It may happen at the Feb. 18 deadline or it may happen in the summer, but Monta Ellis will hear his name, sooner rather than later, surface amidst the profusion of trade talks.
It's become overly apparent that the Golden State Warriors will eventually facilitate a trade that involves their star guard. Head coach Don Nelson has never been fond of the 6'3'' guard after Baron Davis bolted for the Los Angeles Clippers, and has, with his slick mind, introduced Stephen Curry in order to slowly but surely move Ellis out of the Warriors' picture overall.
One of the possible trade scenarios that might pan out for Ellis may involve Philadelphia 76er's guard Andre Iguodala. An Ellis-for-Iguodala move would be beneficial for two struggling teams with similar aspirations.
Iguodala for the Warriors
The 6'6'', 207-pound versatile guard can play multiple positions for the ailing Bay Area based team—an aspect Nelson admires about players. In addition to his versatility, Iguodala is a much stronger and powerful guard than Ellis will ever be.
Iguodala's most coveted asset lies on the defensive end, an area where he is often underrated by most of the NBA. He is likely one of the best defensive players in this league. He can guard players than range from small and quick point guards like Chris Paul, intelligent shooting guards like Kobe Bryant, and explosive small forwards like LeBron James.
On a Nelson team, he could even start guarding certain power forwards.
His athleticism and unselfishness highlight what the Warriors necessitate. Iguodala can pass the ball exceptionally well, and is a clutch performer down the stretch of tight games—evidenced by hitting multiple game-winning shots against the Los Angeles Lakers in Staples Center and the Orlando Magic last year.
A backcourt combination of Curry and Iguodala could produce major success for a prototypical "Nellie" team. Iguodala can flourish in the open court with his thunderous dunks and finishing ability, and makes wise decisions with the ball
Weakness : Does not have the gift of creating efficient shots off the dribble, and at times struggles with his shot selections. He is ill-fitted for a "Batman" type role on a team, and has to assume a more complimentary role on a team. He won't succeed as "the go-to player" of the team.
Franchise turnoff: The Warriors' management will unlikely approve of such a trade due to the fact that Iguodala has 4 1/2 years left on a $80 million deal. The only way this trade might transpire is for the Sixers to include expiring contracts. Warriors' owner Chris Cohan does not possess the urge to spend money anymore. Saving and giving away talent is the Warriors trademark.
Ellis for the Sixers
The Sixers desperately need any kind of scoring and Ellis provides just that. Philadelphia averages 97.8 PPG, which is ranked 22nd in the league behind the Milwaukee Bucks. Ellis comes in as the sixth best scorer in the league with 26.3 PPG, and could speed up the tempo for a fairly slow paced Philadelphia team.
This also comes handy for Elton Brand, who has not lived up to his $82 million contract he signed two summers ago. Ellis, playing in the Eastern Conference, will likely get much more scoring opportunities and a chance to carry a team into the playoffs with a fairly weak record compared to the stacked Western Conference.
In addition, Ellis can solely focus on scoring, an aspect which he thrives on.
Weakness: Gets too selfish with the ball sometimes, and does not move the ball particularly well in the half-court set. In order to become a respected player in this league, he has to learn the intricacies of the point guard position. He has to force himself to pass up shots with 18 seconds on the clock and involve teammates instead.
Franchise turnoff: Ellis has 4 1/2 years left on a $60 million contract, and while teams want to free up cap space for a possible free-agent, the Sixers might be prompted to keep Iguodala, who represents a better trade commodity to other contenders than Ellis does.