The season just officially ended, the new season doesn't begin for 4 months and the Warriors are already coming apart at the seams. Reports from Tim K., Andrew Katz, Draft Express all point to Ellis being unhappy with the W's and wanting out. Potential lottery picks are refusing to workout for the Warriors. Not surprising that the front office turmoil, lack of leadership, combined with injuries, unclear rotations and expectations have eroded any confidence that players, agents, prospects have in the organization. The hard line taken with Monta 'Ducati' Ellis by Rowell certainly didn't endear him to the franchise, and any good will generated by his prior success with Golden State is long gone. With Mullin gone, there is no 'former player' friendly face of the franchise left.
The Warriors have made it clear that their future is a Biedrins/Ellis combo, they are both locked up with long term contracts. Knowing that the Warriors hate wasting money, and are unlikely to want to reprint any of their marketing materials, they need to make the Ellis situation work… at least until they have finished selling season tickets, or can work out a trade for a big name.
So a visit to their star 170lb combo guard seems like a good idea. Rowell and Riley said there was a Nelson/Riley visit planned, it happened, the current speculation is, what happened at that meeting.
With a team that isn't playoff bound, any player should be on the block. It takes at least 2 stars to win in this league, 1 and a solid supporting cast can get you to the playoffs. The Warriors have no stars, only potential stars, so all of their pieces should be available. Monta is gifted, fast, a good mid-range shooter with potential, but he isn't a point guard. He is also too small to guard other 2's.
Nelson and Riley have seen enough to know what they have in Ellis and what they are likely to get out of him. Why give him a guarantee that he would be the point this year? With the draft less than 2 weeks away it doesn't give the Warriors much time to do a deal. If they fail to do a deal for Ellis, then they need to live up to their promise or the situation will blow up at the draft. Any remaining leverage the Warriors have will dissapear, and we will be forced into another trade where we send quality disgruntled talent elsewhere, for mediocre players or picks.
When evaluating the reports and possibilities of the Warriors draft, and roadmap, the key insight to have is that the Warriors are not about championships. Their goal for this year is to get back to the playoffs, 8th seed is fine, get Nelson his record victories, to drive season ticket sales next year. When you look at the Warriors with this view, their off season strategy becomes clearer.
Good clarification from Swopa in the forum:
The following sentence from the Kawakami piece last night probably sums up most people's understanding of the Ellis situation:
"One source indicates that Ellis came out of the Nelson/Riley meeting with the understanding that they would not draft a play-making guard."
Except for one thing — that's not the full sentence. Here's the whole thing, with emphasis added:
"One source indicates that Ellis came out of the Nelson/Riley meeting with the understanding that they would not draft a play-making guard to usurp Ellis' standing."
The message in the first sentence is, "We won't draft a point guard."
The message in the second sentence is, "If we draft a point guard, it's not to replace you."
Draft hysteria is in full swing this season, please keep in mind the following 'fawning over players' schedule when posting in the forum.
Saturday was Flynn, yesterday was Jennings and today is Curry.
Here is the remaining schedule:
Tuesday – Harden
Wednesday – DeRozan
Thursday – Thabeet
Friday – Holiday
Saturday – Evans
Sunday – Hill
Monday – Rubio
Tuesday – Trade the pick