The Indiana Pacers received less than ideal news this afternoon when it came down that the NBA had suspended Monta Ellis for the first five games of the 2017-18 season. Ellis will be joined in his suspension by Detroit wing Reggie Bullock.
The league did not disclose the drug in question, but SB Nation’s Kristian Winfield notes that only marijuana is linked to a five game suspension, taking much of the guess work out of the equation. While there is an ever-growing acceptance to marijuana across the United States in and out of medical fields (a certain perjurious attorney general notwithstanding), it remains a violation of the NBA’s Anti-Drug Program.
The Pacers are aware of the situation and will deal with it accordingly, but given Ellis’s declining production, Kevin Pritchard and the front office didn’t need this to be a deciding factor in their long term plans for Ellis, but it will affect the Pacers should Ellis be on the roster heading into the season.