Monte Poole: Warriors guard Monta Ellis has become expendable
By Monte Poole
His is still the last name heard when lineups are announced, he is still the last of the Warriors to step onto the basketball court, and his annual salary remains a gaudy $11 million.
Monta Ellis continues to get the trappings of star treatment from his employers, who market the veteran shooting guard as such.
Yet in the fourth quarter of their most recent game, which the Warriors lost in the final seconds, Ellis was on the bench watching backup guard Nate Robinson dominate the ball -- and, moreover, watching rookie Klay Thompson finish the game at shooting guard.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson offered an explanation, saying he made the call because Ellis wasn't feeling well.
When I asked Monta if he was OK, as he drifted out of the locker room after the game, he said he was. Granted, this may have been jock-speak, refusal to acknowledge illness.
Either way, though, it his becoming evident Ellis is dispensable.
Insofar as this was not the first time we've seen Ellis take a seat for Thompson during crucial moments, it feels as if the Warriors are closing a chapter of their history. As if the team's brain trust has decided Ellis represents the past, available in trade, to be replaced by Thompson, a 2011 lottery pick who lately has made appreciable progress.
And, yes, the long-term aspirations of the Warriors are best served by moving Ellis -- for his sake as well as theirs.
He is their best player, knows he's their best player. The Warriors know it, too.
They also realize they cannot compete for a championship if Monta, yet to be named to an All-Star team, is considered the best player on the roster.
General manager Larry Riley insists he and assistant Bob Myers are exploring all options in an attempt to acquire a legitimate big man. Names keep surfacing, a Dwight Howard here, a Chris Kaman there. Riley and Myers will keep at it. They must.
For as long as he remains a Warrior, and the team struggles, Ellis will be on the market. Management all but concedes he might have to go, and Monta lives with the possibility. He's 26 years old, a proven scorer and one of the league's five most exciting shooting guards, all of which should make him desirable to a contender in search of backcourt scoring.
That Ellis is only 6-foot-3 and has become accustomed to the privileges of being the top dog on his team gives potential trade partners cause to pause.
Meanwhile, Jackson and Riley have to figure out how to present the emerging reality to the team's second-most tenured player.
How do they keep Monta engaged, show him the respect he has earned, while carefully shifting their allegiance to Thompson?
How does Jackson achieve symmetry between the two while simultaneously trying to make good on co-owner Joe Lacob's vow to make the playoffs this season?
Thompson clearly stands to be part of the future -- unless the Warriors absolutely have to include him in a trade package that would deliver an All-Star big man. Even then, they would grit their teeth while trading him. He's smart and confident, with a pristine jump shot. He's 4 inches taller than Ellis, four years younger and, not to be dismissed, considerably cheaper.
Without that impact trade, the Warriors, as currently constituted, will not get anywhere near the playoffs.
They could not get past Portland on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena, despite the Trail Blazers being without their best player, power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
"It would have been nice to win all three," Riley says of the home games this week. "But now we're going to find out if we're really making progress, whether we have any chance of going anywhere."
With the Warriors (11-15) backing into the toughest stretch of their season -- nine games in nine cities, over 18 days, beginning Friday at Oklahoma City -- the truth will be revealed. They embark on this stretch in 12th place in the 15-team Western Conference.
They are, to be sure, creeping toward the March 15 trade deadline in their usual predicament, with more losses than wins, needing a big man who can make a difference and earnestly working the phones in hopes of finding one.
With Ellis continuing to start and play most of the minutes at shooting guard, even as Thompson asserts himself.
With Riley and Myers knowing they have four weeks to work some magic, otherwise the franchise faces yet another empty April.
THE Sixers can offer the Warriors Lou Williams, Spencer Hawes and their 2012 Draft Pick for Monta Ellis... The Warriors keep a high volume scorer and add a solid young Center and draft pick, they may also take a step backward ensuring they keep their own draft pick near the top half of the draft...The Sixers get the scoring they need in Monta and they keep Holiday, Turner and Iguadola too...They Warriors get deeper and add a pick to build around Curry, Thompson and Lee...
those pull a guy from pitching in the 3rd inning because he had just been traded situations. I didn't get it, he looked pi$$ed on the bench and I thought he might have got into it with Mark Jackson and they just didnt show it. The announcers brought it up several times. The best reason to trade Ellis is that that Warriors lose their 2012 first round pick if its not a top 7 pick. In a good draft and the clock ticking till Curry looks for brighter lights. Eliis is good and they should keep him because he has a long term deal thats he paid about his worth. In the new NBA having a guy who is good locked is a real asset because small markets can trade for these guys and keep them locked up. How else could the Bucks or Cavs bring in a good to elite guy if not through the draft. Guys like Ellis and Rudy Gay are more valuable even though they used to be undumpable because of their longterm deals.
i was looking at that game and i was shocked when they pulled out wright and curry on a offensive situation. i was like i know monta is shoot for the tie at the buzz... they ended up benching him and isolating nate robinson...with wright and klay. smh
Bucks should really jump on this, that team is in desperate need of an offensive creator when BJ is just chucking.
