Regardless of what Mark Jackson is saying publicly, the Golden State Warriors are expressing noticeable interest in dealing Monta Ellis. The Warriors have found plenty of early suitors for his services, including the Los Angeles Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers, maybe even the Chicago Bulls. However, none of them probably have the assets Golden State would desire for a player of Ellis's offensive talents.
The Portland Trail Blazers do. Ken Berger of CBS Sports stated that the Warriors had received interest from the Blazers about a potential trade. And Portland does have a cadre of talented wing players that can possibly fill in the gaps. Gerald Wallace, Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, and Wesley Matthews are all names that could possibly be floated as targets for the Warriors. Portland was very strong defensively in the playoffs, but just couldn't find enough scoring to put them over the top. Ellis gives them that punch and plenty of defensive talent to help him out.
It'd be hard to see the Blazers parting with Roy, much less the Warriors wanting him and his fragile knees. Wallace is a possibility, but at 29 he's close to his prime and won't have much of a shelf life in Golden State (the contract does match up pretty well, but it's a risky move given Wallace's health issues). So if I had to venture a guess, the Warriors would probably target Matthews (a solid defender) and Batum (an up-and-coming star and also solid defensive player). While Golden State would probably have to take on a salary dump or two (Ellis's contract way exceeds the combined values of Batum's and Matthews's), and also potentially give up draft picks it'd be worth snaring one of those two valuable defensive talents.
If you were the general manager of either team, what potential trade would you make to get Monta Ellis? Let us know in the comments!
For Blazers reaction to a potential trade, check out Blazers Edge. For Warriors reaction, stay tuned to Golden State of Mind. Keep on checking out our Monta Ellis trade storystream for further updates and rumors.