Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry: A Dynamic Backcourt But One Must Go

Jeff CarilloContributor IJanuary 13, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 03:  Stephen Curry #30 and Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors look on near the end of the game against the Houston Rockets during an NBA game at Oracle Arena on December 3, 2009 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Well, that was fun.

Another Warriors-Lakers game at Oracle Arena concluded Wednesday night with similar results: An exciting, fast-paced game which featured a nice little duel between guards Monta Ellis and Kobe Bryant ended with yet another Lakers victory.

Same old story for the Warriors and their fans.

After Wednesday's exciting yet disappointing loss, it's becoming obvious that Ellis is maturing into a legitimate go-to, do-everything superstar that deserves to be mentioned among the league's elite.

However, his trade value may not ever be higher.

Tonight proved that the Warriors are essentially a slightly better team than they were just a year ago and pretty much the same team they've been for much of the past decade: Exciting and fast-paced, but in the end, they fall short.

Parting with Ellis may be even more difficult now than ever before, with his emergence as perhaps the most exciting guard in the league when attacking the basket. His offensive game is about as complete as ever, with his solid mid-range game, his ability to hit from beyond the arc and of course, his ability to finish at the rim. He's also embraced his role on the Warriors as a leader and, by all accounts, his teammates have embraced him as well.

But if the Warriors want to make any serious push at being a contender down the road, they must give trading Ellis or Stephen Curry some consideration. While they may be the NBA's top scoring guard tandem, Ellis was right last season when he said there are serious defensive liabilities when they are both on the court.

There's no hiding it.

With both Ellis and Curry possessing a high value throughout the league, perhaps now is the time the Warriors should capitalize and try to acquire a true difference maker in the post, arguably their greatest need for years.

Package Ellis with a couple of expiring contracts and maybe you can land that player if you're the Warriors—or you can deal Curry.

Most Warriors fans will think it's blasphemous to even mention trading Curry, but he hasn't had a stellar follow-up to his great rookie season. He hasn't made that jump to elite point guard status that many expected him to make this year.

He's still not a true point guard and he still commits far too many turnovers, particularly of the one-handed pass variety.

Curry's delayed progression can be attributed to a sophomore jinx, injuries or fatigue. Whatever it is, Curry doesn't seem to be as dynamic or have that spring in his game as he did a year ago. 

In the end, though, either Ellis or Curry will have to go. Nobody else on the roster can produce nearly as much return.

David Lee and Dorell Wright are the only two players on the team that resemble legitimate NBA starters. Andris Biedrins? He's proving each and every night why he's the softest center in the league. 

In the end, I believe you trade Ellis with his value at an all-time high and you keep a potential All Star point guard in Curry, who is likely fatigued from a full two seasons of basketball with Davidson and the Warriors, not to mention the FIBA World Championships this past summer as well.

Trading Ellis or Curry will bring the much-needed change that the fanbase and the new owners are looking for.

If not, it will just be more of the same in Warriorland. Exciting basketball for sure, but does it produce a serious contender in the West?

Warriors fans haven't been able to say that about their team in years.