W's Mailbag: Forget Monta Ellis for Joakim Noah


Time for the mail Is the rumor of Monta Ellis to Chicago for JoakimNoah legitimate? Martin, San Jose.Steinmetz: Well, as far as rumors go, I guess itslegitimate because its out there and people are talking about it. But I cantimagine a scenario in which the Bulls would do this.Why would they?Chicago is 18-5 and has the best record in the EasternConference. Noah is their defensive anchor as well as the teams best rebounder not to mention their best-post defender.Its highly unlikely that the best team in the East wouldgive up their most important big men for Ellis, a combo guard who shoots a lowpercentage. Quite frankly, Im not sure the Warriors could get Noah even ifthey made every player on their roster available. Hes very good and a hugepart of what the Bulls are all about.Any chance the Warriors go after Chris Kaman? Hesdoing nothing for New Orleans. CallMeKO, Oakland, Calif.Steinmetz: I think if the Warriors were of a mindto significantly reshape their team, then Kaman would afford them anopportunity to do it. Make no mistake, it wouldnt be to acquire Kaman to bethe teams center. It would be to change the make-up of their team, perhapsacquire a first-round draft pick and to have cap space going forward.A week or so ago I suggested the Warriors look into tradingMonta Ellis for Kaman and a first-round pick (likely Minnesotas, which theHornets own). However, the Hornets are said to want to go in the otherdirection as far as draft picks go. In other words, they want anotherfirst-round pickto make threeand would rather not give one of theirsup.That makes sense, but if nothing appealing comes to theHornets, then perhaps theyd have to change their thinking with regard to that.The Hornets do have shooting guard Eric Gordon, but there istalk he will be pursued heavily by the Indiana Pacers in the offseason. So ifthe Hornets think they might lose Gordon, then Ellis would be a worthwhileacquisition.Honest opinion, what do you think if Klay Thompson?Marvin, Antioch, Calif.Steinmetz: I like him much better than I did atthe start of the season, thats for sure. Thompson struggled early and now hasseemed to gain some confidence.It sure looks like hes going to be a heck of a shooter, butthe question is whether hes got enough skills in other areas to be a startingcaliber two guard.Defensively, Thompson has struggled but thats to beexpected. A big question regarding Thompson will be whether or not he candiversify his game enough and become a threat at doing other things than justshooting 3-pointers.Nearly half of Thompsons attempts this season have beenfrom beyond the arc. And if he wants to be a starter in the NBA, hes going tohave to do other things at the offensive end.Regarding the Jerry West hirewill that pay offsoon or was that an overhyped PR hire? StraightG, South Bay.Steinmetz: Well, I dont think theres any doubtWest is doing a lot less personnel-wise than the Warriors led on when he washired. Hes been up here in the Bay Area a few times since the season began,but hes mostly stayed in Southern California.West is in the loop, but hes not involved in the day-to-dayand hes certainly not making any phone calls. Heres the bottom line: Westsaid upon his hiring that hes a risk-taker and someone willing to make boldmoves.But have there been any since Joe Lacob bought the team orsince West took over? Not really. To me, thats indication enough that hes notas involved as some said he would be.Does Andris Biedrins have any trade value? Did hebefore the season started? Dante, Parts Unknown.Steinmetz: Biedrins has a little trade value andthe reason I say that is because hes a center who at least has shown theability to rebound. That alone makes him a player that certain teams wouldwant. Mostly talking elite teams here.Take a look at the Dallas Mavericks last year. They hadTyson Chandler, Brendan Haywood, Ian Mahinmi. Look at the Oklahoma CityThunder. They have Kendrick Perkins, Nazr Mohammed, Cole Aldrich, Nick Collisonand Serge Ibaka.My point is that the best teams in the league could alwaysuse size. Now, you wont be able to get much for Biedrins and his contract (9million this season and two more seasons after this) will make it a challenge.But I actually believe someone like Biedrins might be easierto trade than, say, David Lee, because Biedrins contract is shorter and Leescontract is so cumbersome.

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