February 22, 2012

Future Timberwolves: Monta Ellis?

There are an awful lot of rumors starting to fly around regarding the Timberwolves these days, as we are about 3 weeks away from the trade deadline.  This morning I heard about the Wolves putting in a call about Monta Ellis.  In my opinion (and I would assume many of yours), the Wolves are in desperate need of a scoring wing; so whether this rumor is true or not, let's take a look at the possibilities here.

Ellis has always been one of my favorite players outside of Minnesota, mainly because he's pretty exciting to watch.  The knock on him would probably be that he's a smaller 2-guard at 6'3", 175.  As far as I know, not many would consider him a great or even good defender.  My other fear would be that Ellis puts up really good numbers on a team that isn't good at all, and so questions arise about whether he just isn't as good as his stats imply.  Then I thought about Kevin Love.  Love put up record-setting numbers last year on a really bad team, and I don't believe for one second that Love isn't as good as his numbers say he is.  So, I'll give Ellis the benefit of the doubt on that one.

The one thing Monta Ellis can do without a doubt is create on the offensive end.  He can shoot, penetrate, dish, and electrify on the offensive side.  He's the kind of scorer that would sure be nice to have in a Wolves uniform.

Let's dig a little farther into the numbers...

There's no question Ellis would be an immediate upgrade at the 2-guard offensively, right?  Ellis is currently averaging 22.3 points, 5.8 assists, and shoots 81% from the line.  I was disappointed to see that he's only shooting 43% from the field and less than 31% from deep.

Defensively, Ellis does average 1.4 steals per 36 minutes (Rubio averages 2.4), but his Defensive Rating is 110 points per 100 possessions.  Even Michael Beasley currently holds a 102 defensive rating.  Defensively, you would have to take Wes Johnson at the 2 over Monta Ellis any day.

Overall, Ellis' PER is 19.3, which blows every other option we have out of the water.  Wes Johnson currently sits at an abysmal 5.7, JJ Barea is at 14.1, and Ridnour 12.8.  With a 15 PER being the average, you can see we currently have close to 0 quality options at the 2.

Now, what would it take to get Ellis?  Last year the discussion included Beasley, Pekovic, and the pick that became Derrick Williams.  If that were the same case this year, there's no way that would happen the way Pek has played.  I would think it would probably take Beasley and/or Williams, maybe they would take Wes to get salaries to match up, and I would assume we'd be talking draft picks as well.  Once again, Wolves draft picks are not necessarily increasing in value like they were last year.

Would I do it if I were David Kahn?  It's hard to say yes, despite Ellis being such a dynamic scorer that this team needs.  Defensively, we could probably survive with Rubio guarding the opponent's 2 guard, but that is not ideal at all.  Offensively, would I rather have Ellis than Ridnour? Yes.  Wes? Yes.  Ellington? Yes.  Would you give up Derrick Williams or Michael Beasley to get him?  Obviously it would take a bold move like that to get a guy like Ellis, but I don't know if he is the right fit for the Wolves knowing the struggles we already have defensively.  I think if you're going to make a big deal, you need to get either a bigger 2 or an athletic scoring 3 (sure would have been nice if Wes was that guy).  What do you think?

Follow Wolves Rubes on Twitter @wolvesrubes.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree more.

    Once again, going pack to the Pau Gasol rumors, I think you have that chip right now to trade (D-Will) and you have to be so wise when dealing him. The Wolves have missed on many deals (ala Ricky Davis, Terrell Brandon, Marko Jaric - but that was also McHale so lets let it go... Seriously, let it go.). Kahn was able to trade Foye/Miller for the Rubio pick. Kahn has also been reluctant to deal any young talent in the past. So call me too big of a homer, but I believe Kahnzi won't just make a trade for the sake of making a trade. He has assets right now (Williams, Beasley, Pek) and I think he won't make that big move unless there is a great fit (ERIC GORDON!!!!!), and I don't believe that is Monta Ellis. The worst thing that happens if we don't trade Williams and/or Beasley? We still have 2 really good young basketball players for this year. And although that might mean we struggle around .500 for the year and painfully watch some of the worst wing play in NBA history, it also means we hold on to Williams who figures to be a trade asset for the next 2-3 years while he's under contract here.

    Saying all that, would I be ticked if we traded for Monta Ellis? C'mon! No way! That guy is fun to watch. But Winnersville over long periods of time is way better than Loserville with a flashy 2-guard.