Business is rough. People in the business have to make hard decisions. And with those hard decisions, people who are in those decisions will have to really see how big of a person they are. While it is a fan’s job to attach themselves to players, boo them when they are not doing well and party like it’s (Whatever year you want it to be), it is the GM and owner’s job to calculate how valuable a player really is to the team now and the future. And as a player, you’ve got to have thick skin, no matter how long you’ve been with one team. We’ve all seen it. In every sports. There are few players who stick with one team for their entire career. It just doesn’t happen anymore and it’s as if you almost come to expect it.
Monta Ellis was drafted by the Warriors in the 2005 draft, second round, 10th on draft day. He didn’t play any college basketball, being the few who made the jump from high school. So to see him mature and grow as a player and person, it is refreshing to see (though he does have a few mishaps, mostly off the court stuff, of late).
He was suppose to take over Baron Davis’ scoring, once he matured enough and Davis’ sailed off into the sunset. But management made some ridiculous personnel moves and that plan fell through. Ellis had to come into his own very quickly and he transition rather well.
Come four years later and the Warriors have the number seven in the 2009 draft. They need a point guard and Stephen Curry fits the bill. Drafted by the Warriors at number 7, Curry had just wowed the country with two great NCAA tournies, leading the small Davidson to the big dance. He showcased he could carry the scoring load but also get his teammates the ball. In management’s mind, Curry was the piece that would help Ellis propel to the next level (all-star?!?!!??) and get this team moving in the right direction. Also, having a very good point guard is attractive to wings and bigs because they’ll know if they get open, their PG will find them.
Three years later, the exciting formula that was there in 2009 is no longer there. This year, Curry has been plagued by injury and their time together has been short and infrequent. And while there was a general question on the size of the back court, it has gotten more evident that their lack of size is hindering their ability to be defensively as great as they need to be. Ellis has yet to emerge as a person to build a franchise around. Seven years with a team and a team that is willingly for him to shoulder many responsibilities, his leadership qualities have yet to emerge. Simply put, around the league, there is no doubt he can score and score in a hurry. But his lack of desire to play any type of defense has turned many teams away.
I'd be crying too with all these trade talks.
So with the trading deadline two days away, it seems like the Warriors might do something to improve the team. The two assets that have any value is Curry and Ellis, but with Curry’s ankle issues, it is unlikely a team would want to take him now and the fact that the Warriors do see Curry as their cornerstone for the franchise in the future if not now. So with simple math, it would most likely seem that they would move Ellis if they get something really high in value in return. Ellis’ name has been circulating throughout the trade market for several years, but I believe this year would be the year he would actually move, if moved. The Orlando Magic had inquired to acquire him to appease Dwight Howard, but the Warriors will not let Ellis go without getting Dwight in return. Clearly this trade is not going down, unless something dramatically changes.
A great paragraph was written by John Hollinger on ESPN.com (you’ll have to be an “Insider” to read it). He breaks down on how much of a disappointment the Curry and Elllis as a backcourt has been. Read a sneak peek below:
“A fun little tidbit from the new stats gizmo at NBA.com: The Warriors are plus-15 this season when Steph Curry plays and Monta Ellis are on the bench but minus-119 when Ellis plays and Curry is on the pine. The season before, they were plus-23 with Curry and no Ellis but minus-191 with Ellis and no Curry. The season before that, the tally was plus-122 with Curry and no Ellis and minus-89 for the opposite.
So, for the three seasons those two have been together, Golden State has outscored its opponents by 160 points when Curry plays and Ellis sits despite being badly outscored overall. And, in the opposite situation, the Warriors have been outscored by 399 points.”*
Interesting little read in the sense that the Warriors have done better with Ellis riding the pine than vice versa. I can’t clearly remember when is the last time Ellis sat (if anything, he is durable, minus the time he went on his scooter and hurt himself), and he can flat out score. But with all these statistics, it shows that he is more a hinderance than a help. And with three years left at $11 million, this is a contract that would be nice to shed to have more money to throw around (minus stupid Andris Bedrien’s contract who is making $9 million a year for the next three years?!?!!?? Comparatively, Stephen Curry is making almost $3.2 for the next two years. Please get rid of Beidrins!!! Or at least amnesty his sorry butt out of here!)
Trade deadline is Thursday. Until then, sleep tight Monta.
*”Trade Deadline: Buyer’s Guide” by John Hollinger for ESPN.com