The Golden State Warriors have made their official announcement of a trade that has sent Kwame Brown, Monta Ellis, and Ekpe Udoh to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson.
"We’re extremely excited to acquire a player the caliber of Andrew Bogut, who we think is certainly one of the top centers in the NBA," said General Manager Larry Riley. "He will add an element of toughness to our team and will provide us with scoring, rebounding and a defensive presence in the middle. We’ve lacked those elements in recent years and think that Andrew’s addition will be a key factor in the growth of our team. Stephen Jackson, meanwhile, enjoyed some of his best years in the NBA in the Bay Area and is a veteran who knows how to play on both ends of the floor. The difficult part of this transaction is having to part ways with several players who we really value and one, in particular, Monta Ellis, who has been instrumental in our organization for the last several years. We wish Monta, Ekpe and Kwame the best of luck in Milwaukee and thank them for their many contributions."
Regardless of what you felt the moment you heard about this trade, what Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News wrote on his blog rings true.
But today’s trade is not a PR-based move. Give them credit for that–they traded the fans’ favorite and definitely their most known NBA player… for an injured Australian center.
Not PR-driven. Clearly not payroll-driven. Not ticket-selling-driven.
Basketball-driven. Might not work out, but kudos to the Warriors for looking at the long-term, not the short-term headlines.
As olympicmike excitedly wrote late last night, this was a grown man move for the Warriors.
Yet the trade leaves Bucks fans with more questions than answers, according to Frank Madden of SBN's Brew Hoop.
Then again, adding Ellis and Udoh doesn't fundamentally alter the Bucks' short-term ceiling either. Milwaukee is unlikely to do better than the seventh seed this season (4.5 games behind Boston), and holding off the floundering Knicks for the eighth spot might be the most realistic upside scenario. Yet even that is unlikely to deliver much more than a swift first round exit at the hands of the Bulls--and all the Chicago fans who would inevitably invade the Bradley Center.
Is that progress? Reasonable people will disagree, and for the Bucks' front office it's almost a no-win situation.
Both teams have staked out a new direction with this deal and reasonable people will indeed disagree about whether the Warriors' direction is good or bad. But it's so rare that the Warriors do anything that leaves any room for optimism that it's hard not to praise them in the short-term for at least appearing to be acting upon a long-term vision.