Yesterday we covered trade rumors that could potentially involve the Golden State Warriors as well as Monta Ellis. In short, it seems that the front office would only agree to sending out Ellis if they got anything of similar value in return. The issue at hand though is that the Dubs view their leading scorer as a borderline All-Star and thus would only accept a deal if they received a player of that magnitude in return.

Mind you, do the Warriors overvalue Monta Ellis?

Maybe. Maybe not.

So far this season, the Dubs’ starting guard is averaging 22.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game on 42.8 percent field goal shooting. At first glance, those do not look like elite numbers, but one could see how Golden State’s management could be quite fond of the dynamic guard’s production. He leads the team in scoring, plays an exciting brand of basketball and makes plays.

As far the Warriors are concerned, he looks and plays the part of a franchise player, but the results tend to paint a different picture. In the four and half seasons that Monta Ellis has been a starter (from the 2007-08 season to present), the Dubs have won 153 games and lost 207; which represents a .425 winning percentage.

There are obviously many factors at play when it comes to winning and losing games, but one has to wonder if the Warriors can in fact be a playoff team with Monta at the forefront. The answer so far has been a negative one.

But put him on a team with multiple scorers where he can work off of great players to get his buckets and he may be at his best, as we saw with the 2006-07 and 2007-08 Warriors teams that won 42 and 48 games respectively.

And with that, we are left to ponder this: is Monta less Allen Iverson and more Lou Williams?

Sounds blasphemous either way right?

When we compare the production of both Ellis and Williams, the Golden State guard outpaces him in pretty much every statistical category, but then again he plays on average 10.8 minutes per game more. So let’s project their numbers over 36 minutes per game (represents on average starters minutes) and compare:




















The similarities don’t end in their nearly identical statistical output when we project their numbers over the same amount of minutes; both the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors are slightly better with both off guards off the court. Have a look at their plus-minus ratings compiled by


On Court

Off Court

Net Rating










Their defensive shortcomings result in their respective teams suffering to some extent on that side of the ball but both guards are nonetheless good scoring options. But as we can see with the 76ers, having Williams come off the bench gives the second unit some scoring punch but it also limits the amount of low percentage shots that he takes.

Ellis on the other hand leads the Warriors in minutes played per game (37.2 MPG) and scoring.

Granted, Monta is far more exciting to watch thanks in large part to his aesthetically pleasing game whereas Williams plays the game more so below the rim and without much flash. But truth be told, the players are incredibly similar.

And therein lies the dilemma for the Warriors brass: they are probably shopping their star guard around and trying to sell him as a once in a decade type of talent when the reality of it all may just be that he is a rotation player more than anything.

When Golden State and Philadelphia square off tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, we will get a chance to watch both players in action fulfill different roles and yet be for the most part the same player.

The only question left is whether the Golden State front office will take notice…

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13 Responses

  1. Ben

    I am a long distance Warriors fan [from Atlanta], and honestly, would like to see us keep Monta and somehow have a lucky bounce in the draft lotto.

    With Ellis and Steph in the backcourt and either Anthony Davis or Thomas Robinson in the front court [admittedly a dream scenario, but work with me here], the Warriors would have a nucleus to build on for the next several years. Surround those three with cagey vets, energy guys, and role players, and you’ve got the mix for something potentially special.

  2. Joshua Mills

    I say we go for something no one has mentioned yet. Lets trade Ellis and Beidrins to Washington for their center Mcgee and Rashard Lewis. May need to add things to either side of trade to make things work money wise, but its something realistic. Both teams need a change. Washington does it because it gives them an all star caliber player in the east to go along side J Wall and Warriors get a Young promising Center in Mcgee. Reason I threw Beidrins in there is so that Washington has a Center to play and we take their injured proned (Also not playing well) Lewis to swop contracts. Maybe the change will be good for both players. I cant see it hurting either team as niether team is doing well.

  3. Boomsizzle

    Who exactly on the Warriors would you prefer to take the shots versus Monta? Who would you rather get the minutes than Monta? I would agree we are losing games but would proffer it’s not because of a talent deficit at the 2.

