The trade rumor de jour seems to involve G Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors. Less than three days after the Warriors named ESPN/ABC commentator Mark Jackson the 24th coach of the sometimes dysfunctional franchise, it appears as if the team is shopping around their best player.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger reports that the chances are "50/50" that Ellis could end up with the Philadelphia 76ers in a deal that would include Andre Iguodala.
Of course, if Ellis doesn't end up in the "City of Brotherly Love," it's rumored that he could end up alongside Dwight Howard with the Orlando Magic or in the ATL with your Atlanta Hawks.
Cue the irresponsible rumor mill.
Ellis, who is a combo shooting guard and point guard, averaged 24.1 points and 5.6 assists per game for the Warriors last season. Hoopshype.com says that Ellis is under contract for two more seasons at $11 million per season and has player option worth $11 million in the 2013-14 campaign.
Gee, who in Atlanta makes around $11 million per year that the Warriors might covet and that has been rumored on the trading block? You guessed it -- Josh Smith.
Smith has a pair of seasons left on his deal. He may make $12.4 million next season (or a pro-rated version of that once the NBA emerges out of its all-but certain lockout) and is under contract for $13.2 million in the 2012-13 season.
While I'd never pull the trigger on this deal if I were Golden State (trading anyone who can play the point guard for a forward makes zero sense to me), this is the Warriors we're talking about -- an organization that historically has been as well run as well -- the Atlanta Spirit.
Anything is possible with those two ownership groups. The Hawks have just eight or nine while the Warriors have 19 owners when they were put under new management last season.
Wake me when they actually play basketball at Philips Arena again, please.