The Golden State Warriors caught a lot of flak from their fan base for trading away Monta Ellis. Even more upsetting to some was that they not only traded away the teams' best and most popular player, they did so for an injured player who wouldn't even see time on the court this season - Andrew Bogut. The trade was the straw that broke the camel's back and resulted in the booing of owner Joe Lacob during Chris Mullin's jersey retirement ceremony.
I'll be one of the first ones to say that Monta Ellis wasn't the answer for the Warriors. He was a part of the 2006-2007 playoff run that sparked the "We Believe" era, but aside from that, all Ellis ever did was score a lot of points - which is not a bad thing. The backcourt of Ellis and Stephen Curry had to be broken up and with all of Curry's injuries Ellis' trade value was much higher. However, I don't think it was as high as most Warriors' fans believed. They obviously thought they could have done much better than Andrew Bogut.
Ever since the Ellis trade, Warriors' rookie Klay Thompson has stepped into the starting lineup at the two-guard. Thompson is 6'7'', lengthy, can shoot the lights out, and a smart player. Since Ellis' departure, Thompson is averaging 20 points per game, 2.7 rebounds per game, and 4.3 assists per game. To me, those numbers are impressive for a rookie who has been thrown into the starting lineup. Most importantly, I cannot remember thinking once about how I missed Monta Ellis on the floor for the Warriors. I'm not sure if I'm alone on that front, but Ellis' departure really doesn't seem to have affected the team.
I think Klay Thompson may be the real deal. It's hard to say definitively whether or not he will develop into the two-guard the Warriors need for their future, but all signs are pointing in the right direction with Thompson. To be honest, I find it hard to believe he's a rookie sometimes with the confidence he plays with. Then again it can't hurt that his dad is Mychal Thompson, former two-time NBA Champion with the Los Angeles Lakers. I'm sure his dad gave him plenty of advice, even though the NBA was a little different back then.
Thompson scored a season-high 27 points with five rebounds and five assists as the Warriors snapped their four-game losing streak against the New Orleans Hornets. That performance alone right there proves to me that he is up for the task of becoming the Warriors' two-guard of the future.