  4. WeBelieve

    Hey Guys,
    Im a die hard Dubs fan like i assume you all to be, but one thing I dont understand about W’s fans are our impatient ways of thinking when it comes to trading players. Historically W’s have gotten the short end of every trade, draft, and free agency period in the history of the leauge. For a team to be consistently below par, you’d think we’d have better luck in the draft. I think Monta is a GEM, a 2nd rd 40th pick who was able to take the leauge by storm. Many question is def, but he’s done a great job leading the GSW. Sure he may not be as marketable as other franchise type player within the leauge, but he delivers. Many want to compare him to steph, but SC30 is injury prone. What are we going to say 3 yrs from now when Step is still missing 10-15 games a year for his injuries? I think we need to be a lil more patient and play this season out. I like our young nucleus

  5. Boomsizzle

    Let’s hope this article suffers the same ill fate as your David Lee/Josh Smith article. There are limitations to your projection of statistics to 36 minutes. If Andris Biedrins produces 2 points and 2 rebounds in 6 minutes of play, no one would believe he’s good for 12 and 12 in 36. There’s a reason Monta plays 37 and Lou Williams plays 25. Nevertheless, our best hope is some team gets desperate to win now, overreaches and reloads the Warriors with a 1st round pick this year and an NBA quality starting player, preferably a center. Monta’s trade value will be its highest just before the trade deadline.

    • EvanZ

      “There’s a reason Monta plays 37 and Lou Williams plays 25.”

      Yeah, Doug Collins appreciates defense. Monta would only get 25 in a similar role, if GSW had the same emphasis on the other side of the ball as the Sixers. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why we keep losing basketball games.

  6. World B. Free

    Nobody was complaining about Monta when he was a member of “We Believe”.

    Since then, he’s been asked to do things he’s not exactly proficient at. He’s not a “team leader” or a PG necessarily but I guarantee that he’d be a very important of a winning club.

    Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The Warriors make the mistake of UNDERvaluing their players at times. See: Jeremy Lin.

    What if the Celtics had gotten rid of Paul Pierce? Before their FO got him some help, the fans and local media wanted to trade him because he couldn’t get Boston to the playoffs by himself. They found every flaw in his game and tried to convince each other he sucked. Well look what happened.

    • EvanZ

      “Nobody was complaining about Monta when he was a member of “We Believe”.”

      Because he was a role player and was more efficient when he put up less shots.

  7. Crron7

    What about a trade Monta Ellis and (Biedrins??) to New Orleans Hornets in exchange of Eric Gordon (free agent), Chris Kaman (on the list of transfers) and even Trevor Ariza??? I don’t think other better trade… I thought on Pacers because Hibbert will be free agent but Indiana has a lot of free money to renew players and get great free agents…

    • Crron7

      Sorry, I wanted to say a trade Ellis, Biedrins, Thompson/Rush + Draft Picks in exchange of Gordon, Ariza and Kaman. Gordon is a very good player and a scorer, the bad is his injuries. Ariza is one of the best defenders and can play in SG and SF as a starter and Dorell Wright playing as 6º man. And Kaman is very expensive but he can be productive if he wants, of course… I think this trade has a lot of advantages more than acquire Dwight Howard in exchange of “nothing”…

  8. JohnStizzarks

    Who would a third team even offer in return? Not a player that would make the warriors better. Especially If your talking about a shooting guard who’s having as good as season as Lou or Monta. By the way Lou’s not leaving Philly, too much chemistry on that roster.

  9. Freeman Ng

    It’s hard to say how much the Warriors really value Ellis based just on what they say. They’re naturally going to talk him up. A more accurate guide might be the fact they they would have traded him for Iguodala, a deal that I think would have favored the Warriors, but not one they would have considered if they really thought Ellis was a “once in a decade talent.”

    I think their best chance of getting the maximum return for Ellis is Orlando, which might overpay for him because they hope he’ll help them retain Dwight.

    • Freeman Ng

      Of course, Orlando would have to get a third team involved, since they have no assets I think we’d want.