Golden State Warriors: Five Reasons Why They Already Miss Monta Ellis
Warriors GM Larry Riley made a bold franchise-altering move in dealing long-time star Monta Ellis just before the trade deadline to the Milwaukee Bucks for their star big man, Andrew Bogut.
While the Dubs were struggling to contend for a playoff spot even with Ellis on the roster, dealing the team's leading scorer for a player that won't be able to play until next season was not a popular move with fans.
Warriors fans infamously displayed their disdain for the move by viciously booing team owner Joe Lacob during Hall of Famer Chris Mullins jersey retirement ceremony in lieu of the trade.
To be fair to Riley and Lacob, Bogut does give the Warriors hope going forward and could be a potential steal.
However, the organization is already shouldering the loss of Ellis. What exactly will the Warriors miss the most about the Mississippi Missile?
On the court, or in the locker room, Ellis was one of the Warriors leaders.
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The Warriors are an extremely young team, featuring just one player above the age of 30 (Richard Jefferson). Ellis was a proven NBA veteran, and Golden State has to miss what he brought to the organization as a professional.
Ellis handled the media well and never said things that would inflame the franchise, despite the team's lack of success.
As a captain, he was a leader both on and off the court for the Warriors, and served as a mentor for young players entering the league.
Those are intangibles that are not coachable and will certainly be missed by the franchise.
Shown here during the 2007 playoff upset of the Mavs, Ellis was one of the last relics of the Warriors resounding series
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Aside from his electrifying on court performances, Ellis was the organization's second longest tenured player.
Through his Warriors career, Ellis established quite an institution with Bay Area basketball fans.
He and center Andris Biedrins were the last two players from the Warriors 2007 "We Believe" team, the last Golden State squad to qualify for the playoffs.
Ellis was the face of the franchise alongside point guard Stephen Curry, and his number eight jersey can still be seen speckled throughout Oracle Arena night in and night out.
The Team Has Struggled Since His Departure
Klay Thomson is progressing nicely, but he's no Monta Ellis.
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This one speaks for itself. When you trade away your leading scorer for a player who cannot play until next season, you're going to run into some problems competing on the court.
The Warriors are playing with a depleted roster without Ellis, and despite the strong play of rookie Klay Thompson as his replacement, Golden State has been awful since Ellis' departure, posting just a 3-11 record.
The only reason why it isn't higher on the list is due to the Dubs' draft pick status. Currently, if the Warriors finish better than the league's seventh-worst team, they forfeit their draft pick to Utah.
Ironically, losing in the short term can actually help the Warriors while the team looks to add more pieces in building around Curry and Bogut.
Ellis Is One of the Most Explosive Scorers in the League
The Warriors will struggle to find the scoring production that Ellis provided
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Night in and night out, Ellis is one of the most consistent and unstoppable scorers in the NBA.
Ellis can seemingly do it all offensively: His quick first step makes him one of the best at penetrating the lane.
His deadly jumper gives him the ability to score from just about anywhere on the court.
His dexterity makes him adept to adjusting to defenders around the rim and is a prolific finisher.
Sometimes when Ellis is in a groove offensively, it seems like he is unstoppable. His speed and ball-handling abilities oftentimes draw comparisons to long-time NBA great Allen Iverson.
A player with the offensive skill-set like Ellis is a one in a million steal, and subsequently near irreplaceable.
His Departure Puts the Franchise in Limbo
Andrew Bogut is a huge risk to Golden State.
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Andrew Bogut brings new hope to the franchise, but also comes with a substantial amount of risk.
Bogut has a daunting past full of injury, and it's uncertain whether or not he can be the same player that he was a few years ago.
Aside from his broken ankle which is currently keeping him sidelined, he has a lingering elbow injury which could limit him offensively.
Bogut has reported that his elbow has since healed, but that remains to be seen on the court.
With Ellis, the Warriors knew what production they would get night in and night out.
He's been relatively healthy throughout his entire career—excluding the infamous Scootergate ordeal—and has proven that he can handle a heavy workload and still stay healthy, having led the league in minutes played the past two seasons.
Should Bogut not work out, the Warriors will be stuck with a full salary cap and more losing seasons.
The Dubs dealt their best trade chip in Ellis this season, and if Bogut doesn't pan out, the franchise could be mired in losses for a considerable amount of time.