If the Warriors shop Monta Ellis: One example of what they’ve been offered recently
Posted by Tim Kawakami on February 21st, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Categorized as NBA, Warriors
Early warning: This is most definitely not a report about anything the Warriors are currently being offered for or have discussed involving Monta Ellis.
I don’t think much is happening–teams are waiting to see what happens with Pau Gasol and especially with Dwight Howard.
Warriors GM Larry Riley told NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper that they’re looking to make a deal, but only if it’s the right one.
Things will heat up in the next few weeks around the league, but who knows how the Warriors will approach it and what they can get done by the March 15 trade deadline.
No, this item isn’t about what’s happening right now.
This is about conversations the Warriors had around last year’s draft–the last and probably the most serious time the Warriors contemplated moving Ellis.
They didn’t move Ellis then, partly because Mark Jackson was intent on coaching Ellis. Very intent.
But as this season has moved along… I don’t know how long the Warriors can maintain that everything is different when the line-up is essentially the same (with the recent exception of Ekpe Udoh at center, though he’s banged up now) and the record is about the same as usual.
So the Warriors could once again see what the market is for Ellis.
And if you want a sense for Ellis’ market value right now, and probably leading into the March 15 trade deadline, it’s fitting to look back to last June.
That’s when the GSW front office had talks with Minnesota (among a handful 0f other teams), centered around Ellis.
According to multiple league sources, the two teams had a loose outline of a proposal–neither team had agreed to anything, but this was the basic heart of the talks:
* Minnesota was willing to talk about a package involving F Michael Beasley and C Nikola Pekovic in return for Ellis.
The sources say the Warriors didn’t flat out say no to Minnesota, but wanted more.
* The GSWs apparently asked to expand the deal to include the Timberwolves’ No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, which was 2nd overall and turned out to be Derrick Williams.
At that point, according to the sources, the two sides got stuck negotiating what the GSWs would do then to sweeten it beyond Ellis.
Both sides came out thinking the other was asking for far too much:
-Minnesota didn’t have a great desire for Ellis (other than the T-Wolves’ need for a shooting guard);
-The Warriors wanted a young star–and still want a star–back for Ellis, and Beasley is young but isn’t anything close to star-value.
The intriguing part, of course, is that Pekovic would’ve been a throw-in after-thought, and now he’s in Minnesota’s starting center (ahead of Darko Milicic) and going bonkers alongside Kevin Love.
-Sort of a Midwest version of Blake Griffin/DeAndre Jordan.
Pekovic, in his second season, has scored 15 or more in 6 of his last 7 games and grabbed 7 or more rebounds in 16 straight.
-Note: Since the Pekovic ascension, there’s no way Minnesota would offer that package for Ellis now. (You ask them about Darko, however, and then you’ve got a conversation!)
I don’t know for sure, but I think those are the most intense discussions the Warriors have had involving Ellis in recent years.
And I think they tell us a few things headed into this trade period:
* The Warriors, as has been their stance for years, want a star in return for Ellis, who they consider a premium value because of his rare scoring ability and the dearth of scoring shooting guards in the league.
They don’t want to move Ellis just for cap relief. They are quite insistent on that, I’ve heard.
* But they have not yet been offered anything close to what they consider equal value–if Michael Beasley is the best player discussed in a casual offer, that’s not a big offer.
* You never know what you might get as a throw-in, however, since Pekovic suddenly has become much more valuable than Beasley, almost overnight.
–Who knows, the Warriors might not even come close to moving Ellis or anybody–they have the Dwight Howard situation lingering, and that could stop them from doing anything until they know where D12 is headed.
But as of now, the best guide we’ve got for Ellis’ market-value is the last time the GSWs had even moderate discussions with another team about Ellis.
It’s not an easy deal to make, given what the GSWs want and what the market-value seems to be. You’ve been warned.