"Monta Ellis have it all."

Yeah, he said it. Just like that. Monta meant it, too. Go to YouTube and search his classic five-word proclamation from a year ago this month and check the look in his eyes when he said it. He had zero doubt about the veracity of his statement, made to explain how he's as good as Dwyane Wade.

Go ahead. Laugh.

While you chuckle, Monta is quietly morphing into the player many thought he couldn't become. Now plying his trade with Dallas, he returns to Oracle Arena on a Mavericks team looking down at the Warriors in the standings. He's averaging 21.5 points on 47.4 percent shooting with 5.6 assists. Those look like the pre-moped numbers that had Golden State fans buzzing about their burgeoning star.

Monta, 28, wasn't the problem in Golden State. Sure, he has earned his reputation as an inefficient volume shooter who dislikes passing as much as he does the media. He can be petulant when things don't go his way and has a way of dominating a room -- in a bad way. And he's a tweener who gambles on defense when he isn't coasting on that end.

But that monster was crafted. It was the Warriors who mismanaged his talent, pegging him to be face of the franchise after he thrived as a brilliant third star. It was Golden State who nurtured his metamorphosis from charming, baby-faced southerner to the tatted NBA malcontent.


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Monta is showing you just how effective he can be when his strengths are highlighted. When you put him with the kind of talent that pushes him down the priority list. When you don't let his moods shape the world and his stratospheric confidence dictate your offense.

Here is the best part, though. And you should probably stop laughing right about now. Ellis is exactly what the Warriors need right now.

How much could Golden State use a reliable scorer off the bench right now? The Warriors' roster is crying out for a veteran to consistently come into games and change them.

Yeah, I know. Good luck getting Monta to come off the bench. This is the same guy who once said he was the second-best player in the NBA behind LeBron James, ahead of Kobe Bryant.

But that's what makes Monta who he is. He's 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds with a bag of oranges over his shoulder. He made it out of the slums of Jackson, Miss., to the NBA fresh out of high school. You don't get to this level without believing Goliath is but a G.I. Joe figurine.

He is a dynamic player with an exceptional skill set. When used properly, he is a dynamic weapon that can sometimes be impossible to defend. And when his head is on straight, he can help you win.

The trade of Monta was a no-brainer. Not only is it just about always good to trade small for big, but his run in the Bay Area was done. There was too much history to overcome.

Former team president Robert Rowell threatening to void his contract after the moped. The dismantling of the We Believe squad around him. The ouster of G.M. Chris Mullin, who supported Monta most. To the drafting of another player (Stephen Curry) at his position. To Don Nelson making an example out of him and riding him for being a diva. To the sexting scandal. To being the poster child for the defenseless, futile Warriors. His time here was up.

But you'd be incorrect to lay the blame solely on him. He is the birth child of a poorly managed franchise and the $66 million raise he received his fourth season. He didn't make himself the entire offense and approve of his inefficient chucking from outside. But Monta's inability to win with the Warriors wasn't exclusively his fault. It was much more Golden State's fault for succumbing.

Go ahead. Laugh.

Monta doesn't care. He has an uncanny ability to only see and hear the people he wants to see and hear. But you'd better get all those giggles in now. Because Monta is with a coach in Rick Carlisle who won't allow him to be his own worst enemy. He is with a player in Dirk Nowitzki who allows him to relish being No. 2. He is under an owner in Mark Cuban who will spare no expense to produce a winning team. And Monta is entering the prime of his career, when his athleticism and experience and hunger is clicking harmoniously.

Next time you see Monta, he might be the one laughing.

Contact Marcus Thompson at mthomps2@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Wednesday's game
Dallas (13-9) at Warriors (12-10), 7:30 p.m. CSNBA