SEATTLE, OCT. 24 -- Seattle SuperSonics officials say guard Dale Ellis has decided to play out his option with the NBA team and wait until he becomes a free agent to seek a better-paying contract.

Ellis has been playing during the preseason while arguing for a better contract.

The 6-foot-7 graduate of Tennessee led the SuperSonics in scoring last season with a 24.9-point average. Making a reported $350,000 this year, with $75,000 of that deferred, he sought close to $1 million a year.

By his decision, Ellis cleared the way for Seattle to match an offer sheet from the Phoenix Suns for SuperSonics center Alton Lister. Earlier this week, the Suns offered Lister a four-year deal worth $3.5 million.

"The Sonics, Dale Ellis and his agent Lee Fentress made a good run at trying to work out a new deal for Dale," SuperSonics President Bob Whitsitt said.

"There were several options but Dale's decision is to have a great year this year and then sit down after this season to see what we can work out. I'm confident Dale will have another good year then we'll see what we can do," he said.