DALLAS — It’s not easy making headlines during The Finals if you’re a lottery team that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs in the past few years and don’t appear to be in danger of doing so anytime soon.
But the Golden State Warriors have found away. Not only did they make a splash with the hiring of former All-Star point guard and ABC analyst Mark Jackson to take over as their head coach, now there is significant chatter that Monta Ellis could be on the trade block in a rumored deal for Andre Iguodala.
Before we dive into the trade we have to make one observation about Jackson taking over as coach of the Warriors. It is one of the few recent moves of this sort that we can remember it actually staying completely quiet until it was done. Kudos to Jackson and the Warriors for handling their business in such a stealth manner in the Twitter age.
It will be interesting to see how Jackson fares in his sideline debut after all of these years of analyzing and critiquing others doing the same thing. He’s on the right path, chasing a guy like Mike Malone, one of the best assistant coaches in the business, to join him.
We can’t help but wonder what sort of input he’ll have, if any, in this proposed trade of Ellis for Iguodala? ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher makes a compelling case for both sides to want to get this deal done:
The Warriors would beef up their perimeter size and defense with Iguodala, who is 6’6″ and 207 pounds and can play shooting guard or small forward. Iguodala would be paired with the 6’3″, 185-pound Stephen Curry at point guard and 6’9″ small forward Dorell Wright.
The Sixers, meanwhile, would be getting an electric scoring guard in the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Ellis, create an opening at small forward for rookie Evan Turner, and slice some money off their payroll.
Freeing up space for Curry to run the show in Golden State makes perfect sense. He’s shown superstar flashes but probably needs the ball in his hands more if he’s ever going to reach his full potential at the position.
But this idea of replacing Iguodala with Turner in Philly makes us just a little nervous. Sure, Ellis gives them the consistent perimeter scoring option to pair with up-and-coming young point guard Jrue Holiday. We’ve at least seen what Curry can do. Turner has yet to make believers out of us. So handing him the starting job at small forward on a playoff team seems like a healthy leap of faith on the 76ers’ part, especially when Thaddeus Young is the best small forward on the roster anyway.
And giving up your best player and perimeter defender for a player, even one as explosive as Ellis, that has not shown himself to be of the same caliber on both ends of the floor, is a pretty risky gamble.
That said, the money matches close enough that neither team will have to move any other assets to facilitate the deal. That’s always an incentive for getting something done.
So, what would you do?