How about a Howard and Ellis package

While the 27 year old Ellis is nowhere near the PG Paul is, he is one heck of an offensive talent. No doubt a Dirk/Howard/Ellis trio puts Dallas back in contention for top team in the West.....and with the ability to add more the following season when Dirk takes a paycut gives it the potential for something great.

This to me has much more traction than a Howard/Paul Paul is not going to leave the Clippers. It also gives Howard more incentive to pick Dallas if his buddy Ellis is coming as well. They could choose between us and Atlanta.....Howard has sounded reluctant to go play in his home town. Ellis has made it clear that he is not staying in Milwaukee.

I still would not put it as likely....I would put the odds at 25% right now but on the rise. Nothing is a sure thing when Howard is involved. He can change his mind in an instant.

Even without Howard, I can see Dallas going hard after Ellis as one of their pieces of the offseason.

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 Hawks, Dallas 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.

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