With Monta Ellis trade rumors linking him to almost every playoff contending team in the NBA, Warriors owner Joe Lacob tells San Jose Mercury’s Tim Kawakami that what the press is reporting is far from the truth:
LACOB: I don’t think he will be. I mean, you want me to give odds now? There’s a tremendous amount of speculation in the press, and I can’t believe where all this is coming from… because the stories are completely fabricated, by you or whoever. I don’t know who’s fabricating them.
They’re fabrications, complete and utter. All these teams that supposedly have talked to us. It’s not true. It’s just not true.
We all really like Monta Ellis a lot. We think he’s a great player. The question will be, like with every other player on the team–is there someone we think makes more sense, that could be better, make us a better team?
Smart move by Lacob to step in and do some damage control on, probably, the hottest trade rumor out there right now. The Warriors have done a “great” job in the past alienating its players by denying trades when they want out or trading them for below market value or at the peak of their popularity among Warrior faithful. It is definitely refreshing to see Lacob step in and take control of the situation and to show a better administrative culture in place.
But with a limited talent pool available this off-season, will the Warriors get the value they and fans feel they deserve in exchange for, arguably, their best player? As many NBA analysts have been critiquing already, SB Nation Bay Area’s Avinash Kunnath included, Monta Ellis is a bad fit for many of the teams allegedly talking to the Warriors. More specifically, these critics feel that teams are unlikely to part with the pieces the Warriors want for a “smallish” two-guard that doesn’t blend well with teams’ existing culture and/or players. Further, the Warriors most likely won’t want what these teams ARE willing to part with. Hoopsworld Joel Brigham discusses how Taj Gibson and Omer Asik are the likeliest pieces the Chicago Bulls are willing to move.
With that said, if Taj Gibson and Omer Asik are the best the Warriors can fetch for Ellis’ talent, do you pull that trigger? If getting fifty cents to the dollar is this off season’s going rate for Monta Ellis, do you do that deal to start “fresh?” If you were the GM/Owner, who would you be willing to “settle” for in exchange for Ellis?