Bucks get: Monta Ellis, 2012 2nd round pick
Warriors get: Stephen Jackson and Carlos Delfino
Bucks get another offensive creator and one of the leagues top scorers for one of the worst offenses in the league. Warriors get a big veteran SG that can play defense and create for himself in the post, mid-range or spotting up for three, also Delfino an underrated player who can backup Dorrel and also knock down a good % from 3.
"How do they keep Monta engaged, show him the respect he has earned, while carefully shifting their allegiance to Thompson?". How stupid do they think Monta is? He can clearly see the writing on the wall, you keep him engaged with playing time until you ship him out. To me this is the kind of actions that kills a team, if hes that a determent to the team move him, take the best offer and file it under addition by subtraction. The team is already young, why would you want this kind of distraction?
would a trade with minny work out?
Dude has been expendable for a while. He is an awesome scorer and a very fun player to watch. The thing is, their is a reason he has not been an All-Star. His team does not win. I know that Stephen Curry has had issues with his ankle, but that kid is the goods. I really think he is the better all-around player of the two and his offensive skill set should maintain while Monta's athleticism will be fleeting. Sooner or later, you are going to have to get rid of either Monta or Stephen, I am honestly surprised it has not happened sooner.
Monta himself said you cannot win with them as a backcourt. He has been absolutely right. They need some beef up front, but I do not think that Spencer Hawes is the answer. Nor is Monta Ellis Lite (which is actually what "Lou Williams" translates to in Swahili). It is not an awful option, but I think that the Warriors should look to upgrade the wing (Dorrell Wright can use fewer minutes) and I would like them to get a more sturdy, defensive 4 or 5. Hawes got off to a good start, but he and David Lee spells disaster.
Warriors may get 60 cents on the dollar for Monta so I wanna know why my trade doesn't make a little sense... The Warriors wanted Kaman at one point, well Hawes is a younger version ...They need baskets when they trade Monta and what better option then Lou Williams...
What about Iggy and Hawes for Ellis and Wright...
by the trade he proposes. You must be a Sixer fan because there is no way Monte Ellis can only bring in a six man(albiet he would be a starter on most), a free agent to be (Hawes) who is going to be overpaid( while keeping Beidrins and Kwame, they would have like 24 million dollars worth of bad center) and a pick no better than 23.
next year, will anyone suggest that a team cant win with Stephen Curry as a point guard. I dont think so, people have fan favorites, why I agree Monte seems like that guy you cant win with (Singletary: "cant do it won't do it") Curry might be in the same situation. Great offense but more a defensive liability than Ellis because of lack of athleticism. Someone may be able to teach Monte how to play defense, he has the physical tools and instincts. Curry no pure point guard either and Klay would have to prove he can penetrate to replace Ellis.
And I can't see him getting more than the 7 million the Warriors pay Kwame Brown... Louis Williams would be a great 3rd guard with Curry N'and Thompson in the starting lineup... adding a another draft pick can help them move up to select the big man of their choice...no one in the NBA is going to trade an all star level big man for an under sized scorer... so explain to me what trades sound fair in your mind...
As a Warriors fan, I would take Scare Crows trade in a heartbeat. Lou Williams is imensly underated, and I feel that he can aduquetly fill Monta's mintues, and in the process we get a much needed big.
I say Jamison for Ellis and Beidrins straight up. (We) Cleveland takes Monte Ellis and put him with a coach who was him in his prime and is no rookie head coach. He needs a coach who is not a sap or afraid of players. Scott could do wonders for Ellis and I think him and Irving both at 6'3 could hold up on defense. Beidrins has 9 mil coming for 3 years, thats ridiculous. They get cap room and (we) Cavs will throw in a top 22 protected pick into infinity. They wont see that pick for at least 4 years. Or send the protected pick we got from Sacramento for Hickson. Who woulda predicted Cavs won that trade?
You are under rated as a poster...I thought it fair to add a draft pick to sweeten the deal for Golden State... I just don't think many teams are willing to trade a Center or Power Forward for an undersized SG... I think Ellis is a great player and would be a a good trade chip but GM's are not making those kinda trades in the New NBA...
