and last played in the NBA during the 2016-17 season for the Pacers.
The guard averaged 8.5 points, 3.2 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals while shooting 31.9% from behind the three-point line in 74 games during his last NBA stint. Ellis struggled as a long-range shooter (31.4% career three-point average) but was a premier scorer throughout his career.
He averaged 17.8 points, 4.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals over his 12 NBA seasons. Prior to the Pacers, Ellis also had stints with the Warriors, Bucks and Mavericks.
Ellis: ‘I Can Still Play 5 Years’
During a lengthy August interview with Empire Sports Media, Ellis noted that he still believes he can play another “five years” in the NBA. Ellis cited family reasons as the leading factor in his decision to walk away from the game in 2017, noting it had nothing to do with a diminished ability.
“I believe I still have a lot in my tank,” Ellis explained. “I can still play five years.”
Ellis remains a peculiar fit for the Lakers given he is not known for his shooting. The Lakers attempted to improve their long-range shooting this offseason with additions like Malik Monk and Carmelo Anthony.
Los Angeles signed several guards this offseason including Kendrick Nunn, Rajon Rondo and Kent Bazemore leaving little room for another veteran. Ellis understands that his days as an NBA star are likely behind him but believes he can contribute to a playoff team by coming off the bench.
“That would be a role that I am willing to accept,” Ellis noted. “I could do a lot within that role to help a playoff team. I still got a lot of gas in my tank. My body is healthy. My mind is focused. I could definitely help a playoff team with the skills and the knowledge of the game I have right now.”
The Lakers have the majority of their roster set, but we are sure to hear more rumors about potential invites as the team begins training camp on September 28. Los Angeles tips off their season against Golden State on October 19.