Monta Ellis Trade Potentially Frees Up Klay Thompson In Warriors' Rotation

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.

For more on the Warriors, visit Golden State of Mind and SB Nation Bay Area.

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