Monta Ellis for Evan Turner + The Pitfall of Trading Up in the Draft

First off no-one thinks we can trade Ellis (+ contract filler)  straight up for Evan Turner. However I have been reading with increased frequency ideas that if we were to get say the 3rd of 4th pick that we should try and do some version of a Monta Ellis + our pick for the pick that would land us Evan Turner (I'm going to assume the 2nd pick would land us Turner). However this ignores the fact that the pick we would be trading away is also a very valuable commodity that could help us more than Turner (ignoring the fact we'd also be losing Monta in the trade).

This is not a post about the value of keeping our team as constructed now together. This is simply a post about the merits of trading 2 players (Monta and Demarcus Cousins/Favors) for one player Evan Turner.

I've noted that some may say that no GM would willingly trade down from the 2nd pick in the draft but i believe this trade would offer them significant value. They'd be getting a star at the 2 and a potential star at Center or Power Forward. Also there seems to be a clear top 4 in this draft that any team would be happy to have. 

However this is a post describing how the lure of a higher draft pick would actually weaken our team if we tried to trade for it. Therefore us, the team with the lower draft pick should be the one that doesn't do this trade.

A lot of you guys have talked about if we got the 2nd pick, we should draft Turner and trade Monta for a big. However could we get a big for Monta with more potential than Favors or Cousins? Therefore I think sticking with Monta and getting a big in the draft would be the best, most realistic outcome from this draft (Feel free to disagree with me below).

Now onto the real stuff...


I understand why many of us would want Turner over Ellis:

  • Turner appears so be a better compliment to Curry as he is less selfish and a better passer than Monta
  • Turner is 6 ft 7 and so would rid us of the undersized backcourt we currently have and could improve our defense considerably 
  • Would be a complimentary playmaker to Curry on the wing. This would let Curry go off the ball on occasion which is one of his strengths
  • According to John Hollinger's article "The NBA's ball hogs", "Ellis plays like the '2' on the shot clock isn't there and is seemingly oblivious to the fact most of his teammates are better shooters". Furthermore supposedly "Golden State has the league's 21st-best offense when he's on the court and the second-best when he's not".
  • Turner overall just seems to be a perfect sized SG with few weakness
  • NOTE: As pointed out by GSOMer Irus there is a doubt concerning the long term prognosis of Evan Turner's back. You could argue that there is no problem as he came back from the injury quicker than anyone expected and didn't show any ill effects to the best of my knowledge. Also normally broken bones don't cause much long-term damage as broken bones simply re-heal (trust me I've broken my big toe, collarbone, thumb and jaw - DON'T PLAY RUGBY - with no ill effects after healing). However the back is pretty fundamental to every sport and so there's always going to be a risk that it reoccurs. ESPN Story

However Ellis has many advantages over Turner. I feel there has been a case of not appreciating what we have because we have had a poor season and Monta originally changed his game to try and be the man.

  • If Ellis plays off the ball like in the win against Portland we saw that he can be a ridiculously efficient scorer. He put himself in better positions where he wasn't taking on entire teams and was able to beat his defender with jump shots and strong drives. This also let Curry be the main playmaker and who can argue with his production in that game. (I understand this was just one game but I think if these roles are set in stone next season we can expect them both to put up efficient games scoring in the low 20's each)
  • Anyone who watched him defend Kobe at Oracle last month knows that his lateral speed and quick hands on defense can make up for him being 2 inches shorter than the average SG. Think about it, 2 inches is about 1/2 to 2/3 the length of your middle finger, it doesn't have to be the be-all and end-all of whether our team can defend effectively. As long as Golden State plays defense with more discipline and don't recklessly go for steals as much, I don't think those 2 inches are going to seem like a big deal. As many people have pointed out, how many games have we lost due to the lack of 2 inches on Ellis as opposed to lacking an interior presence?
  • Monta is improving as a shooter and is arguably better than Turner right now
  • Isn't Turner a player who like Curry needs the ball in his hands most of the time? Remember when the Blazers acquired Andre Miller, people asked wouldn't that hinder Brandon Roy. Might we be in that same position of not maximising our best 2 players if they played together?
  • Following on from the previous point. A lot of people forget that Monta was a great off the ball player with Baron Davis during the 2007-2008 season. Its not like he needs to become something he's not, he just needs to take a rain check on what the team needs from him to win. Have a look Monta Ellis' career stats he shot 53% in 2007-8 and scored 20ppg on 15 shots!

However overall if I could swap Monta for Turner straight up I would... but we can't.


However I want to present a side to the argument that no one seems to be suggesting.

If we were to trade Ellis and our pick for Turner we would have a CORE lineup of:







While this is probably a better lineup than the same lineup with Ellis instead of Turner, we seem to be forgetting that our pick could also be a player that would be just as valuable to us as Evan Turner.

Our glaring need is at Center and from what i understand Derrick Favors at 245 pounds and 6,10/11 and Demarcus Cousins at 6,11 and 260 pounds, will both be more significant upgrades over Biedrins than Turner over Monta. They are also 18 and 19 respectively and so have 3/2 years on Turner in which to improve. Also would a dominant low post player who can set strong screens and provide a low post outlet for Curry passes be a better compliment to him than an upgrade at shooting guard.

The CORE line-up we could have with Ellis and the 3rd or 4th pick:





Cousins or Favors/Biedrins/Turiaf

If we traded up using Ellis for Turner we would essentially be trading two quality young players with loads of potential for 1 quality young player with slightly less potential but who is better from the get-go. In my mind Ellis is not as inferior to Turner as some think, and if we retained a top 4 pick we would be able to address what I believe is our most glaring need, beef and low post scoring at Center.

I'd rather have a young center than a shooting guard as we are losing games on the inside not the outside. So i ask: who would trade a young Center and a young SG for one SG. Its not like we're trading for a young Kobe or Wade. 

Also trading Ellis for an upgrade in the draft would prevent us from acquiring a player like Rudy Gay or in my dreams Joe Johnson (I always seem to get him easily in NBA 2K10 by trading Ellis!) by sign and trade.

However if we ended up with the 6th or 7th pick i'd try to trade up using Monta as bait as outside of the top 5 none of the players seem to be sure things. Lets just pray for a top 4 pick.

Thanks for reading and if anyone wants to add any more advantages and disadvantages I'll happily update this post.

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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