After using their 11th overall pick on sharp-shooting Klay Thompson and trading for quality guard Brandon Rush before the season started, the Golden State Warriors signaled to the rest of the NBA that Monta Ellis can be had.
But what teams took notice?
Ellis will come at a high price, but after a weak 2-5 start to the shortened 2011-2012 season, the Warriors could be coaxed to move the energetic guard if the price was right.
Why only six teams, you ask? Because I'm not going to allow society's infatuation with the numbers zero and five dictate how many teams might be interested in a shooting guard. That's silly.
In this case, Ellis would be a great scoring point a la Derrick Rose. Derek Fisher is aging, and many Lakers fans are clamoring for an upgrade. Voila.
When Fisher was in the game, Los Angeles could pump out major points by bumping Ellis to the shooting guard and Kobe Bryant to small forward. That's a terrifying offense that Fisher is well-equipped to facilitate.
Ellis plus Ekpe Udoh for Andrew Bynum.
The Lakers get their point/shooting guard and a successor to Bryant's reign over L.A. if he ever calls it quits. They also sell high on Bynum, who will soon sustain a knee injury.
Furthermore, Udoh is a nice piece that could develop under the tutelage of Mike Brown and fellow forward Pau Gasol.
To become the premier starting lineup in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls merely lack a really good shooting guard. How about adding a really great shooting guard?
Teams would absolutely hate playing Chicago. Besides having to focus on offense the entire game, lest Tom Thibodeau's defense pick your pocket, opposing teams would have to chase Monta Ellis and Derrick Rose around the court all game.
What a workout!
While the Bulls are perhaps the best team suited for Ellis, they simply don't have the pieces to make the deal happen.
All their draft picks for the next three or four years? Maybe.
It's no secret that the Memphis Grizzlies have been searching for a solid two-guard ever since the Kevin Love for O.J. Mayo trade in 2008.
They drafted Kansas' Xavier Henry 12th overall in the 2010 draft, signed Tony Allen in the summer of 2010 and used their second-round pick on another Kansas guard, Josh Selby, in 2011.
Monta Ellis' style of play would fit perfectly with the gritty Grizzlies, while Rudy Gay, as great as he is, was seen as expendable after the great run Memphis made with out him.
An Ellis plus some for Gay trade would help both teams.
What's the first step in keeping Dwight Howard? Don't trade him. Check.
The second step is signing him during or immediately after the 2011-2012 season. That has yet to be done. Howard is going to need to see significant dedication to winning by the Orlando Magic—i.e., trade for a baller.
That baller is Monta Ellis.
Like Chicago, however, the Magic don't have much trade bait other than Howard. They could perhaps package Jameer Nelson (Stephen Curry is a shooter first, anyway) with a collection of forwards like Ryan Anderson and Earl Clark, then add some draft picks.
Still don't see it happening. You're stuck with J.J. Redick in Orlando.
This is a joke. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.
There's not room for Monta Ellis in the picture, anyway.
This is one of those trades that makes total sense, but because of the huge names involved, it will never go down. Of course, in today's NBA, never say never.
New York Knicks' coach Mike D'Antoni does well with high-octane offenses that put a premium on fast play and hard work. Is there a player that better personifies that than Monta Ellis?
The Knicks sorely lack a shooting guard, and Ellis could even fill in at the point until Baron Davis is healthy.
What's the deal that could make it happen? Prepare yourself...
Ellis and David Lee for Amar'e Stoudemire, Landry Fields, Toney Douglas and maybe a second-round draft pick.
The Warriors get a dominant scorer at the power forward to work with Stephen Curry and get a fresh set of back court guys to help out. The implied feud over who runs Golden State (Curry/Ellis) would be over.
The Knicks get their two-guard and a welcome home to Lee.