There seems to be a boat load of interest for Monta Ellis around the league, because he is a great scoring threat who can get his shot off beyond the arc, or utilizing his quick first step, get a layup at the rim. His defense is nothing to write home about, but his offensive abilities make up for that. Doesn't that sound like another player that we know very well?
I could have rewritten that entire paragraph, but replace Monta Ellis with Marcus Thornton, and no one would have disagreed (except for that part about a "boat load of interest.") I didn't understand why there seemed to so much buzz around Monta Ellis, when it also seems like it would be nearly impossible to trade Marcus Thornton. So I grabbed my Sherlock Holmes hat and pipe (it's not weed I swear, but I am feeling a bit hungry now......) and did some investigating.
First off, I don't know how to do all them fancy graphs and tables, so what you are about to see will be displeasing to your eyes. (Please don't harm your firstborns because of me.)
Here are their comparative stats from this past season (Taken from John Hollinger's ESPN stats):
PT/40 R/40 A/40 TS% AST ratio TO ratio USG PER
21.2 4.6 2.1 55.2 9.2 6.9 21.1 16.32
20.5 4.1 6.4 49.3 21.1 10.8 25.5 16.3
I don't know about you , but I would say that other than the assisting numbers, those two players are nearly identical. Throw in MT's superior 3pt shooting (career 36.5% vs 31.8%) and free throw percentage (83.2 vs 77.3), and there is not much separating these two players. Don't get me wrong, having high assist numbers is great and very important to have. But at the off guard position, is it that important? Wull, probably, but not important enough that it would make it impossible to trade Thornton.
Thornton would likely be able to be had at a smaller contract than Ellis, and would also be willing to accept a smaller role than Ellis. Ellis thinks way to high of himself, and believes that he should be the star of a team. Thornton on the other hand would be willing to accept a 6th man award, as long as he gets his fair share of minutes. Think of a JR Smith type of role.
I am NOT trying to say that Thornton and Ellis are equal players. If I could have one of the two on identical contracts, I would choose Ellis everyday of the week (except Tuesday, I don't like Tuesdays.) But, what I am trying to say is that I don't think Marcus Thornton is impossible to trade, and we could likely even get decent value in return for him. If I were Pete D, any time I saw a team connected to Monta Ellis, I would instantly call them up and try to sweet talk them into a deal for Marcus Thornton. (I hear he gives amazing back rubs.)