Golden State Warriors: Can Klay Thompson Fill Monta Ellis' Shoes?

Brian GeraghtyCorrespondent IIIJune 6, 2012

After the Golden State Warriors shipped Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks, it was encouraging to see the emergence of Klay Thompson in his place during the last couple months of the season.

In the final 28 games of the season, Thompson averaged a well-rounded stat line of 18.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.11 steals per game.  

While Ellis may be the more talented player of the two, Thompson seems to be a much better fit alongside Stephen Curry for a number of reasons.

The most obvious is the fact that the chemistry that Thompson will have with Curry is almost certainly better than what Curry and Ellis had together. 

When Ellis was in town, he clashed with Curry over who should have possession of the ball the majority of the time. Whereas Thompson's sharp shooting ability allows him to play off the ball, giving Curry full control of the offense. 

In better interest of the franchise, the team traded Ellis away, solidifying themselves at center with Andrew Bogut.

Although he was injured for most of the season, he is expected to return healthy and Thompson will undoubtedly benefit from his powerful presence in the paint.

With Bogut pairing with David Lee in the frontcourt, Thompson and Curry will be able to prowl the perimeter and knock down open jumpers from all areas of the floor. Thompson will have a tremendous amount of pressure lifted off of him as well, with the return of a healthy Curry and Bogut and will find his role in the offense, helping the team synergize as one.

Whereas if Ellis would not adjust his game to accommodate a team concept, a fact proven by him often scoring 30-plus points and the Warriors still walking away with a loss. 

In the long run, the Warriors anointing Thompson as Curry's future back court partner gives them a better chance of winning games, and less headaches than they had when Ellis was around.