One of the immediate ramifications of the Monta Ellis trade from the Golden State Warriors' perspective is that rookie Klay Thompson, a lottery pick out of Washington State, should see a larger role on the court for the remainder of the season. Ellis played 53 percent of Golden State's shooting guard minutes this season to date, according to 82games.com, with Thompson picking up 27 percent and stretching out at small forward part-time.
The Ellis trade should make Thompson the new starter at the second guard position ... unless Stephen Jackson, sent to Golden State with Andrew Bogut in the deal, takes up that spot. Jackson has played shooting guard and small forward fairly interchangeably over his career, including this season. Reports suggest that the Warriors have no interest in buying Jackson out of the gross contract they actually signed him to years ago; so long as Jackson, an able and long defender, is on the bench, there's a strong chance that head coach Mark Jackson will want to play him.
Fortunately, there's also a hole at small forward in Golden State, and StackJack could fill in there primarily, leaving Thompson's path clear. Before Sunday's game, incumbent starter Dorell Wright had played fewer than 30 in seven straight games and 14 of the last 15. He'd averaged 38 minutes per game last season.
Ellis and Ekpe Udoh are on the books for $14.5 million next season, while Kwame Brown -- the third Warrior in the deal -- will see his contract expire at the season's end. Bogut and Jackson, meanwhile, are on the books for $23 million in 2012-13. Assuming no other trades and that Beno Udrih picks up his $7.3 million player option, the Bucks would stand to have just about $17 million in cap space in July. The Bucks do have to consider Ersan Ilyasova, however, as the Turkish forward will be a restricted an unrestricted free agent.
Just as the deal gives Milwaukee some cap space to look forward, it reduces Golden State's free agent flexibility. After the deal, Golden State projects to be at the cap without adding additional players. The Warriors have already used their amnesty clause.