The 75 greatest NBA players of the 2010s, ranked

Stephen Curry, James Harden
Stephen Curry, James Harden / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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71) Monta Ellis

12-year NBA veteran Monta Ellis overcame being selected late in the second round of the 2005 draft to become a respectable scorer in the league. Ellis got his start with the Golden State Warriors and managed to carve out a big role and earn himself a $66 million contract. 

However, shortly after signing the deal, he got injured riding a moped, which was in breach of his contract and he was suspended for 30 games. Fortunately, he bounced back, averaging 25.5 points and 5.3 assists and 24.1 points and 5.6 assists, respectively, during the 2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons. 

During that time, the Warriors drafted future Hall of Famer Steph Curry and paired him with Ellis, though it became clear that their small backcourt couldn't play together on a winning team. As a result, the Warriors nearly traded Curry to the Milwaukee Bucks in the deal for former number one overall pick Andrew Bogdan but opted to trade Ellis instead. 

That obviously worked out well for the Warriors and Ellis was sent to the Bucks, where he partnered with Brandon Jennings to help Milwaukee. He lasted a year there before signing with the Dallas Mavericks, where he became a second option to Dirk Nowitzki, averaging 18.9 points and 4.9 assists over two seasons.

In fact, he nearly helped them knock off the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 playoffs. Ellis ended the decade and his career with the Indiana Pacers as a backup, but he posted a more than respectable 18.5 points, 5.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 601 games, illustrating just how productive he was as a player during his prime.