1/26/2010 10:56:00 AM
Well despite Don Nelson laughing off the idea of the Warriors trading Monta Ellis the truth of the matter is their GM is the one calling the shots, not the coach retiring at season's end. As we mentioned yesterday CSNNE is reporting that the Warriors are shopping Monta Ellis and offered him to the Celtics for Ray Allen. For salary cap reasons a straight up swap doesn't work. The author Blakely speculated that the Warriors could include Radmanovic to make the contract match. Using ESPN's trade machine this morning, I see that Raja Bell could be substituted for Radmanovic and the deal would go through. Now Raja is currently out injured recovering from wrist surgery, but is due to return before what would be the playoffs for the Celtics. If you read my comments in the above link I love the idea of adding Monta Ellis and don't share the concerns some due of a Rondo/Ellis backcourt. Ellis played fine with Baron Davis in Golden State and I like the idea of other teams having to figure out how to guard us. Who would the Magic put on Rondo and Ellis? Who would Phil Jackson put Fisher on and watch him get eaten alive? But if your still not convinced that Ellis would work there are two additional possibilities.
1) We add a sweetener (draft pick, Glen Davis, etc) and Golden State agrees to buy out Ray Allen and he returns to Boston in a month rested for the playoffs.
2) Raja Bell is included (he's simply an expiring contract and serves the same purpose to Golden State as Vlad with his non guaranteed contract for next year). Raja can hit the 3 and is a great defender. So much so that Tim Donaghy even wrote that the league has to call fouls on him because otherwise he shuts Kobe Bryant down and the league doesn't want to see that.
Look I really like Ray Allen, but Id rather have Monta Ellis from age 24-34 than Ray Allen from age 34-38. I think we're getting exposed by younger more athletic teams and a player like Monta Ellis would solve the "too old" woes. No one plays defense in Nellie's system, but I'm confident that with KG and Thibs, Monta would improve as a defender (like Ray did when he came over here). Monta Ellis already has his contract, so there's no reason to believe he wouldn't sacrifice shots for the greater good of the team. Also, with Monta on the squad, we'd no longer need to worry about the backup point guard position as Ellis could play it for 12-15 minutes a game, which would lesson Rondo's load.
This is a similar situation to the late 80's/ early 90's Celtics. Yes they had the names like Kevin, Robert and Larry, but a name alone doesn't bring a title. We need to tweak our team so our window can be extended. Pierce, KG, and 'Sheed can be the vets and Perk, Rondo and Ellis can be the young stars. That combo keeps us contenders for the next 3-4 years and then we have a solid young nucleus, which we can add to when KG and Pierce retire (hopefully as multiple NBA champions). This way we don't go another twenty years without a Finals appearance. If you just care about this year and want to play it safe and hope that we remain healthy, yes we might win the title with the current group. Might. (We aren't the favorites though this year.) But if you're a little bit of a gambler and want to make an attempt to increase the odds of winning this year AND put us in a better situation for the future, you roll the dice on this trade. The safe move in the late 80's /early 90's was to keep the Big 3 and its deja vu twenty years later. What does Danny do? What should he do? What would you do?
1/26/2010 10:56:00 AM