Monta Ellis is without a doubt one of the top scorers in the league, with an unparrallel ability to put the ball in the hoop. He plays shooting guard. He can score. Those are the two things the Bulls need to add in order to compete for a championship. But under no uncertain terms will the Bulls add Monta Ellis.
Carmelo Anthony or Monta Ellis, who's better? Obvious answer here, as Carmelo is a much better player. Back when the 'Melo saga was going on, the Nuggets were rumored to be willing to trade him to the Bulls. The price: Joakim Noah.
The Bulls obviously balked at sending their center to the Nuggets. Gar Forman won't send a potential 16 points, 14 rebounds a night guy, which Joakim was before he was injured, for Carmelo. And Melo is better than Ellis. If he said no to trading Noah for Melo, he will say no to trading Noah for Ellis.
A straight up trade of Noah for Ellis actually makes the Bulls significantly worse. For any quality team, there needs to be a starting defensive and rebounding presence. Carlos Boozer obviously is not. Taj Gibson doesn't count because he is a bench player. All in all, can you think of a championship team in the past ten years that did not have a quality starting center?
Okay, lets hypothetically assume trade talks take place between the Warriors and the Bulls. As mentioned on slide one, the Bulls would immediately shoot down any requests to include Noah in a deal.
That leaves Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, and Luol Deng as players that could be traded for Ellis. Absolutely no way is Derrick Rose traded. Boozer won't be traded in this deal, or any other deal for a long time (you can read about that here.)
That leaves Deng. And the Bulls will refuse to trade him, just as they will refuse to trade Noah. First off, Luol Deng is still a decently young player. No, he is not going to be 23 next season like Derrick Rose, but he has many good years left. It's easy to forget he is younger than Joakim Noah.
As the "glue guy" Deng is the perfect player for the Bulls system. He runs the floor, slashes to the basket, and plays great defense. Outside of Paul Pierce and Lebron James, he is the best small forward in the Eastern Conference.
Speaking of Lebron James, the Bulls still need to get through the Heat to make the NBA Finals. Luol Deng defends Lebron better than anyone in the league, hands down. He can limit Lebron to under 20 points for at least a few games a series. If you trade him for Monta Ellis, sure you get Ellis's 25 points a night. But Lebron will score 40 on whoever the Bulls play at the 3.
Monta Ellis's contract will also present an issue in any potential trade to the Bulls. As mentioned, Deng and Noah won't be traded, so this analysis will include their contracts as well. The Bulls starters salaries for next season are:
- Carlos Boozer $15 million
- Luol Deng $13.326 million
- Joakim Noah $11.05 million
- Monta Ellis $11 million
- Derrick Rose $9.09 million (soon to be more due to a coming extension)
As a result, the Bulls starters contracts will be, without Rose's extension, 59.466 million. While the salary cap is not known due to CBA issues, 59 million will likely be most of it. That would lock the Bulls in without any degree of cap flexibilty.
True, the Bulls would have to send 11 million to Golden State for this deal to work. That 11 million would be spread out among different players, however. Three players owed 11 million gives a team more flexibility than one player owed 11 million as the single player would be a lot harder to trade than several players.
The many different players contracts would also end at different years, with a portion of money coming off the books, instead of it all in one fell swoop. As a result, trading for Ellis would give the Bulls little money in the long run to make a trade, to have a decent bench.
Monta Ellis is known all around the league to have a terrible attitude. He is rather cocky, and doesn't put in the necessary work he should. There is no way Tom Thibodeau is going to put up with that. Management knows that, and won't trade for a player the Coach of the Year will put on the bench.
Ray Allen was known to have attitude problems before being traded to Boston, and that Thibodeau straightened him out. It won't be the same thing in Chicago.
First off, in Boston, Thibs wasn't head coach. He was most likely told, by Doc Rivers, to get Allen's attitude in check. As a result, he didn't have a choice. In Chicago, where his input is listened to, what he wants matters. Nothing he has said or done since taking over in Chicago indicates he's willing to deal with a prima donna.
Secondly, Ray Allen did not have the attitude issues that Monta Ellis does. Allen was a bit of a "me-first" guy, but Ellis is much worse. According to multiple and constant reports, Ellis quits on his team during games, and shows up late to meetings and practices. It's not a stretch to assume he would walk out on his team during a game. No way Tom Thibodeau puts up with that, or lets management trade for a player who does that.
Derrick Rose is an incredible player, but he is rather short. He is listed at 6'3'', and measured in at 6'1'' at the NBA combine without shoes. I also know a friend who got lucky and sat court-side, and was just a few feet from Derrick Rose for a couple hours. The friend is 6 foot, and said he was taller than Derrick.
Liberties are always taken while doing measurements, normally an inch or two. If an inch liberty was given to Derrick Rose at the combine, he could be 6''. Any way you slice it, Derrick Rose is very small for a point guard. No one really cares though, as he is so talented.
Strategically, it makes sense for the Bulls to have some height at the 2 guard spot. Gar Forman and John Paxson have several tendencies as front office guys. They tend to find a trend they like, and stick to it. The Bulls had four shooting guards on the roster last season. The shortest was 6'5'', everyone else was 6'7''.
Monta Ellis is listed at 6'3''. But then again, so is Derrick Rose and we know he is shorter than that. Trading for Ellis would be completely against everything the Bulls and management has recently done, in terms of his height.
*Note the picture: Ellis is the short guy on the right.
Derrick Rose is the star. The home-grown talent. The best athlete the city has seen his MJ. Nothing is going to get in his way.
Derrick is most effective when in transition, or when driving the lane. His recently acquired jumper is going to continue to get better, but the staple of his game will always be his speed.
As a result, for Rose to be effective, he needs the ball in his hands. It's the same thing for Monta Ellis. Ellis needs the ball in his hands the majority of the time to be an effective player and score the amount he does.
Here's an example: according to ESPN, Rose takes 19 shots a game. Ellis takes 20. Either way, if you pair both players together, each won't get enough shots, and their effectiveness will decline.
Plus, do you honestly want to hinder Derrick Rose's development, at the pace he is going. It's not like he was the youngest MVP of all time or anything.
The final reason why the Bulls won't trade for Ellis is his total lack of ability on the defensive end. Rather, not lack of ability on defense, but lack of effort.
Tom Thibodeau can turn pretty much any NBA player into a high-level defender. Derrick Rose was never known for his defense, but he was much improved this year under Thibodeau. It seems reasonable that a similar change could take place with Ellis.
The difference is effort. Rose is willing to work hard on the defensive end, while Ellis does not seem to care about defense. Oh sure, he makes a play every once in a while, but it just doesn't seem like his head is in the game when the other team has the ball.
Thibodeau showed he wasn't above benching the Bulls $80 million dollar offseason acquisition for terrible defense, and terrible effort on defense. He will do the same with anyone the Bulls trade for. Management realizes this, and won't trade assets for a player that will be benched in several fourth quarters this season due to bad defense.