Got this from a bay area paper....
i think with monta ellis on the knicks, we will automatically be contenders for the 8th spot. maybe higher. question to you all, how can we make this possible? what scenarios would you chose? warrior fans are furious with ellis seeing how he just signed a 6 year 66 mil deal, and he chose to hop on a moped and break his ankle.
Warriors’ hardball stance could drive Monta Ellis to seek a release or trade
Posted by Tim Kawakami on November 4th, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Categorized as NBA, Warriors
There have been murmurings about the Monta Ellis situation for a while now, beneath the Warriors-led initial discussion of the great amount of penalties they must impose upon him while he’s injured.
That’s the surface stuff.
The real murmurings around the league: If Warriors colossus Robert Rowell isn’t careful, Ellis could eventually decide to make his own judgment.
The real decision to watch: Ellis could decide that he wants nothing more to do with the team, whether they decide to void his contract or not.
If he feels his recovery is coming along, Ellis could say by mid-December: Either void my deal or trade me, your choice, because I’m never playing for a franchise that would do this to me after I admitted my mistake and was ready to accept singular punishment.
That Ellis judgment is a very live possibility.
And there are teams that would take Ellis, if his deal was voided (basically, a release) or if the Warriors shopped him for trade.
Even now, with at least a month before he can begin running–and probably two months, realistically–there is at least one team, with cap space, that would almost certainly take Ellis as an unrestricted free agent and prepare to build around him.
(Hint: The Warriors just lost to that team.)
So… if the Warriors believe Ellis won’t be worth anywhere close to the $66M deal he signed last summer, then they’re playing this right. Total Hardball. Cohan and Rowell will get their money back at some point.
But if Rowell believes that he wants, or might want, Ellis for the long-term, that the 23-year-old guard is still one of 30 or 40 players who can make a major difference in the NBA, then the Warriors are headed down a very dangerous path with Ellis.
I think, if Rowell continues to try to beat Ellis in this situation–and that’s what it is now about for the Warriors, beating people in negotiation–Rowell could end up without Ellis permanently and the Warriors could be seriously compromised in all future free-agent negotiations.
Do the Warriors understand that?
In fact, one source indicated this week that Ellis and his representatives told the Warriors on at least one occasion recently that if the Warriors want to void the $66M deal, they should go ahead and do it and Ellis will move on with his career.
The Warriors, at that time, chose not to void the deal, I’m told.
So the Ellis grievance, filed last week, is NOT about the penalty by itself. Tons of people cheered the Warriors’ hardline on the penalty, which is fine, and many more railed at Ellis and his representative for complaining about this process. Fine.
Again: Ellis and his representatives have accepted that he violated his contract in the scooter accident in August and would have accepted a one-time penalty. Even a voiding of the deal (probably).
The grievance is about protecting Ellis against Rowell’s attempt to punish Ellis and THEN hold “the Sword of Damocles,” as one source described it, over Ellis’ head possible for the duration of the six-year contract.
That’s a big difference, even Rowell himself would have to admit that. The double-jeopardy situation is not good business in the NBA. I’m sorry, but it’s not.
I know, the hardliners say that Ellis deserves no sympathy and that Rowell is well within his rights to suspend Ellis for 30 games, fining him $3M, and reserving the right to further punish Ellis according to an indefinite timetable and based on Rowell’s own interpretation of Ellis’ post-injury value.
I understand much of that. Ellis screwed up. Fans don’t like players who screw up. Fans hate that the players make that much money in the first place. They love it when players who screw up get harsh penalties. Fair enough.
Rowell has to protect the Warriors’ fiscal interests–that’s why he’s the team colossus. Rowell IS the Warriors now and darn it, he’s going to prove that in every negotiation, every story, every media guide, every way possible.
But I also understand that the NBA is a limited work force and the group of players who can single-handedly change the outcome of a game is even more limited. The group of players who have proven they can single-handedly change games who are also under 25 is even more limited than that.
Maybe Ellis is still one of those handful of players to build a franchise around. Maybe he’s not and maybe Ellis really wasn’t one of those guys even before the injury. (Don Nelson is not the only one who had his doubts about Ellis a little more than a year ago.)
But if the Warriors have any thought that Ellis still is a difference-maker… that he can come back almost 100% from this ankle injury… that they still like him… that they want him around for six years or more…
Then they have an awfully odd way of showing it. I hear murmurings that Ellis and his agent are getting a bad feeling about the Warriors’ insistence on Hardball and I know that they have a decision to make, too.
Do the Warriors know this? Do they care? Maybe neither. I’m picking that up a lot these days: The Warriors don’t know or care about a lot of things, other than proving that Rowell is a colossus