With the NBA trade deadline approaching Thursday afternoon, the first domino has fallen in what has been a very quiet and uneventful week thus far. Rumors were swirling about the Orlando Magic trying to acquire Monta Ellis in hopes of pairing him up with Dwight Howard. Instead the Golden State Warriors have traded Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks in a five-player deal that will send Andrew Bogut to the Bay.
Milwaukee Bucks Get: SG Monta Ellis, PF Ekpe Udoh, C Kwame Brown
Golden State Warriors Get: C Andrew Bogut, SG Stephen Jackson
Why this makes sense for Milwaukee:
The Bucks get rid of Jackson who never fit in with Milwaukee, rid themselves of the injury-prone Andrew Bogut and the $23-plus remaining on the next two years of his contract while also saving almost nine-million dollars in cap space for next season since Brown is a free agent after this season. Ellis combined with Brandon Jennings gives Milwaukee an exciting, extremely quick, offensive-minded backcourt; something the fans will love. However, this could spell the end for head coach Scott Skiles who prefers a roster of hard-nosed, defensive-oriented players. I can’t imagine Skiles being psyched about watching Jennings and Ellis chuck shots while being under-sized and lacking a great deal of toughness on the defensive end.
Udoh is a Skiles-type player due to his ability to rebound and block shots. Milwaukee doesn’t really have a rim protector inside so Udoh will certainly help in that area. Brown will likely never wear a Bucks uniform since he has a chest injury that has limited him to nine games this season and will likely keep him out for the rest of the year.
Why this makes sense for Golden State:
The Warriors have been looking for a true big man for quite some time and also trying to break-up their under-sized backcourt of Ellis and Stephen Curry. Bogut could be out for the rest of the season due to injury but alongside David Lee, gives Golden State a very solid frontcourt duo going forward. Jackson will help pick up some of the scoring slack left behind by Ellis but the Warriors also have Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson who are capable scorers and should see more court time now.
An under-lying, conspiracy theorist idea about this trade is that it helps the Warriors become a worse team this season. Why does that matter… because Golden State’s first round pick goes to the Jazz if it falls out of the top seven. So the more losses the Warriors rack up the season, the more likely they end up keeping their first round pick and adding another young talent.
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.Follow paulmbanks