Although the Warriors season ended once again without a playoff appearance, one could still make the argument that it was a successful campaign as far as fan interest goes. Indeed, the Dubs averaged 18,692 fans per home game (10th best in the league) because they put a fun and entertaining squad out on the court every night.

Heck, fans of other teams began tuning in to watch the Warriors because of the high-octane offense and potential to see the team score north of 65 points in one half.

At the center of it all during the 2010-11 regular season, was the face of the franchise Monta Ellis.  His scoring outbursts as well as his clutch play in some late games led to a yearlong ongoing debate: build around Steph Curry or Monta Ellis?

Our very own Ethan Sherwood Strauss was in favor of building around the former Davidson star given Ellis’ shortcomings on the defensive end as well as his ability to at times turn the playbook into the Monta Offense. In contrast, I thought that the backcourt had a chance to function, but that a strong commitment to the defensive side of the ball was in order for the union to work.

And yet, it seems that the front office has slowly begun to warm up to Mr. Strauss’ stance on the debate. Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times reported earlier this week that although the Dubs aren’t actively shopping Monta, they seem to view him as their biggest trade chip.

The end result is that between now and the NBA draft, we should probably warm up to the idea of Monta’s name being involved in multiple trade scenarios. Currently, the names being floated around involve Andre Iguodala, Luol Deng and just recently Rudy Gay.

Rudy Gay would be an excellent addition, however the Grizzlies probably view him as their guy. And considering that they are a playoff team, I would be hard pressed to see them swap him for Ellis.

Iguodala on the other hand does present an interesting set of skills (scoring, playmaking, rebounding and defending). And although Philadelphia made the playoffs last season, the city is not enamored with Iggy, which may well reflect what the 76ers franchise thinks of him as well at this point.

With that said, gauging Monta Ellis’ value is the way to go right now, however it’s important to be patient (which is what the Warriors are currently doing) and not just jump at the first deal that gets offered.

For all of his ball dominating ways, Monta was an integral part to whatever success the Dubs achieved last season and could still end up doing the same for the team next season should they decide to keep him on the roster.

Which begs the question: should Monta Ellis even be on the trading block? Or would the team be better off in exploring what they could obtain for David Lee or perhaps even the underachieving Andris Biedrins?

It would be a huge disservice to the team if Monta were traded without being able to answer those questions first. Consider that he was available for 80 games, played 40.3 minutes per game on his way to averaging 24.1 points and 5.6 assists per game on 45.1 percent field goal shooting; and well it’s clear that we are not talking about just an average talent.

Ellis was available for all but two games this past season and managed to log tons of court time for the Warriors. But then again, citing those facts does also make him an attractive player to other teams in the league and thus will lead to several inquiries about him.

The franchise might chose to stand pat or might decide to ship him away, but for lack of a better term, he played this past season like a Warrior.

Let’s hope that never gets lost in the shuffle.

Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at [email protected]. You can also find me on Twitter with the handle name @ShyneIV.

14 Responses

  1. Jake

    Ellis and Curry could co-exist if they had a solid defense behind them. Which they don’t and probably won’t be able to unless they make a trade. And I’d rather see Ellis go because 1) he is in his prime and probably won’t get any better which means if we are to trade him, do it now, 2) shooting guards are easier to acquire in the league than point guards, and 3) it would give Curry the ball enough to develop into a star. Who do we trade Monta for?

    Luol Deng- I’ve seen this one and totally disagree. It’s silly to think Deng’s defense can make up for Monta’s scoring ability.

    Rudy Gay- I don’t like this trade. Rudy Gay would not improve the team much considering how players’ positions would have to move.

    Andre Iguodala- Plausible. A great defender that rebounds and has the potential to score with a great passer like Curry on his team. I think if the Warriors were to make this trade though they should get the Sixer’s second round pick.

    Andrew Bynum- Perfect but highly unlikely. He will probably be traded to the Magic if the Lakers do indeed try to acquire Howard.

    If Monta and Curry are to co-exist they need a center. If they could sign Nene (they would probably have to trade away players to free cap space… Anybody want Biedrins?) you could see a playoff bound Warriors team,

  2. Daniel

    Saying Monta and Curry can’t co-exist is…well, quite honestly, stupid. You can say you’re doubtful, you can say it’s unlikely, and I’d probably agree — but cannot? You let me know when you’ve seen footage of an 82-game season with Monta, Curry, and a competent center & bench that are built to defend, then get back to me.

    Oh, what’s that? You haven’t seen it? Well, of course — instead, the Warriors had a mismatched bench that can’t defend and a center that’s a mediocre defender.

    So…until such time as the team is built to address it’s weakness as well as it’s strengths, any conjecture about Monta and Curry not being able to play and win together is silly. If you don’t believe the Warriors front office capable of seeing their weaknesses and addressing them via draft/free agency, well then ship off Monta, by all means — but if they can’t do it with Monta, how can they do it without him?

