In wake of Ellis-Bogut trade, some key issues

March 14, 2012, 9:14 pm
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All right, the Warriors trade of Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh andKwame Brown to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson is sinking in.And there are a lot of angles to examine.

NEWS: Warriors send Monta to Bucks
Here are some issues that come to mind:Crunch-time and halfcourt scoring: Thereis a school of thought regarding the Warriors, in general, that scoring is theleast of their issues. Ive disagreed with that in the past and stilldo.
Yes, the Warriors have been a high-scoring team, but in thehalfcourt and late in games they are not efficient or effective for the mostpart. Quite frankly, there have been plenty of times when the Warriors offensebogged down, and Ellis was able to bail them out by making a shot.The Warriors moved the only player on their roster capable of creating his ownshot, and that will have a tangible effect. Who will score the big points forthe Warriors? Who will get them tough buckets down the stretch ofgames?Its easy to criticize Ellis failures on late-gamepossessions, but the reality is that neither David Lee nor Stephen Curry hasshown aggressiveness offensively when the game is on the line.Maybe they will step up in Ellis absence, but that iscertainly not a given. The Warriors are going to need to establish a completelynew offensive identity, now that theyve lost their long-time leading scorerand it wont be easy.Boguts health: Lets face it, if Bogutdoesnt return to 100 percent this trade will have been a disaster. He brokehis ankle earlier this season, and last season he sustained a serious elbowinjury.If Bogut returns next season and resembles the old Bogut,then the Warriors will have found a center theyve been looking at for years.When Bogut is at his best, he excels at rebounding, shot-blocking and passing and he also can score a little bit.Lee and Bogut could become the best passing powerforwardcenter combination in the league. But it all depends on Boguts health.The Warriors are going to need at least 65 games out of Bogut in each of thenext two seasons. If they dont get that many, theyre in trouble.The rest of this season: Its obvious thatowner Joe Lacob and his front office made this trade because they dont believethe Warriors, as constructed, could make a playoff push.Clearly, this years first-round pick was on their minds.Because of a previous trade, if the Warriors earn the No. 1 through No. 7 pickin the draft, they will keep their pick.If they end up with the No. 8 pick or worse, it will beconveyed to Utah. In other words, the Warriors front office no longer caresabout making the playoffs but instead is interested in securing their own draftpick.So, the more the Warriors fall in the standings, the betterthe odds that theyll get to keep their pick.RELATED: NBA standings
But theyve got a long way to go considering theyre No. 11in the NBA right now. Worst-case scenario would be for the Warriors to not makethe playoffs and still lose their pick.Jacksons status: Its obvious theWarriors will try to re-route Jackson to another team before Thursdaysdeadline, but that is going to be extremely difficult.First off, all the players involved in the trade must passphysicals and thats going to take some time. In other words, its possiblethat the Warriors wont have league clearance to make a move involving Jacksonbecause this deal will not have completely cleared.The other thing is that the Warriors cannot aggregateJackson with any other player or salary, meaning they can only trade him andhim only as part of a deal. They may take more than one player back,however.It seems more than plausible that Jackson will remain aWarrior past the deadline and then the team will have to make a decision whatto do with him.

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