Remember how Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry were not going to be able to play well together and Ellis had to be traded? Another urban myth, right up there with Mr. Rogers was a Navy Seal.
Ellis is having a career year — 28.6 points per game, at a shooting percentage 60 points higher than last year. Okay, all this is just five games in, so maybe he’s had just a career five games, but the Warriors have noticed. The result is that for all the talk that has been and will be about an Ellis trade out of the bay area, it’s not likely to happen, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The Warriors still are interested in landing another difference maker, but, according to multiple team sources, there are only a handful of players who would make the Warriors consider trading Ellis.
That means, though the trade deadline is three months away, a trade involving Ellis is looking unlikely. The sources said Warriors’ brass are loving the new Ellis, his pairing with point guard Stephen Curry and how he is leading the team.
Ellis is playing better because he is getting to the line more often and finishing at the rim and in the midrange much better than he was.
Ellis is getting to the free throw line 2.3 more times per game this season than last. That covers basically how many fewer shots per game he is taking — he is replacing missed shots outside with freebies at the rim.
What Ellis is really doing better is in the midrange. He’s taking almost the exact same number of shots from the rim out to 15 feet, but he’s hitting a lot more — from 10 to 15 feet Ellis is hitting 50 percent this season, up from 38.7 last year (thank you Hoopdata). From just off the rim out to 10 feet, he has gone from 43.9 percent last year to 70.6 this season. At the rim it was 61 percent last season, it’s 69 percent now.
Good numbers, not the kind you trade away.