EDIT: In the process of writing this, GSoM member Ekung posted a similar fanshot: Check it out!
Disclaimer: I know trade ideas are generally frowned upon, but this one is based on players both teams are trying to shop, that would quite arguably benefit both teams. If you hate trade ideas, move on now, but this one is interesting, and thought out.Warriors trade: Monta Ellis and Brandan Wright.
Warriors Receive: Elton Brand and #2 pick Evan Turner.
Let's start with a link: According to sources, the 76ers are willing to trade the #2 pick as long as they can trade Brand's exorbitant contract in the process. The have little need for the pick, as the second best player in the draft is clearly Evan Turner, and they are set at the position with Andre Igoudala. They would need to trade either Turner or Igoudala (or take a worse pick), and if they do the former, they have a chance of shedding Brand's contract.
This is a fantastic trade for the Sixers (we'll get to the Dubs soon): they get rid of their worst contract (Brand's is significantly worse than Monta's), while implementing a fantastic big three of Jrue Holiday, Monta Ellis and Andre Igoudala; there is no team in the league that can guard that 1-3 combination (Holiday is much better than people give him credit for: almost every ESPN analyst has him pegged for multiple All-Star selections).
Next, it opens up the power forward position for Thaddeus Young, whom the Sixers like much more than Brand. Young had already become the starter, and now Marreese Speights, who also had a strong season, can be his primary backup, with Samuel Dalembert manning the middle. That starting 5 of Holiday/Ellis/Igoudala/Young/Dalembert would instantly be the most athletic line-up in the league, and also rather young.
For the Warriors: while they take on another bad contract in exchange for Monta's, it is not at a position that they are over-run with, like Monta's. The Warriors desperately need a back-to-the-basket big capable of scoring, and we're being overly optimistic if we think we can get one in the draft, in FA, or in exchange for Monta, unless it comes with Brand's contract. This is really our only way to acquire an all-star level (and yes, I believe Brand can still play at an all-star level) big. Furthering the position, Young greatly benefited from Brand's mentoring, and under Brand's tutelage, AR can really grow as a player. Andris Biedrins will also greatly benefit: with the low-post scoring responsibility now in Brand's hands, Biedrins will have much less pressure, and be able to focus on rebounding, defense, and moving without the ball/finishing.
With Brand and Turner, the Warriors can implement a much more traditional line-up, which I think we all agree they would benefit from doing. Goodbye small-ball, hello a starting 5 that can at least consider matching up against the Celtics and Lakers: Stephen Curry/Anthony Morrow/Evan Turner/Elton Brand/Andris Biedrins. This team has playmakers, rebounders, defenders, shooters, size, athleticism, and great spacing.
The wildcard for this Warriors team becomes Anthony Randolph. Take Brand out, and AR can play PF. Decide to go small, and Brand can play Center, with AR at the 4. Decide to go big, and Turner, Maggette, or Azubuike can play 2-Guard, and Randolph can play the small forward position. Similar to how the Cavs can choose their 4 players based on the style they want to play, and then throw LeBron in anywhere, I think the Warriors can do this with Randolph - if they utilize their and his flexibility, they could become a very difficult team to guard and prepare for.
All in all, for the Warriors, this follows the typical mold for a successful basketball team, and is very similar to the Suns and Spurs: for the starters, we have a pass-first, but capable scoring PG (Curry/Nash/Parker); a SG who spreads the floor and will make you pay if you leave him open, but is selfless enough that he doesn't demand touches (Morrow/JRich/Keith Bogans); a SF who spreads the floor, plays D, creates for others, can score but is selfless (Turner/Grant Hill/Jefferson); a back-to-the-basket big, capable on D and rebounding, efficient scorer at the PF (Brand/Amar'e/Duncan); and a rebounding and defense oriented, selfless Center (Biedrins/Lopez/McDyess).
Continuing this mold for success, on the bench you need one of your top-4 or 5 players (Randolph/Ginobili - the Suns lack one specific player for this, but on any one night it could be a number of guys); a backup PG capable of making the other team pay offensively if they forget about them (Watson/Dragic/George Hill); an energetic, intense, momentum big (Turiaf/Amundson/Blair), and a few other players capable of being big-time scorers on any given night (Maggette, Azubuike, Williams/Frye, Dudley, Barbosa/Mason Jr, Bonner).
It is obviously a risky move, because you are banking on Elton Brand's health (and, arguably, his resurgence), but all-in-all, I think it is a fabulous move for both squads. I believe, as Lowell Cohn wrote about in this morning's Press Democrat, that it is time for the Warriors to do a complete overhaul: sell the team, get rid of the coaches, Riley, etc., get rid of small-ball, start over. This traditional line-up is a great place to start.
I know many of you will agree, and many more will disagree, but either way, please keep the comments respectful. As with all fanshots, this is merely my opinion. And as the Sixers are looking for such a trade (and have expressed interest in Monta), the Warriors have expressed interest in trading Ellis, and it works financially (ESPN Trade Machine), please don't harass me for being "unrealistic." With that said, I would love to hear all different opinions!
Go Dubs! Unstoppable, Baby!