Monta Ellis and Amar’e Stoudemire are two of the more exciting players of their era. Stoudemire helped revolutionize his position and the sport. Ellis was a legitimate blur and could finish just about anything around the rim.
They’re both attempting comebacks to the NBA, and apparently have piqued some curiosity around the league:
There are approximately 12 teams attending this evening’s workout in Las Vegas featuring Amar’e Stoudemire and Monta Ellis. Among those are LA Lakers, Golden State, NY Knicks, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Detroit and Washington.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 8, 2019
The Lakers are running out of roster spots now with the official additions across their rotation. There just isn’t room for anyone else, no matter how cool a story it would be.
At Ellis’ position, he would have to beat out Alex Caruso, Quinn Cook and Rajon Rondo for minutes. Given what the Lakers need alongside guys like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Ellis just doesn’t really fill a need.
Stoudemire can actually make a bit better a case for a spot on the roster, however — though not by much. Davis is going to command the vast majority of the front court minutes. Behind him sits DeMarcus Cousins and JaVale McGee, and both will play about 15 to 20 minutes per game. Now, injuries do happens and perhaps eventually a spot in the rotation might open up, but for right now, the Lakers just have bigger needs elsewhere.
All this isn’t to say it is not smart to check out Ellis’ and Stoudemire’s workouts, by the way. Due diligence is almost never a bad idea, even if the odds are overwhelmingly against Ellis and Stoudemire making an NBA roster — let alone the Lakers. Both were such talented stars back in their primes that if they harness some of that and recreate some of that magic, then who knows what could happen.
Best of luck to both Stoudemire and Ellis in their attempts. Playing in the NBA is a legitimate gift, and a dream that has to be tough to let go of. If either or both of them make a return, it would be one of the cooler stories of the season. It’s just too early to start guessing at which team they’d even have a chance to make.