OAKLAND CA - DECEMBER 14: Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors drives to the basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena on December 14 2010 in Oakland California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Over the weekend, the Golden State Warriors blog Chris Cohan Sucks reported, citing an unnamed source, that the Warriors and the Orlando Magic were close to completing a trade that would send scoring guard Monta Ellis and perhaps center Andris Biedrins to Orlando, with Orlando shipping Vince Carter's semi-expiring contract, as well as Marcin Gortat, to the Bay Area. Readers of this site sent some Twitter messages my way asking if I had heard anything about the rumor. I hadn't, but I checked with a trusted source about it.
My source literally laughed the suggestion off, unable to see the appeal for either side.
Golden State, the person said, could get far more in return for Ellis than Carter's semi-expiring contract. The 25-year-old is averaging 24.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.3 steals, to go with 47.4 percent shooting from the field and a respectable 35.6 percent from three-point territory, so far this season. On the Magic's side, the source said Ellis would not be "a fit." The latter point, about Orlando's lack of interest, seems to jibe with Chris Cohan Sucks' original description of the trade as a "Warriors-end proposal," which I take to mean Golden State initiated the discussions, if they ever indeed took place.
What the source did confirm, however, is Gortat's strong value on the trade market, which should come as no surprise: a sought-after commodity in the 2009 free-agency period, Gorat ranks as among the league's most productive backup centers, albeit in limited minutes. The four-year veteran is posting career-bests in scoring (4), rebounding (4.7) and minutes (15.8) per game. Otis Smith, Orlando's President of Basketball Operations, told Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel earlier this week opposing teams often call to ask about Gortat's availability.