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Pacers take next step in rebuilding by waiving Monta Ellis

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers have waived backup guard Monta Ellis, the team announced Thursday.

Ellis, 31, has played the past two seasons in Indiana, averaging 11.3 points and 4.0 assists in 155 games. He lost his starting job last season. The NBA also announced that he would be suspended for the first five games next season for a violation of the league's anti-drug policy.

Monta Ellis.
He had two years left on his original contract with the Pacers. By releasing the 12-year veteran, Indiana saves about $9 million on the salary cap and won't have to pay next season's salary.

According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, the Pacers have two options when it comes to the waiver. They can elect to stretch Ellis' contract over five seasons with a $2.2 million cap charge or take the full $11.3 million guaranteed cap hit. They have 48 hours to make a decision.

By stretching the contract, the Pacers would have a projected $25 million in room under the cap. Although Ellis' contract was non-guaranteed for 2018-19, NBA rules count that season in the formula used for stretching a player.

The move is the latest in the Pacers' rebuilding project that began with last week's blockbuster trade that sent four-time All-Star Paul George to Oklahoma City for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

Ellis has averaged 17.8 points, 4.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds during a career spent with Golden State, Dallas, Milwaukee and Indiana.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19864808/indiana-pacers-waive-monta-ellis

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