Monta Ellis for Andre Iguodala: Is This a Win-Win Trade?

Alex JosephAnalyst IJune 7, 2011

According to ESPN columnist Ric Bucher, the Golden State Warriors and the Philadelphia 76ers have opened up trade talk that would swap Monta Ellis for Andre Iguodala. 

Bucher points out the obvious impact of the trade: 

The Warriors would beef up their perimeter size and defense with Iguodala, who is 6'6" and 207 pounds and can play shooting guard or small forward. Iguodala would be paired with the 6'3", 185-pound Stephen Curry at point guard and 6'9" small forward Dorell Wright. 

The Sixers, meanwhile, would be getting an electric scoring guard in the 6'3", 185-pound Ellis, create an opening at small forward for rookie Evan Turner, and slice some money off their payroll.

After reading about the possibility of the trade, my initial reaction was excitement for the 76ers. Jrue Holiday, Monta Ellis and Evan Turner sure seems like a good idea. Ellis would provide a reliable source of offense for a team whose leading scorer, Elton Brand, averaged a mere 15 points per game. 

Just for the record, Ellis averaged 24.1 points per game this last season for Golden State. 

But would the arrival of Ellis change the way the 76ers go about the upcoming draft? No way. If anything, the arrival of Ellis helps the 76ers narrow down what they need. Two fields need to be addressed: scoring and front-court depth. Ellis provides the scoring; now they can use their first-round pick (No. 16) on a big guy, such as Markieff Morris, Donatas Motiejunas or Kenneth Faried, in order to deepen their roster.

Granted, I'm pretty sure they'll be using their first-round pick, and possibly their second-round pick, on front-court depth regardless of what happens with the possible trade.

While it seems like the 76ers would be getting a good deal, as Ellis is one of the league's premier scorers, the Warriors actually benefit from the trade as well. Iguodala would help balance the Warriors backcourt on defense. At 6'6", he is better suited alongside Stephen Curry defensively than the 6'3" Ellis. 

Even though the backcourt tandem of Curry and Ellis is more than exciting, it is not a duo that is going to win a championship. That's not to say that Iguodala is the Warriors' missing link, but he makes the team better.

Ellis may be the better scorer, but Iguodala is a huge upgrade defensively, an upgrade on the boards and isn't a slouch on the offensive side of the ball by any means. 

His scoring numbers took a slight hit last season—14.1 points per game—but this was likely due to injuries, as he missed 15 regular-season games. But in the past, Iguodala has averaged over 18 points per game three times in his career, all while maintaining a healthy average of assists and rebounds and a solid field-goal percentage to boot. 

Let's look at this starting lineup: Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, (a much improved) Dorell Wright, David Lee and Andris Biedrins.

The Warriors are way more balanced with Iguodala. This would allow their draft to be more wide open. Like the 76ers, they're in need of front-court depth, but with a balanced starting lineup, they would be in a wonderful position to take the best man available with either of their picks (No. 11, No. 43).

There was lots of talk about the Warriors shipping Ellis out and drafting Jimmer Fredette to take his place, and while I absolutely hated that idea to begin with, if Iguodala is there to take Ellis' spot, Fredette would actually be a great pick for backup purposes and bench scoring.

However, Motiejunas seems to be a consensus pick among mock drafts. While this makes sense, I think that taking a proven scorer like Jimmer, Alec Burks or even Klay Thompson may be a better pick at No. 11. I'd even prefer to see Bismack Biyombo go to the Warriors before Motiejunas.

Whatever the case, if this trade does indeed go through, both teams are in a better position to contend than they were before, making this a rare "win-win" in the trade world.