Warriors may come to regret trading Udoh

March 23, 2012, 6:03 pm
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Im beginning to think the Warriors are going to regrettrading power forward Ekpe Udoh.Thats not to say that the Warriors shouldnt have made thetrade for Bucks center Andrew Bogut, but it seems apparent theyre going tomiss Udoh moving forward. And Im not just talking about the rest of this year,Im talking about for the rest of Udohs career.Monta Ellis was a tough player to let go in that trade. Questionis, was there any way the Warriors could have held onto Udoh? Was there anotherdeal there that could have been made?
Probably. The Bucks would have taken Klay Thompson.This isnt to say Udoh is going to be a star in the NBA, buthes looking more and more like someone who will become an important piece on avery good team.Udoh is an acquired taste, and one Warriors coach MarkJackson never seemed to appreciate fully. Udoh blocks shots and defendsconsistently, and his offensive game continues to trend upward.After the Celtics-Bucks game on Thursday night, Milwaukeecoach Scott Skiles had this to say: The only really good defensive minutes wehad was when Ekpe was in the game. He was plugging everything up, doing what hedoes. Other than that, we really struggled.The point is every team and the Warriors most especially can use a player such as Udoh. Hes a dirty-work player, but with talent and asemblance of an offensive game.There just seems to be a disconnect in terms of the Warriorsemphasizing defense and then trading away their best interior defensive player.In other words, if defense is priority No. 1, why would you include Udoh in thedeal?Udoh was never really used correctly while he was at GoldenState. Under Keith Smart a year ago, Udoh was discouraged from taking thatface-up 17- or 18-footer, and yet thats what he did at Baylor.Under Jackson, Udoh was primarily used in post-upsituations. Hes not bad at that aspect of the game, but Udoh is not someoneyou want to force-feed consistently down there.I see Udoh as a player who could possibly start on achampionship level team, provided they have enough scorers. Every team contenders and non-contenders alike seek out players such as Udoh.The rap, of course, on Udoh with the Warriors was that he didnt rebound.Thats why his 10 rebounds in 21 minutes last night for the Bucks is sotroubling. If he turns into a consistent rebounder, chances are hell turn intoan NBA starter.The interesting thing about Udoh with the Warriors was thatwhen he played the team rebounded better. Since hes gone, the Warriors havebeen consistently manhandled inside.Some say the Warriors had to trade Ellis, that it had to bedone. But when the Warriors included Udoh in the deal, then the move becamelopsided in favor of the Bucks.Udoh is getting better and better. Hes a certain rotationplayer and now its just a matter of whether hes a starter or not. For Warriors fans, Ellis was hardenough to move. That Udoh went with him only makes it worse.

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