Per NBA Legion (Twitter: @MySportsLegion), Monta Ellis has opted out of his final year with the Mavericks. Dallas does not plan on pursuing him to a longer-term deal during the offseason. Ellis was entering the final year of a 3 year - $25 million deal that he signed during the 2012 offseason. He would've made $8.72 million in 2015-2016 had he opted in.
For Ellis, this gives him a chance to ink a long term contract that pays him closer to what he thinks he is worth. He felt that he was on a cheap deal with the Mavs, and the desire for a large guaranteed contract lured him away from Dallas. He plans to pursue a long term deal with the Hawks and the Heat, where he would be paid about $8-10 million a year, based on similar contracts paid out to players of his caliber. If he went to the Heat, that would almost certainly mean the end of the Dwyane Wade era. Wade is weighing whether or not to re-up with the Heat, and Ellis' signing would ensure Wade's departure.
On the Hawks, Ellis would have a less clear role. If the Hawks re-sign Demarre Carroll, as well as bring in Ellis, they would have a crowded backcourt. Teague, Ellis, Korver, and Carroll would all compete for playing time at 3 positions. Also, the Hawks overachieved this year due to their unique ball movement and pinpoint passing. A ball-dominant guard such as Ellis would clog this system with isolation plays, and negate a lot of the Hawks' cohesion. Unless he is willing to come off the bench, I do not think Ellis and the Hawks is a good fit.
The Mavericks do not plan on pursuing Ellis, instead opting to look for a max free agent. Dallas has just 4 active players under contract for next season, and look to add a star to give Dirk Nowitzki one last run at a title. They can also use their cap room to re-sign key free agents such as Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea, and Rajon Rondo (kidding).
To replace Ellis at shooting guard, the Mavericks are pursuing Danny Green. As the prime template for a 3-and-D player, Green will command a large, long term deal. He will get around $8-10 million per year, after making just under $4 million per year with the Spurs. Green would be a welcome addition to a Mavericks team starved for defense in recent years.
All that said, the end goal of this is either Jordan or Aldridge for the Mavericks. I've already written that Aldridge would not be a great fit for Dallas, but that was before Ellis left. With Ellis gone, I think the Mavericks will be a far more appealing option for potential star free agents, who can now be the primary scorer in the Mavs offense. With money guarenteed to so few players, Dallas is banking that can finally lure the star it has failed to attract in recent years. For Dirk's sake, I hope their gamble pays off.