Friday, March 16, 2012

Ellis Debuts Against Former Team Tonight

By Rob Small

There were 10 deals as the NBA trade deadline approached and 16 teams got into the mix. The first teams to drop a big deal were the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors and both teams were in for a shake-up.

Bucks get:
Monta Ellis, Guard
Ekpe Udoh, Center
Kwame Brown, Center (injured)

Warriors get:
Andrew Bogut, Center (injured)
Stephen Jackson, Guard/Forward (traded to San Antonio for small forward Richard Jefferson and retired point guard T.J. Ford)

Monta Ellis was traded to Milwaukee and will, perhaps, create a high-powered offense point guard Brandon Jennings. Center Ekpe Udoh, who has shown flashes of promise recently, will try to fill the void Andrew Bogut left after the trade.

Ironically, Ellis and Udoh's next game will be in the Bay Area to play their first game as Bucks against the team that traded them. In a sense, this will be Ellis' chance to say good-bye to the team that drafted him out of the second round in 2005.

He won the Most Improved Player Award the next year and became an offensive star playing in Oakland, averaging 19.6 points per game for his career.

For the the Warriors, they won't be able to use Bogut for a while. They'll re-evaluate the left ankle he fractured in a couple of weeks. Fans won't be seeing Stephen Jackson because he was traded for Richard Jefferson yesterday.

What they can expect is a chance to say thank you to Ellis, who was one of two players left from the memorable "We Believe" playoff run in 2007 when the eight-seeded Warriors beat the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks, the first time the top seed was beaten in the first round of a seven-game series.

If there was a game to watch tonight, the game down by the bay would be worth it.