Once you fall out of the NBA, it can be hard to get back in. There are only 450 guaranteed contracts available at any given time, and 60 players get drafted every year. It’s not an easy task to earn a job in the league after you’ve lost one.
But a pair of former Golden State Warriors guards are trying to do exactly that. Monta Ellis and Brandon Rush will both be working out for the Minnesota Timberwolves, as they attempt to get back into the league.
Wolves continue to do due diligence on available vets even after locking up Deng. Monta Ellis, Brandon Paul and Brandon Rush among those to work out, @ShamsCharania and I hear.— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 10, 2018
While the Wolves are checking these two out, it’s unlikely that they sign either. After signing Luol Deng, Minnesota can’t afford to sign either player without going into the luxury tax, unless they make a corresponding roster move to shed salary space.
Would be very surprised if the Wolves dip into the tax this year. https://t.co/ri7YDS0fcS— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) September 10, 2018
Still, it’s an opportunity for the former Warriors to showcase their talents, and try to either force Minnesota to make a move, or at least increase their reputation around the league, so that someone else gives them a shot.
Ellis, who was drafted by Golden State in the second round of the 2005 NBA draft, played parts of seven seasons with the Warriors, averaging 19.6 points and 4.4 assists per game during his Warriors tenure, and appearing on the famous We Believe team. He last played in the 2016-17 season for the Indiana Pacers, where he averaged 8.5 points and 3.2 assists in 74 games. He is 32-years old.
Rush, a 33-year old sharpshooter, also last played in 2016-17, when he appeared in 47 games for the Timberwolves and averaged 4.2 points per game. He has had two different stints with the Warriors, spanning parts of four seasons, and won a title with the team in 2015. He was also a member of the 73-win team in the 2015-16 season.
The Warriors also have open roster spots, but let’s be honest - they’re not giving contracts to Ellis or Rush. But hopefully these former Warriors catch on again in the NBA.