The quest for a game changing big man continues with the news that the Warriors are making a strong push for a Dwight Howard trade. The Warriors have been unsuccessful in attempts to attract Kevin Garnett, A'mare Stoudamire, Tyson Chandler, and DeAndre Jordan. The latter two in that list are difference makers, but Dwight Howard is a franchise cornerstone superstar.
Reports say that the Warriors are willing to part with either Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry, among other players. Should the Warriors give up major pieces to get Howard without the guarantee he will stay after the end of the season when he will be a free agent? Yes. This is the ideal time for this franchise to take a chance. This is the time for Joe Lacob to show the rest of the NBA that he is serious about turning the team around, even if Howard is only a rental. If the Warriors acquire Howard in a trade this season, they will be able to offer the big fella $30 million more than any other franchise via the bird law (LeBron turned down the extra $30 mil he could have taken in Cleveland to take his talents to South Beach).
The next difficult question: Who should the Warriors move in order to get Howard? Ellis or Curry? In 2008, it looked like Monta's "scooter-gate" incident would make his ankle the problem, but recently Curry's ankle has been the bigger concern. At the beginning of the year, I would bet that at least 51 percent of Warriors fans would chose to keep Curry over Ellis, but now...I would say the momentum has swung in the favor of keeping Ellis. Ellis is leading the league in minutes, eighth in scoring at 23 ppg, and eighth in assists with 8 apg. I think Warriors GM Larry Riley is proposing Stephen Curry, Dorell Wright, Ekpe Udoh, Andris Biedrins, and Klay Thompson for Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, and a throw in like Quentin Richardson or Von Wafer. The Warriors need to get Dwight Howard, whether it costs Curry or Ellis. Let's say the Dub's find a way to get Howard, there is still the chance that Howard will bounce out in the off-season. That's a big risk, especially if Curry and his shaky ankle is the only guy left after the dust settles.
If you're having trouble making a decision between Curry and Ellis, here's a question: Is Stephen Curry still the guy to build the franchise around? Block out the Howard trade talks and consider it. Is Steph's ankle going to limit his career? Well, it already has. I see Steph and see Grant Hill, an ultra talented player who's career was sidelined with ankle problems. Steph will be a productive NBA player for a long time, but staying healthy will be a problem. Ellis is extremely durable and the guy to keep. If the Warriors have to give up Ellis, they should get a better package in return.