Yesterday, the Warriors agreed to trade Monta Ellis, Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. Today, I'll try to break down how that affects both teams.
Bogut, obviously, won't be much of factor this year (will he return at all?). His loss won't hurt the Bucks and his gain won't benefit the Warriors. He may, however, have an impact next year for the Warriors: prior to 2011/12, Bogut had consistently been an above-average center. Whether or not he can return to form after his injury remains to be seen.
For the Bucks, they instantly get a lot better. Ellis, as you may know, is considered highly overrated here at the Wages of Wins network. He's very like Melo -- he isn't particularly good (or bad) at putting the ball in the bucket, but he is really good at taking lots of shots. And, it turns out, shooting a ton of shots with average efficiency just isn't all that valuable a skill (as opposed to shooting a lot with great efficiency; that skill translates into being LeBron James). So, Ellis is overrated because all he really does is shoot a lot, and since he doesn't rebound well and tends to turn it over a lot, he doesn't bring a lot else to the table.
However, and wow I keep saying this a lot, bad is an upgrade over terrible. And Stephen Jackson is terrible. Just TURRIBLE. He's never been particularly good, and now he appears to have fallen off the cliff, which happens often with players of his age. The Bucks can slide Ellis in at shooting guard, slide Dunleavy to small forward, and never again do the Bucks need to have a guy play the wing who actually makes the team lose. Also, both Brown and Udoh, while neither is good, can play the C and get Gooden back to where he should be, namely playing PF off the bench.
In all, I think the Bucks are going to win an extra couple of games thanks to this trade. This year. Next year the Bucks will be overpaying Ellis to the tune of $11 million, and if they were smart, they'd amnesty him and let someone else pay that ("overrated" means that someone else will take him for a big chunk of that $11 million). But you all know how high my regard for NBA front office intelligence is; that won't happen. So the Bucks are stuck with Ellis for $22 million over 2 more years, instead of Jackson, who only had one year left, and would arguably be an interesting trade chip next year thanks to the expiring deal. Sure, Brown's $7 million comes off the books, but you have to find an NBA-capable center somewhere, and those aren't going to be free. I really don't like the Bucks long-term outlook because I don't see a way for them to get a super-star player. And because they probably think that Jennings and Ellis are their superstars.
The Warriors are now in an interesting spot. They can either:
- Give all the minutes at C to Biedrins, who is a shadow of his former self but still above-average at the C
- Buyout Jackson, or flip him to some foolish team that thinks he will be that extra piece they need for a playoff run
- Move Lee to his natural PF where he'll play better
- Give all of Ellis' minutes to Brandon Rush, who, holy hell is having a great year
- Make sure Dorell Wright, not Klay Thompson, gets the bulk of SF minutes
And presto, win an extra 2-3 games, maybe grab that eighth playoff spot. Oooooooooooooor, they can:
- Give Jackson/Thompson all the SF minutes
- Keep Rush's minutes low
- Keep Lee at Center and keep Biedrins on the bench
And boom! They lose a few extra games, finish in the bottom 7, and don't have to give the pick to Utah, and get a small chance at landing Anthony Davis, with Thomas Robinson, Jared Sullinger or Jae Crowder being a good consolation prize.
What I will find amusing is if Marc Jackson aspires to winning, not tanking, but tries to do it by playing Stephen Jackson a lot. HAHAHAHAHAHA. No, really, that's not going to end well.