The possible Ellis-Iguodala trade appears one-sided, though many points-drunk Warriors fans think Monta is vastly better. Much to my chagrin, Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated informed the nation as to how such a trade might hurt the 76ers while fixing this incongruous GSW roster. Way to let the Andres Galarraga out of the bag, dude. From Zach’s piece: 

“Placing one of the league’s truly great defenders on one of the worst defensive teams would be a huge upgrade and would transform Golden State into a legit contender for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.”

I completely agree with his assessment, and that’s why I’d rather Lowe keep such matters secret until after Philadelphia signs on the dotted line. Sadly, he’s writing these pieces from the perspective of an objective, comprehensive NBA journalist–not someone who must watch 82 Warriors games per year.

Though it feels awkward to advocate for trade ideas–after all, these are human beings who must pack up their lives as a result of a swap–this deal is irresistibly sensible. The Warriors simply cannot run a cohesive perimeter defense that features two 6-2, short-limbed guards. Not now, not ever. 

Also, their offensive combination bears little synchronicity. Ellis is best when getting a running start on received slash-and-kick passes, and Curry is no slasher. Stephen’s specialty is the pick and roll, a Lee-Curry transaction that phases Monta from the game. Rather than fade out, Ellis wrests the ball away for an offense that relies on his contested jumpers or driving dump-off passes. The visual of these dueling usage rates evokes an aural sense of two people, discordantly shouting opposing world views. It needs to damn well stop.

“Curry or Ellis” has been a haunting question, one that hung over every possession these last two years. It’s a problem that never ceases impatiently tapping its foot to the rhythm of Ellis dribbling down a shotclock. If this question can be answered by one of the NBA’s best defenders, then all the better.

Many would disagree on account of Monta’s talent. Ellis is a thrill to watch for many of the same reasons his efficiency flags. There’s a guilty pleasure in beholding this one-on-five act. Twisting layups, contested jumpers, one-haded push-shots, it’s all a grand game of NBA Jam at Oracle. And sometimes…he’s on fire!

But, Monta does not score consistently enough to justify all this shooting. Quoting Lowe again:

“It’s easy to look at Ellis’ gaudy scoring numbers, Iguodala’s clear failings as a top offensive option and the 76ers’ below-average offense, and conclude that this trade makes sense. The Sixers desperately need a perimeter player who can create his own shot. Ellis can certainly do that, even if he doesn’t score more efficiently, on a per-minute basis, than Lou Williams.”

To be clear, when I cite Monta’s efficiency issues, it’s different from claiming he’s a bad player. Ellis is clearly talented, but that talent is not manifesting itself as productivity. Perhaps he needs a better situation, and a bigger point guard to play with.

For now, this isn’t working. We’re on year three of poor plus-minus numbers from GSW’s lead scorer, and it’s beginning to look less and less coincidental. Iguodala has his offensive issues, but he and Ellis notch very similar PERs. The biggest difference between them is that Andre is possibly the best defensive starter, while Monta is possibly the worst. With that in mind, this would be a fantastic deal for the Dubs.

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8 Responses

  1. Dennis

    Well, to play defense, you need a team defensive philosophy and post players. Igoudala does bring a defensive mindset to the backcourt at only about 13 million more the say Mickael Pietrus would cost. But he doesn’t bring the needed size benefit that the cost of losing Monta’s scoring would present. Point being, defensive shooting guards are a dime a dozen- elite NBA scorers aren’t. Draft day will lure better bounties.

  2. Stefen

    I like the trade. If it were to happen I’d love for the Dubs to try and bring in Tyson Chandler as well. As for SG depth, we could bring back J-Rich to lead the second unit and be another viable scoring option in crunch time if it’s really needed.

  3. Garrett

    This trade is one sided and really only benefits the sixers. They get a potential all star/offensive powerhouse while getting rid of an overpaid but defensively impressive role player.iggys contract is not only more than montas but is set to increase in the next 2 years.this trade doesn’t help the depth issues @ shooting guard because with monta gone your only other wings are bell and maybe Keep them and ship monta- dumb move

  4. Kirk

    Love the trade for the Warriors if it happens. Am I crazy or does Iggy have to play the role of distribute far too often? Playing with Curry allows him to play to his other strengths on the offensive end; mainly being the worlds most amazing trash man.

  5. MB

    Problem is the Iggy is good on some counts and defecient on others. He’s not a good shooter, his health has become a major concern and he is overpaid. Next, the “small backcourt” issue is not a closed subject ala the Mavericks starting backcourt in game 4. Even West explaned that the right players in the front court can compensate. Regardless, this rumor has gained way too much traction. Fact is the Sixers are likely to be sold and any trade involving their core players is unrealistic.

  6. Warrior_Guru

    Does anyone else find it a little hard to read with all the fancy vocabulary stacked up against each other? I don’t agree with the trade, i believe Monta is more valuable than Iggy, if you are going to contend for a championship you need a dynamic scorer like ellis.

    • Glenn

      Well, to contend for a championship, you also need to play defense. Ellis has shown that he either can’t, or won’t, do that on a consistent basis. I’d make this trade in a heartbeat.