Monta Ellis, shown here in 2015 with the Dallas Mavericks. (Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press)
The NBA announced Friday that Indiana Pacers shooting guard Monta Ellis and Detroit Pistons small forward Reggie Bullock will be suspended without pay for the first five games of the 2017-18 regular season after violating the league’s anti-drug program.
According to the league’s soon-to-expire collective bargaining agreement, a player is suspended five games after a third violation involving marijuana (either a failed drug test or a conviction or guilty plea following a possession arrest). Any subsequent violations would mean suspensions that are five games longer than the ones that proceeded them.
This policy will be basically unchanged when the new CBA goes into effect on July 1.
Ellis averaged just 8.5 points for the Pacers last season, his fewest since his rookie season in 2005-06. He has two years remaining on the four-year deal he signed with Indiana in 2015.
Pacers issue statement re Monta Ellis’ five-game drug suspension: pic.twitter.com/ch11cKfGFo
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) June 16, 2017
Bullock, a four-year NBA veteran who has started just seven games in his career, averaged 4.5 points per game in 31 games for the Pistons. He’ll be a restricted free agent when the league calendar resets next month.