Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group reports:
After Tuesday’s 114-108 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Warriors guard Monta Ellis was faced with the same, obvious question. With Stephen Jackson traded to the Charlotte Bobcats, does he see an opening for him to increase his role?
“I told you all,” Ellis said after totaling 23 points and eight assists, “I’m not putting any more on my back.”
The Warriors are hoping just the opposite. According to team sources, Warriors officials are watching closely to see if Ellis assumes the role as face of the franchise, being the team’s highest-paid, and perhaps best, player. How he responds could determine whether he is around for the long term.
Reports surfaced Tuesday about the Warriors actively shopping Ellis on the trade market, and Ellis’ agent, Jeff Fried, is set to meet with general manager Larry Riley this week, possibly to talk about a trade.
On the one hand, I get what Monta is saying. He’s doing all he can, so he can’t step up and do more, because he’s already doing it. On the other hand, the team needs emotional leaders as well as floor leaders more than ever, and he certainly can have the ball more, create for others more, and raise his star-level even higher. But, he’s apparently not interested in that. Which isn’t really too impressive.