Kings' hiring of new coach Mike Malone could help lure Monta Ellis

The Sacramento Kings' decision to hire Michael Malone as their next head coach should improve their chances of signing guard Monta Ellis in free agency, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

Ellis plans to opt out of the $11 million final year of his contract with the Bucks to become a free agent this summer, the source said. Ellis became acquainted with Malone, an assistant on Mark Jackson's Golden State Warriors' staff, during his last season in Golden State before he was traded to Milwaukee. During that brief time, Ellis quickly gained a great deal of respect for Malone's basketball IQ and his ability to teach and relate to players.

The Kings were recently purchased by an ownership group led by former Warriors minority owner Vivek Ranadive. Ellis averaged 19.2 points and six assists last season for the Bucks and averaged more than 20 points in each of his last three seasons with the Warriors.

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