    Personally, I’m going to give them a shot — the Warriors back court has been together 2 years, one of which was dysfunctional (Nellie) and the other of which was transitional (Keith Smart). I’m thinking that under those circumstances, the possibilities of winning with that back court have not been fully explored.

  3. Brandon Byer

    Monta Ellis is a nice player, but Warriors fans if we would like to get any better defensively trading Monta is the best thing we can do. I think Curry has much more upside in the future than Monta because Monta can really only score.Curry is passer and makes his teammates better, Monta deson’t. If we got Igoudala from the 76ers we could really have a sarting five that’s dangerous with Udoh, Wright, Curry, Lee and Iggy. We could also obtain a draft pick from Philly in that deal. Warriors fans need to stop about how Monta and Curry can work because they can’t and that’s just how it’s. We didn’t show much improvement from last year defensively and that has got to change!

  4. Paul

    This was taken from espn daily dime:

    Ethan Sherwood Strauss (WarriorsWorld/TrueHoop) I do write about a team I dislike. That team starts Monta Ellis at shooting guard.

    This somes up everything, these folks aren’t fans there just here to stir up s!?t.

  5. Paul

    Ellis re-ignited my love in the NBA. He’s is one of the most exiting players to watch. Meidia types like Strauss and kawikami have been trying to add fuel to the fire on why the warriors need to trade Ellis, by presenting stats with faulty and ignorant interpretion.

    The warriors will do, what they have always done. If Ellis is traded, he’ll come back light us up for forty and make all the straussakami’s eat their words.

  6. WarriorsGo

    The arguement everyone seems to forget is Curry has only played 2 seasons of basketball and in my opinion is better then anybody in the last 2 years draft other then Griffon. So Curry is putting up these numbers with only 2 seasons played and Ellis is putting up these numbers with 7 years played. Ellis is in his prime and means that hes not going to grow into much more then he is now. If you want to build for the future you obvious go for Curry. Yes Curry turns the ball over alot for a point gaurd, but you forget to mention that he has to share the ball with another guy who is concidered at times a point gaurd in Ellis. You guys look at the stats and I dont know where you are getting them, but Ellis turns the ball over more then Curry this season and has less assists. Ellis scored 24 points a game and has 5+assists and 3+ turnovers a game. What does this tell me? Ellis Handles the ball ALOT and how is Curry supposed to learn the point gaurd position when hes not given the full reins to run the show. If Ellis can go back to the way he played with BD then I can see this working, but Ellis seems past that and acts like he is Kobe Bryant which im sorry he will never be because he is 6’3 and doesnt play with Shaq. Its alot easier to find gaurds who can score points then it is to find a point gaurd who can shoot 48% 44% from 3s and 90+% from the free throw line in only their 2nd year. Turn overs will get lower in the future after getting used to running the show and learning how defenses react, but you cant teach or learn out of nowhere how to shoot like curry does. Curry has great vision also, but takes to many risks. Once he settles down he can be a great player, not just a good player.


    I love people who say two 6′ 3″ guards can coexist when the DUBS were LAST in the NBA in rebounding. The second most important thing to do on the court next to scoring which we never have a problem with. So yes we have to choose between Curry and Monta and I pick Curry. The second best shooter percentage wise in the first two years in the NBA.

    Don’t get it twisted, Monta is a superstar. He is on the cusp of All-Star and second tier players and would not enjoy seeing him part. From a business side though, he is at his peak trade value wise and we could work on our rebounding issue. Andrew Bynum from LA would work. Or i high draft pick would be a nice option too. Or a player and a draft pick. Could you imagine what the DUBS would be like if they could get Skeen AND Faried in this years draft, and A.I. from the 76ers, Make Philly though in the 1st round draft pick too and that could happen. I just think that Curry should have some say in which direction the team should go in if you are gonna take somebody outta his back court on his team.

    I do remember Curry saying he wouldnt mind playing with Iggy after the gold medal USA team experience. I think management should talk to the leader of the team before making player decisions as they are the ones who have to work together at the end of the day.

    Ohh n btw Rudy Gay isn’t the man over in Memphis. Once he got hurt they started winning. He might not be the same after injury and we already turned that offer down, or so I thought. I read that in the WW article and disagreed.