I would be happy to do that trade if I were the Warriors. I guess you would have Evan Turner play the 3, with Monta next to Jrue. I am not sure that makes your team any better, especially seeing that Iggy is a large reason why the team is doing so well. I do not know why you want Monta so badly, Scarecrow. It just seems like he has done little to prove he can help your team win games, while Iggy seems to be doing a decent job with that. I would like that Warriors end of that trade a lot more.
Iggy is getting 13.5 and up for the next three years. That's a lot of dough. He's good and a great all around player but I think the Warriors would rather have Thad Young. No Sixers fan a add Thad Young in the deal because he has more value per dollar than Iggy.
I dont really even want Monta lol...I'm just playing internet GM... If the Sixers could steal Monta for cheap and keep Holiday, Turner and Iguadola then I'm all for it...I want to keep that trio plus Thad Young at all cost... Lou Will, Jodie, Nocioni, Hawes and Brackins call all go next year in my eyes, Amnesty Brand and dump those players and we've got Max Cap space, I'd gladly take a shot a shot in the dark to try to sign Dwight Howard and overpay for Beasley...
Whoa there, I never said I wanted Iggy for Monta, I've been against those talks from the start. Monta is just a notch below elite as far as scoring ability goes, he is really underated, and the reason I would take Lou Williams and Hawes for Monta is because Lou Will is very underated also, and we need a big, and this gives us more depth, and although our undersized backcourt hurts us, the Mavs have proved that you can have two guys under 6'4 in your backcourt and still be successfull, but then again, the Mavs did have Stevenson and now Carter to back Terry up.
Philadelphia is an interesting team. If they're interested, I could see GSW wanting Turner.
monta is a elite player and great closer and finisher thats y they lost to portland cuz he wasnt in the game
lou williams and hawes for monta is an insult hes the 3rd best sg in the league
^I agree, but this is all about value, and think about it, we get an above average shooting guard and a big man, and not having Ellis allows Curry to grow more, and will let the offense flow better.
Sixers would throw in Meeks and Brackins and take back Biedrins...It makes more sense to Amnesty Biedrins next July and keep Brand for one last season...The new deal looks like this...Lou Williams, Spencer Hawes, Jodie Meeks, Craig Brackins for Monta Ellis and Andres Biedrins...
Mark Jackson is wack. I always thought Van Gundy made great points and Mark Jackson got paid to state the obvious even though they had Marv Alberts for color commentary. I loved him as a player when I was young ( he had that Andre Miller consciousness and spacing). As a adult and a highschool coach I hate him. His arms were like fat straws he and Danny Manning taught Peirce and Walker how to work out. He shot with two hands, no literally two hands in the 90's, late 90's. I see coaches on every level who dont have the personality to command respect from players and this is going to be the case in Golden State with Ellis. Mike Brown has made millions "leading" grown men who dont respect him while being a pu$$y. The Artest thing is the latest and the Cavs could have gotten Steph Jax if management thought he didnt have a chance of slapping Mike Brown one day. I do give him credit for those Artest sucks comments though, he must be paying some out of work Hollywood writer under the table. maybe he grew a pair but I doubt it.
trade curry and dorell wright for gasol sign kirilenko sign a backup pg
Lou Williams is leading the team with the 5th best record in the whole NBA in scoring. He's also in the top 5 in the league in points scored in the 4th quarter. Monta Ellis is sitting on the bench in the 4th quarter. Lou Williams averages 24ppg per 40 minutes. Monta Ellis is averaging 23 ppg per 40 minutes. Lou Williams has hit a ton of clutch shots this season and his clutch play has been the biggest reason the Sixers are now one of the better teams in the league.
So tell me why the Sixers would trade Sweet Lou for Monta, and why some people are acting like it would be a lowball trade offer when in reality the Sixers wouldn't trade Lou Williams straight up for Monta Ellis because Williams scores and wins, and Ellis scores and well he scores some more. Oh and Lou Williams plays defense.
Before this season I was a big proponent of trading Iggy for Monta but after the way Lou Williams has been playing this season it's obvious the Sixers have no need for him. I'm still hoping Iggy get's shipped out of town before the deadline tho he's went from overpaid to overrated this season.
I love Monta tho I hope he finds a team that's a better fit. And the Warrios are in an interesting predictament because they want to make the playoffs but they are way better off tanking and keeping their draft pick. It's going to be easier for them to find their big man in the draft then trading for one.
not including picks what about this trade. its just an idea and i feel like every team benefits.
First, the warrios become more defensive with gerald wallace starting at the 3 and free up the sg spot for Klay thompson to start. Also acquire a young center and makes Biedrens even more expandable to trade (if anyone wants him) The trailblazers get their fourth quarter go to guy to complement Lamarcus Aldridge and help him as well as getting a shooter in korver and allowing Batum (who's been playing really well to start). Next with the bulls they acquire a starting shooting guard for the next couple of years in Wesley Matthews who can open up the offense more. Also they get a young Luke Babbitt who needs a change of scenery and could get some minutes for the Bulls
I don't think I ever saw a trade on the ESPN trade machine where 2 teams wins werent affected at all, interesting.
