NBA Trade Speculation: 10 Deals to Get Monta Ellis off the Golden State Warriors
(Notice the inclusion of the word "young," which makes the claim subjective and therefore, undebatable. I digress.)
Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry have similar skill sets. Both are able to handle the ball, shoot the three and penetrate the paint.
Unfortunately, they also both have the will to be the leader of the Warriors, and Ellis tempered his frustration with being looked over by the media in favor of Curry, even though he had been in Golden State longer.
With the arrival of new head coach Mark Jackson, now may be a good time for Ellis to find a new home and the Warriors to tinker with their starting lineup.
Here, in no particular order, are 10 teams that would be a good fit for Ellis.
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This trade seems like a clear win for the 76ers. A deal like this indicates that Ellis is very unhappy in Golden State, and the Warriors are just trying to get some sort of value.
Ellis could add some energy to Philadelphia's starting lineup, which faded at the end of the season.
Iguodala could add some veteran playoff experience, but it's otherwise a downgrade.
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I knew the Chicago Bulls would be good this year, but I had no idea they'd be that good.
Or should I say that he would be that good.
Sure, the pieces around Rose are admirable, but they will have to be more consistent next year since Rose will assuredly see more defensive schemes against him.
Luol Deng is a very good player, yes. But Monta Ellis is a budding star with the ability to drive to the rim like Rose.
Ellis' defensive prowess would fit in perfectly with Bulls' coach Tom Thibodeau's defensive-minded system.
Los Angeles Lakers
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Talk about a deal that makes great sense! I think Monta Ellis would be a perfect fit in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown is the new man in town, and he, like Tom Thibodeau, is defense-oriented, making Ellis an attractive option.
With Kobe Bryant putting his back to the basket on the block more often now, Ellis would spread the defense for the Los Angeles offense because of his three-point range.
The Lakers not only have a need for a shooting guard; they have the players to get a deal done with ease.
Two of their three big men (Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum) are on the trading block now that a new regime has taken over.
Isn't Bryant more of a small forward at this point in his career, anyway?
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If a deal that sends Monta Ellis to the Atlanta Hawks goes down, I see it as being similar to the guard-for-guard deal that we saw with the 76ers.
The Hawks have bona All-Stars at the shooting guard and small forward positions, which means that any deal that would bring in Ellis would most likely involve shipping on of those guys out.
Those guys are Josh Smith and Joe Johnson.
Josh Smith had another terrific season in 2011, averaging 16.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds. He is still young at age 25 and could conceivably get even better.
Joe Johnson, on the other hand, realized his fifth consecutive year of diminishing points per game. Johnson has found a home in Atlanta and has led them from the poorhouse of the East to perennial contenders.
But his days in Atlanta could be numbered if Ellis becomes a real possibility.
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The NBA has changed significantly in the past decade. Players have more control than ever before on what their teams look like.
Whether that is a good thing or not is another argument.
For the Orlando Magic, finding some firepower for Dwight Howard is of utmost importance. Howard has also been rumored to be wanting a trade, specifically to the Los Angeles Lakers. That would be nasty.
Jason Richardson failed to find his rhythm in Orlando after being traded from the Phoenix Suns.
How fitting would it be for Richardson to go home to Golden State, where his star was born, and Ellis emerge as a top scorer in the NBA at the same time? I like it.
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Oh, please let this one come true!
The Memphis Grizzlies have an embarrassment of riches at guard. Actually, they should have an embarrassment of riches. Instead, it's just an embarrassment.
The Grizz used their first round pick to select Kansas' Xavier Henry in last year's draft. He was sidelined most of the year with an arm injury.
O.J. Mayo is out of the good graces of head coach Lionel Hollins and was going to be traded at the deadline had the deal been made sooner.
Tony Allen and Sam Young, as much as I love their guts, are simply not NBA-caliber starters.
Ellis' tough attitude and heart on the defensive in would be great in FedEx Forum.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks are just one player away from forming the third Big Three in the Eastern Conference.
They have everything in the world to offer Monta Ellis in terms of sponsorships, an opportunity to win and media exposure.
It really comes down to whether or not both sides pull the trigger.
David Lee, a former New York Knick, found his way at the end of the 2011 season and paved the first road between New York and Golden State's front offices.
Personally, I don't think this would be a good fit for Ellis. Carmelo Anthony tends to slow the game down and go one-on-one, which would nullify Ellis' tremendous speed.
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It's the last hurrah for the Phoenix Suns.
They were just six games out of the playoffs after being in even tighter contention throughout the season. Their aging roster got tired.
Steve Nash is one of the games best point guards ever. His passing ability is as keen as ever. But you can't deny it—he's 37 years old.
If Golden State really feels they have a shot within the next two years, they could move Monta Ellis for the supposedly available Nash and slide Stephen Curry over to shooting guard.
It's a lot of moving around, but it definitely injects some youth in the old Phoenix roster and a chance to win now for Golden State.
Los Angeles Clippers
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The Los Angeles Clippers are in talks about sending center Chris Kaman to the Warriors for Monta Ellis.
Eric Gordon mans the shooting guard position quite well for the Clippers already. Mo Williams was traded for during the season to run the point.
In my eyes, the guard spots are not only taken, but taken by some real quality talent. Perhaps the Clippers are thinking about moving Williams to the bench. One can only wonder.
This just doesn't make sense to me, but it's out there, so I had to include it.
Portland Trail Blazers
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The Portland Trail Blazers are very close to being a threat to go to the Western Conference Finals.
Overlooked by many at the beginning of the 2011 season, the Trail Blazers were led by the force that is Lamarcus Aldridge underneath and the timeless play of Andre Miller out top.
Brandon Roy is not to be depended upon. He's a great guy on and off the court, but those knees will simply not cooperate.
If Portland has the opportunity to move Greg Oden, get some sort of value from him and add Monta Ellis to their starting five, I think they could be a top three team in the West in 2012.
Don't Do It!
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Even with the rumors flying and the likelihood of Monta Ellis' departure, I'm still pulling for the Golden State Warriors to keep him.
Ellis has fast become a fan favorite, and it appears as though he is mature enough to share the spotlight with Stephen Curry.
The Warriors should be buyers, not sellers!