The Warriors may or may not have a 1st round draft choice this season. We know:
A) It's the deepest draft in years. The kind of draft that should make it easy for a team with a top 10 selection to pick up a guy who can be a multiple all-star and some day retire with his franchise. It would be devastating to miss out on such a player at this point.
B) Jerry West is our consultant, and perhaps the best in the game, even today. We don't know how much time he has with us, and his ability to evaluate would be critical in the event of choosing between 4 guys who all possess talent/potential. If we are to build through the draft the way OKC has, now would be the best time.
If such a swap was managed, how possible would it be for the Warriors to have 2 top 10 picks by season's end? The Warriors would struggle by trading Ellis without immediate help, but this would give us a great chance to keep our top 7 pick, as well as pushing the development of our young players.
When you build a house, you don't build the roof first.
By keeping Monta Ellis as our starting shooting guard, we are essentially accepting the fact that in order to be effective, (esp. on the defensive end) we have to design our roster to accommodate such a player, with all his strengths and weaknesses. (e.g. A shot-blocking center, strong help defenders at 3).
This automatically puts us at a disadvantage, because our options of choosing a compatible center, now drop dramatically. In other words, if you start a small backcourt, you're going to need a shotblocker behind them.
If you have a starting center who is a shot blocker, chances are, he's not much of a scorer. The kind of centers who can control the game by scoring and defending the post, are the same kind of guys who are synonymous with names like Dwight Howard. We don't have the talent to trade for such a player, we don't have the draw to sign one, and we don't have the positioning to draft one. So automatically, if you want to be a defensive team, you're disqualified from putting a center in the lineup who's specialty is scoring, if Monta is playing 36 minutes a night.
Question: If Monta Ellis is taking the majority of the offense's shots, when does the improvement of talent in the remainder of your starting lineup begin to matter on that end of the court?
If we somehow end up with a player who becomes a perennial all-star, and we keep Ellis, would he be as effective in a starting lineup with Ellis than without? Isn't this the issue with he and Stephen Curry? Is Kevin Durant better off with a teammate like Westbrook or Rondo?
The Value of Monta Ellis
Is Monta good enough to talk a team into trading a very high draft pick for him? What do you think? He's having a good year, and he's making teammates better.
If you had a legit chance to draft a Lamb, Barnes, or Drummod, would you take it, if it meant giving up Ellis?
Would the result of such a trade encourage Jackson to bring the rookies on faster, and nudge Ekpe a little harder?
By trading Ellis for a pick, do we give ourselves the best chance of keeping our protected draft choice, giving us 2 top 10 picks, + 2 2nd rounders in a draft where talent is sure to bleed over into the 2nd round?
It's time to rebuild.
We have the support from our owner(s), we have the brains (Jerry West), and we have some encumbered talent (Monta Ellis), and we have the opportunity (Very talented draft class). As a franchise who's still searching for an identity and new beginnings, we can't afford to miss out on this.