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Monta Ellis Trade: Golden State Warriors Sacrifice Short-Term Cap Flexibility For Better Long-Term Prospects

In his analysis of where the Monta Ellis trade leaves the two teams involved financially, SB Nation's Tom Ziller notes that the Golden State Warriors are left without cap flexibility this summer while the Milwaukee Bucks will have room to pursue a free agent.

Ellis and Ekpe Udoh are on the books for $14.5 million next season, while Kwame Brown -- the third Warrior in the deal -- will see his contract expire at the season's end. Bogut and Jackson, meanwhile, are on the books for $23 million in 2012-13. Assuming no other trades and that Beno Udrih picks up his $7.3 million player option, the Bucks would stand to have just about $17 million in cap space in July. The Bucks do have to consider Ersan Ilyasova, however, as the Turkish forward will be a restricted free agent.

Those numbers might make using the amnesty clause on Charlie Bell sting a little bit more.

But I'll defer to GSoM'er Ronaldinho for a full rebuttal.

Now we have about $54m committed – but that would be letting nate, dominic, tyler, and jenkins go. So realistically we’re going to be about $5m under the cap, less if we keep our draft pick. We won’t be players in free agency this year.

On the other hand, without this trade, if we had around $8-12m, who could we realistically have landed who would have been as good as Bogut? Essentially, we’re pushing our ability to make a splashy FA move back one year. Looking at this year’s FA crop, I’m okay with that – since it’s the year AFTER that, when it’s time to make an offer to Curry, that is likely to be the last time to have any flexibility.

The reason the Warriors don't have an amnesty clause right now is because of their pursuit of DeAndre Jordan, who might not end up being worth the 4-year, $43 million contract that the Los Angeles Clippers ended up having to spend to keep him.

In other words, we already know that $8-12 million was neither going to net a player like Dwight Howard nor any other 2012 free agent center as good as Andrew Bogut at full health - that space would put the franchise right back in the situation they were in last summer. If it's improving through free agency that you're concerned about, 2013 has more "splashy" options within that same range that they'll be in position to make a play for...along with the possibility of having a productive center.

It's a risky move, indeed, but could work out in the Warriors' favor.

Update: Blazer's Edge contributor Storyteller adds that new rules in the post-lockout Collective Bargaining Agreement also leave the Warriors with a trade exception.

Now, here's how the trade looks from Golden State's perspective: 100% + $5.00 million of Ellis' $11.00 million outgoing salary easily creates enough room for Bogut's incoming $12.00 million. And since 150% of Brown's $6.75 million outgoing salary is large enough to absorb Jackson's incoming $9.26 million incoming salary, essentially Udoh's $3.29 million is traded for no incoming salary, meaning that the Warriors get a trade exception for that $3.29 million...they were able to take advantage of the new rule and earn another trade asset that can be used any time in the next year.

For the latest updates on the trade, visit SB Nation's storystream about the trade. For more on the Milwaukee Bucks, visit SBN's Brew Hoop.

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