Yesterday, Golden State Warriors GM Larry Riley sat down with local reporters to discuss a wide range of issues including the NBA Draft. However, the topic on everyone's mind was the rumors swirling around possible trades for Monta Ellis.
Current trade rumors have Ellis being traded for either the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard or the Philadelphia 76ers' Andre Iguodala.
Draft Express said that Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins, and Ekpe Udoh were offered to the Magic for Howard. The 76ers trade would be a straight up swap for the two players.
Via the Mercury News, Riley said, This is one of those things where there have been at least two stories that were absolute fabrications.
Riley continued, Oh, it's very likely that he will not be traded on draft night or even through the summer. I'm not looking at that happening. It would take something that I don't see for that to happen.
It's interesting to note that while Riley shot down the two reports and said Ellis is not likely to be traded through the summer, he did not emphatically say that Ellis would not be traded.
In fact, Riley admitted that he had been talking to other teams about a possible trade for Ellis calling them mild inquiries for the shooting guard, but not any substantive offers.
In conclusion, Riley said that Ellis was a special player and a top five two-guard in the NBA.
The Warriors currently have two of the top guards in the NBA with Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. However, both are similar players - small in stature, great scorers, and poor to average defenders.
With only David Lee and Andris Biedrins for an interior presence, the Warriors are looking to upgrade and get a star NBA big man who can do everything - rebound, score, and perhaps most importantly, defend.
Riley confirmed that the Warriors are interested in drafting power forward Bismack Biyombo with their number 11 pick at the June 23 draft.
Biyombo is a great defender, can rebound, and certainly has the size. However, he would be a long term project in terms of developing a decent NBA shot or post game.
Other big men that the Warriors are considering are European's Jonas Valanciunas, Enes Kanter and Jan Vesely, but Riley does not think they will be there at the Warriors slot.
It's interesting to note that Riley also said the team is interested in drafting Washington State guard Klay Thompson who plays the same position as Ellis.
With the holes that the Warriors have on their roster, the only way that the Warriors really need someone like Thompson is if they were looking to trade Ellis for a big man.
Thompson has great size at 6'-7, 206 lbs that would match up well with the smaller Curry. Thompson is also great pure shooter, but like Curry, is an average defender that would need to develop that part of his game more in the NBA.