Lakers

Warriors Monta Ellis to Lakers? Not Now, Not Ever

| by Alex Groberman

Fundamentally, I get it. It’s crystal clear to me why some would assume that Jim Buss is interested in acquiring a totally unnecessary, entirely useless piece like Monta Ellis from the Golden State Warriors. After all, Buss’ expertise is in braiding horse hair, and the man whom he would be swapping players with -- The Logo, Jerry A. West -- is as masterful a tactician as you will ever come across in the NBA.

But it won’t happen. Not even Isiah Thomas would pull the trigger on a move this idiotic.

By now everyone has heard about the San Francisco Chronicle report that L.A. was one of the many teams in discussions with Golden State regarding Ellis’ services. Naturally, because the Lakers are involved, this became a national story and everyone began reading way too much into what most likely was a simple inquiry by Mitch Kupchak and whoever else. Again, in times like these (read: any season the Lakers don't win the title), there is no better friend than common sense to turn to.

Obviously Ellis would be a horrible pick-up for the Lakers. He does exactly what Kobe Bryant does, score in droves, only he’s not as good at it. He’s a gunner who has thrived in an offense that does not even remotely resemble anything that L.A. has run in the recent past, or what, according to new coach Mike Brown says, they plan to run in the future. The three things that this team needs their point guard to do are: a.) hit three-pointers, b.) run the offense, and c.) play defense on quick guards. This guy is 0-for-3.

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Defensively, Ellis a mirage. You may think he plays solid defense, but really, he doesn’t. He puts up nifty little steals totals that confuse Woody Paige into believing that he can actually D players up.  However, in the process he gambles more than Charles Barkley at the poker tables. He’s never played in a legitimate defensive scheme, and although Brown has been known to work miracles on this end of the floor, he’s going to need time to teach Ellis the ropes – a commodity the win-now Lakers just can’t spare.

Worst of all, the Lakers would undoubtedly have to give up one of their big guys to make this work. Andrew Bynum is God’s Other Son to Buss, so clearly he’s out of the question. That leaves Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, both who are far too valuable for this team -- and supposedly to Brown’s new Duncan-Robinson offensive strategy -- to squander away in a ridiculous trade.

So, no – this is not going to happen. Enjoy Philly, Monta, I hear the fans are wonderful over there.