Everybody is drinking Monta Ellis' bathwater these days. Is he an all-star? Is he a superstar? No and no respectively. He is an awesome offensive talent, but he will not be an all-star in the West and he will not be an all-star playing alongside Steph Curry.
Curry and Ellis will not work together. One or the other will suffer and neither will ever be above an average defender (more likely they will continue to be below and far below average defenders). However, something can be done in one quick move.
My proposal is to trade Monta Ellis, Brandan Wright, Dan Gadzuric, Charlie Bell and Andris Biedrins ideally for Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Marreese Speights and Louis Williams.
First of all, why would Philly do it? As constructed, the 76ers are a first-and-out team. Yeah, they look like they may be good enough to make the eighth seed, but they are still surrounded by Boston, Miami, Orlando, Chicago and now New York continuing to make moves towards becoming elite.
They have one of the best young point guards in the game with Jrue Holiday who, while he can hit a three and finish, is more of a defender than a scorer. Then they have the intriguing Thaddeus Young, who does not seem to get enough playing time. They just drafted Evan Turner and need the time to develop him.
This allows the 76ers to put out a starting lineup of Jrue Holiday, Monta Ellis, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Andris Biedrins while keeping Hawes, Meeks and Nocioni in reserve. With Jrue Holiday freed from the scoring load, he can become a Rajon Rondo who can shoot, a terrifying concept to the rest of the league.
The Philly fans will fall for Monta like they did Iverson and his lack of defense will be less troubling with Jrue Holiday at his side. The trade of Brand will finally let this team run like it was meant to. Andris Biedrins will get a helpful change of scenery as will the talented, but underutilized Brandan Wright.
In addition, while they pick up $20 million per year in long-term salaries in Ellis and Biedrins, they give up over $28 million in salaries, giving them the financial freedom to give up assets like Louis Williams and the underused Marreese Speights.
On the other side, Curry's defense will be less troubling when he is paired with an elite perimeter defender like Andre Iguodala. Curry will dominate, just as he did last year in the role as primary scorer, while Iguodala will help as a distributor and can be counted on to take it to the rim. With Iguodala and Dorrell Wright as the Warriors wings, they will no longer be defensively weak.
The acquisition of Elton Brand will give the Warriors the post scoring we have been needing. While our front line will be short with Brand and Lee, both are good rebounders. Their defensive lapses will be less glaring with Wright and Iguodala guarding the perimeter. Also, given that Lee does most of his damage in the pick-and-roll with layups or jumpers, they would be able to coexist effectively.
Finally, Louis Williams is essentially a less skilled Monta Ellis who will make our second unit immensely better. At the same time, Speights gives us a very talented big to develop for the future.
This trade provides the 76ers with the flexibility they covet, a star they will love and the better development of their youth. The Warriors get a helpful dose of defense, interior scoring and assets. This is a win-win that may set Philadelphia back this year but will make them a better contender in the stacked East in the future, while allowing the Warriors to make the playoffs.
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