14 March 2012

Did the Warriors get fleeced in the Monta Ellis trade?

We've got the first major trade of the NBA trade deadline period, which is Thursday. The Golden State Warriors sent star guard Monta Ellis along with young forward Epke Udoh and the venerable Kwame Brown to Milwaukee with the Bucks giving up Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. I can't help but feel that Milwaukee clearly got the better of this trade.

I understand Warriors owner Joe Lacob has vowed to make bold moves to get Golden State back to the playoffs. I also understand the basic reasoning of this trade, trading from your guard surplus (the talented Klay Thompson will replace Ellis in the lineup) to get some help down low.

But Bogut is a very good center, when he is healthy, which he never is nor is he right now. If he was healthy, he would allow David Lee to focus on what he does best, which is not banging down low with centers as he simply is not a center. But like I said, Bogut may be in the prime of his career but his injury problems are too big to ignore. And while Stephen Jackson can still play in my mind, he's known for being a disgruntled player and particularly this season as he had been complaining about wanting a new long-term contract, which he will not get in Oakland. Plus, you are giving up the talented Udoh, who already had developed into one of the best defenders on the team and one of their best post defenders in years.

I do understand that the Warriors needed to get a presence at center for the first time in seemingly forever and would have to deak from their surplus of guards because the style they've been playing for years has not worked with Ellis and Stephen Curry at the guards. But Ellis is having the best season of his career with a per-game average of 22 points a game and a career high six assists. I would have thought maybe the Warriors could have gotten a little better than a very good center who is consistently injured. But now while Milwaukee has a hole down low, they have one of the most exciting backcourts in the league plus now they can make a playoff push.

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