The Blazers would never trade Mathews and Wallace for Ellis tho that's giving up way too much. A Wallace for Ellis trade is a really good idea though but Wallace is so important to that teams structure and their winning that I dunno if the Blazers would do it but with Batum's play of late it's possible. Ellis would certainly help them in the playoffs and I'd love to see him play in the playoffs he got the ability to catch fire and change a series by himself.
The Bobcats should move on this...give up EVERYTHING except their 1st round pick
Jaeevolution's trade made me laugh out loud, for real. It's one of the most absurd trades I've seen, and I've read DNYCE's stuff before. The Warriors would trade Monta for a 33 year old disgruntled veteran in Captain Jack, who is holding out on Milwaukee because he wants a contract extension? The man still has another year left on his deal! We kicked him off the Warriors once already! Unless the second piece in the trade was Bogut, this trade already sounds like crap. So let's just throw in a 30 year old journeyman in Delfino, who has journeyman stats and a journeyman impact (at best), and, to make this trade fair, let's have the Dubs give up a 2nd rounder!
Same thing for coachworthy. Jamison for Ellis straight up! Jamison the 35 year old player who would only be good for cap relief? And no draft picks as consolation for this? I'd rather keep Ellis even if he is expendable, thank you.
That was a very stupid article. First of all, so what if in one freaking game the coach plays another player for a spell. It is a long season and the coach might want to give the rookie some clutch minute experience. It is just one game and it isn't like the warriors are going to the playoffs and competing for a championship anyway. This was not that big a deal unless a whinny player makes a big deal out of it or announcers with nothing else to talk about decide to focus on it.
Second of all, Ellis has been expendable since half way through Curry's rookie year. Ellis might be the better athlete and hence have the chance of being the better defender, but only one of them can be put on the shortest guy on the other team. The other guy has to guard the 2G and give up height and many pounds most nights.
But it doesn't matter if Ellis is expendable, nobody wants him. Why would you want an undersized 2G who jacks shots all game but is shooting 43%? Ellis does only one elite skill, he regularly leads the league in minutes played. Either the guy has just fantastic conditioning or it is because he gets a good solid rest on the defensive end. Anyway, his Per Game stats are always juiced because he plays such huge minutes. But how many teams want to turn over their offense to this guy for 40+ minutes a night?
on the theme that people always want lopsided deals for teams they like, thats why I prefaced with I have a Cleveland tat. If it makes u happy will take Brandon Rush in the deal also and throw in Semih Erden and or Samardo Samuels (young and coming center prospects).
getting Jamison for Biedrins (9 mil) and Ellis (11 mil) lets Golden State get a top seven pick in this years draft and free up 20 mill for next year. Maybe Dwight.
I agree with most of what you said except Ellis does have elite quickness and shot making ability. The one thing I'll give Ellis is that he hits shots from the craziest angles that I haven't saw since Adam Morrison was in college.
But I'm still mad over Lou Williams being shot down like he's not playing better then Monta Ellis this year, which he is, or that if he wasn't on the Warriors right now he wouldn't be averaging the same amount of points as Ellis. I've already showed you the stats Lou Williams averages more points per 40 then Monta Ellis.
Ellis' stats are inflated and it's why he's not on the All Star team because most coaches know this.
I'm excited to see the next chapter in the Warriors franchise tho because for starters Curry, Thompson, Wright, and Rush are deadly from 3 they're gonna be bombing teams I'd like to see them find a skilled C to throw in the middle of that preferably a C that can pass really well and hit a jumper too.
Look, the reason I would take Lou Will, Hawes, and a frist round pick for Monta(and Beidrins if possible) is because Monta is a greatscorer, but so is Lou Williams. Lou is averaging 16 ppg, but in just 26 minutes a game. And in the process we get a solid big that fits our system. In fact I don't think Philly would actually make that trade unless they are really desperate for a scorer like Monta.
Yeah, Lou Williams and Triple Double Hawes isn't a bad trade. Hawes is a young big man who has had his moments and has a general trend of improving. The kid is a 7 footer and only 23. He is probably still a few years away from his physical prime (big men develop slower). Williams is playing great this year as well. But it might just be a hot streak from 3 that is doing it.
I think Lou Williams, Spencer Hawes and a late 1st rounder is a fair trade for Monta Ellis...The Warriors would save a few million and keep a guard centric unit...The biggest plus is Lou will play the 6th man role where as Ellis wouldn't play that role...