  8. Garrett Flippin

    I don’t even like the idea of having to choose between Monta or Stephen. Where is it written that an NBA team can’t have two explosive guards who are 6’3. Not just any 6’3 guards but players who have been constant professionals, leaders, excitingly skilled offensively gifted human beings. How can you call Monta a ball hog when he is team leader in assists? He has lapses defensively but he also is a league leader in steals. Steph trails Monta in both steals and assists and yet he’s better to lead the franchise? Did we forget all the times Steph fouled his way on to the bench or just completely loses his man? How about the game against the Celtics in Boston where Monta put up 40 plus points and Steph made a crucial turnover in the 4th. OR the game against the Clippers where Monta intercepted Blake Griffin alley oop and then passed the ball downcourt for a play? Say what you want about both players but they both played ALOT of basketball in 2010/2011, they did some good things, some bad things but they’ll be better next season especially in Gold and Blue if we surround them with players worthy of sharing their position.
    The Jazz had Hornacek and Stockton The Mav’s have Terry and Kidd. The idea that two small guards can’t win in the NBA isn’t a salient argument anymore. This past season the warriors have beaten The Magic, Bulls, Thunder, Grizzlies, Blazers, Pacers, Lakers, Hornets, Mavs, Knicks, Sixers, at least once. all of these teams made the playoffs, have all star potential backcourt players, and are looking to repeat playoff appearances next year, the warriors WILL NOT be able to beat any of these teams at least once next season , let alone make the playoffs if they Trade away Monta OR Steph. The Warriors roster needs DEPTH not through subtraction but ADDITION.
    The Free Agent Market is shallow of reputable Big Men, so why would you think anyone like Tyson Chandler , DeAndre Jordan or Nene would come here? Especially with the offensive firepower you traded away in Monta or Steph. That’s NOT a situation any self respecting center would jump into.
    There are however plenty of Shooting Guards and Small Forwards out on the market like Daequan Cook, Chris Douglas Roberts, Jason Richardson(maybe), CJ Miles, Nick Young, Micheal Redd, Gary Forbes, Shawne Williams, Grant Hill, Ime Udoka, Jeremy Evans.
    Bottom Line is that its completely plausible to keep both Monta and Steph while acquiring players that compliment their game and provide size and defense. The Draft could net players like Klay Thompson or Jordan Hamilton @ 11th pick and Jajuan Johnson\or Nikola Vucevic @the 44th .

    • Michael

      two 6’3 guards cant work because neither one of the them are big enough to guard the kobe’s wades’s kevin martin’s or brandon roy’s of the NBA. And neither of them play good defense at at all. Trading Monta would let them get a bigger sg and also free up space for them to go find a center and maybe find a solid bench player.

  9. Ian

    If you’re going to base your argument around Monta’s averages, at least include adjusted for pace stats, efficient numbers, and other advanced evaluations. He’s not a special talent. He’s Lou Williams with a longer leash.

  10. Steven R

    Monta was the heart and soul of the Warriors last year. David Lee was basically useless for 3/4 of the season, Dorell Wright wasn’t the lockdown defender the Warriors were expecting but his new found offense made up for him not being on defensively game in and game out.

    Take away Ellis from the Warriors and the team wins no more than 20 games last year. More like, 15! The Warriors are nothing without Ellis.

    If the Warriors are going to break up the tandem there’s absolutely no question that Stephen Curry should be the one leaving if that is the case. Curry has no clue how to play defense, his turnovers are a huge problem, and he has yet to show that he is a leader.

    As for Ellis he’s become one of the better passing shooting guards, his assist numbers were right at Curry’s and he turned the ball over less! The only reason why Monta gets the stagnation claim is because of the season prior where struggled because he was pretty much used as the primary ball handler.

    It’s amazing how much people forget that during crucial moments, Curry was on the bench because of foul trouble or because he had a hard time not turning the ball over. There’s no question that Curry needs to go if the Warriors are making a trade.

    If the Warriors were to trade for Josh Smith for Curry that would be an amazing trade. The Hawks need a point guard and the Warriors need to add size. The Warriors get that with an athletic player like Smith who could play the SF position, which moves Wright to SG, and Monta plays the point.

    That team right there with Mark Jackson as coach makes the playoffs.

    • TOWN BIZ

      No one guy should be that “heart and soul” of the TEAM. And Ellis wasn’t. Ellis is just learning how to work with his teammates ( as in pass the ball ) and break his old habit of just taking it himself. Not good idea against 3 defenders which he often does. Curry has flaws as do all of them but being selfish is not on his list of flaws. Ellis does have that problem. Ellis has come a long way and is getting better with that issue, credit the wife and son for opening his eyes to that. I do like the idea of Monta for Josh Smith but ATL won’t trade him. I like to see Bynum as a DUB myself. D. Wright is too big to play 2 btw. He doesn’t have the speed to defend most 2 guards. Could you see him keeping up with Monta on another team ?? ok most two’s are that fast but I’m just saying.

  11. warriorsablaze

    There is no questioning Monta’s heart. He does leave it all out on the floor almost every night. I’m on the fence about whether to trade him now or to see if a stronger coach can rein him in and make him less of a chucker and more of a winner.

    I do think that between Monta and Curry, Steph is the right choice. I don’t think either is the #1 option on a contending team. Curry, however, has shown that he tends to make his teammates better while Monta often has the opposite effect and stagnates the offensive flow. When we finally get our #1 guy through FA or draft, Curry is the guy we want alongside him.

    • Steven R

      Curry in theory makes his teammates better because of his passing ability, the reality he doesn’t because he turns the ball over way too much and he’s constantly in foul trouble, so at times he finds it hard to be on the court.