With the March 15th trade deadline rapidly approaching, trade rumors have started to gain some steam. Whether it’s the prospect of the New Jersey Nets trading Deron Williams, the Orlando Magic trading Dwight Howard or the Los Angeles Lakers shipping away Pau Gasol; sources are coming out of the woodwork to confirm that these respective teams are perhaps looking to make a deal.
These franchises obviously have different reasons for looking into making moves. For instance, the Lakers are merely gauging the value of Gasol with the idea of improving their roster to compete for a title. Mind you, in a perfect world, the Lakers would be able to acquire talent for Pau and also shed salary.
The Orland Magic on the other hand have two different agendas. The first one would involve finding a trade that would help strengthen their unit and turn it into a squad capable of taking out both Chicago and Miami in the Eastern Conference. Should they be unsuccessful in acquiring such talent, then their second order of business would involve finding the best possible trade for Dwight Howard, who has requested to be moved to a team of his choosing, a demand that Otis Smith may find himself obliged to agree to since Howard has already advised the organization that he plans to become a free agent at the conclusion of this season and sign with another team.
Whether directly or indirectly, this has an impact on the Golden State Warriors.
For the past few seasons, Monta Ellis’ name has kept appearing in trade rumors, and it’s not by accident. Indeed, the Warriors have been doing their due diligence in trying to accurately determine the trade value of their leading scorer by seeing who they could acquire for him. The truth is, the Warriors haven’t been happy with the offers they have received, which explains why the trigger has not yet been pulled.
As it stands right now, the Dubs seem inclined to trade Ellis in a package that would bring Dwight Howard to the Bay even if the big man refuses to commit to signing an extension to stay with the team long term. Perhaps the organization thinks they could persuade him to remain with the team, or that should he bolt during free agency, it would allow them to blow everything up.
Chris Broussard of ESPN The Magazine has reported that the Magic were trying to acquire the high-scoring guard to give Howard an All-Star caliber partner to help improve the Magic’s odds of competing for a title and keeping Dwight in Orlando. But let’s be honest, unless a third team gets involved, it’s highly unlikely that the Magic could offer the Dubs anything of substance that would compel them to ship Monta out to Orlando.
Indeed, Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times shared that the Warriors would need to get a more than fair offer before they considered trading Monta Ellis away:
“Orlando could get a third team involved. But as one source said, “we’re not trading Monta unless we get something really good in return. It would probably have to be an All-Star or that caliber of a player.” The chances of Orlando finding a player from another team good enough for the Warriors to ship Ellis is extremely slim.”
And in a nutshell, this is the state of the Monta Sweepstakes. Until a team gives something a little above value for Ellis, he is likely to stay put. But one does wonder if a playoff contender such as the Portland Trail Blazers or the Los Angeles Lakers would be willing to part with one of their big guns (Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby or Pau Gasol) in a package centered around the Warriors guard.
As we get closer to the March 15th deadline, we should probably get a better feel for the offers out there and how they could potentially affect the outlook of the Dubs. But until then, Monta will probably remain in Warriors blue.
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