Originally written on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Where will Monta Ellis be at the beginning of the 2013-14 season? (Photo credit) People generally underrate the impact coaches have on shaping a player’s career. Aside from ego, most of these guys come in as blank slates. They don’t have defined roles, they still have skills to develop, and ultimately, you can turn them into whatever you need them to be if you coach them correctly. Take Jason Terry: a shoot-first, second and third guard who plays about as much defense as David Ortiz. He spent the first five years of his career as the best player on a series of forgettable Atlanta teams (won no more than 35 games). Then he goes to Dallas, where Don Nelson and Avery Johnson bumble their way out of jobs. Terry got better in Dallas because he was playing with real players, but he still wasn’t being maximized. Then Rick Carlisle came and changed everything. Rather than continuing to stick a square peg in a round hole, Carlisle asked Terry to come off the bench, lead the offense for 4-6 minutes per half, shoot as much as he wants in that time, and then go back to being a supporting player for the rest of the game. He could use his other bench spots to hide Terry on defense, and he could stick him at either guard spot depending on the situation. Terry embraced his role as a sixth man, winning a Sixth Man of the Year award and a title, all because Carlisle was smart enough to know how to maximize his player. You don’t just start your best guy at every position; you have to figure out the best way to fit the talents of every player into a team structure. There’s a reason Manu Ginobili doesn’t start for San Antonio and it’s not that he isn’t good enough. What does all of this have to do with Monta Ellis? He got stuck with Nelson as his coach early on, whose small-ball obsession forced him into the starting lineup and never allowed him to develop any sort of defensive skill. Now Monta Ellis is... well... Monta Ellis, a guard whose only skill is shooting and will kill your team in every other area. Some of Ellis’ stats are mind blowing, and not in a good way. He took more shots per game in ’09-’10 than LeBron. Not Miami LeBron, Cleveland LeBron. He and Brandon Jennings combined to take 33 shots per game last year... and neither shot above 42 percent. I could go on and on. Ellis is basically a slightly better Terry who isn’t as valuable as a teammate. On the right team, Ellis can be a better Terry, one of the two or three best sixth men in the league who can carry an offense for stretches. The question is, is there a team out there that can both afford him and give him this role? The perfect team for him would be Chicago. Tom Thibodeau would know how to use him, could teach him a thing or two on defense, and could actually relieve the insane minutes some of the starters are playing. Problem is, Chicago doesn’t have the money to sign him, so unless they’re willing to dangle Luol Deng in a sign and trade (possible, but I doubt it), they’re out of the running. Indiana would make sense, but they’re not shelling out that kind of money for him. Ditto for Memphis, and Boston already spent on Jason Terry last year. In other words, the list of contenders who would actually pay for him are pretty slim. I hope a good team finds a way to snag Ellis. I really do. I want to see what he’s capable of with a good coach and a winning culture around him. I think he could be a better version of Terry, but sadly, I don’t think we’ll ever get the chance to see that. So here’s how I think all of this is gonna go down. Ellis is going to wait around for a few weeks while the big fish get taken care of. He’ll mull over his options, see who misses out on the real stars, and then pounce on a desperate team. My pick? Atlanta. They’re going to miss out on Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, need someone to sell to their fans, and will overpay for Ellis to be their lead guard and scorer. Is it a smart basketball move? Absolutely not, but Ellis has priced himself out of the “smart basketball move” category. Nobody is going to be happy to spend big bucks on Ellis, but someone is going to do it. My bet is Atlanta. Prediction: Atlanta Hawks, four years, $50 million By: Sam Quinn Twitter: @Rhinos_Cry_Too
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jon Jones thinks he can beat Cain Velasquez

Larry Bird jokes about pose of Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Barry Switzer urged Cowboys to draft Murray with great quote

SF Giants file brief in support of gay marriage to Supreme Court

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brian Hoyer praises Johnny Manziel for checking into rehab

Dockett: I would have signed with Cardinals for less money

Report: Darrelle Revis' decision to come down to Patriots, Jets

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

Associated Press will have 'robots' writing game stories

WATCH: Craig Sager emotional in warm welcome back to TNT

Likeliest landing spots for Ndamukong Suh

Tigers pitcher Alfredo Simon drives a chrome Mercedes

WATCH: Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs who doubts her ability

Michelle Beadle’s campaign to be cast in ‘Sharknado 3′ pays off

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Dodgers will have a tough time dumping Andre Ethier

Brian Cashman: Derek Jeter should be final Yankees captain

Tom Brady, Rory McIlroy to play round at Augusta National

No one knows who will win the 2014-15 NBA MVP

Giants TE on plane that slid off runway in New York

TSN to stop airing tweets after trade deadline debacle

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Larry Bird trash talks Dominique Wilkins’ statue

Likeliest landing spots for Suh

Jay Cutler available to teams in trade

Ronda Rousey breaks guy's ribs

Ten teams who have tightened the belt

Mayweather waited for Pacquiao to get old, right?

Maurice Jones-Drew announces his retirement from NFL

Ndamukong Suh is biggest prize, risk in free agency

AP will have 'robots' writing game stories

Manning officially returning to Broncos

No one knows who will win the MVP

Pop rips notion of NBA Finals in July

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.