Explosive point guard Monta Ellis re-signed Thursday with the Golden State Warriors for six years and $66 million US on Thursday.
Ellis, a 22-year-old restricted free agent, will combine in the backcourt with 24-year-old Kelenna Azubuike, whose three-year, $9-million US offer sheet from the Los Angeles Clippers was matched by Golden State earlier in the day.
"We're absolutely thrilled to have Monta under contract for the next several years," Warriors executive vice-president Chris Mullin said. "He has been one of the top young players in the NBA for the last two years."
Ellis averaged 20.2 averaged, 5.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 38.0 minutes in 81 games last season.
"[He] enjoyed a tremendous season last year," Mullin said. "The growth that he has demonstrated at such a young age is incredible, and we look forward to him playing a big part in our future success."
Ellis is a career 48.5 per cent shooter, averaing 15.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 31.9 minutes in 207 NBA games, including 128 starts, since he was drafted in the second round (40th overall) out of high school by Golden State in 2005.
Ellis was named the NBA's most improved player in 2006-07, when he averaged 16.5 points — nearly 10 points higher than in his rookie campaign.
Golden State was seeking to solify its backcourt to offset the loss of free agent Baron Davis, who signed a five-year, $65-million US deal with the Clippers.With files from the Associated Press