Monta Ellis: Can Jerry West Deliver Monta to the L.A. Lakers?

Golden State Warriors shooting guard Monta Ellis' days in the Bay Area appear to be numbered, and there has been plenty of speculation on where one of the NBA's top 10 scorers will land if the Warriors do decide to deal him.

Some of those rumors have identified the Los Angeles Lakers as a possible destination for Ellis, and normally I would dismiss the idea of Ellis in purple and gold if not for an announcement made by Golden State on May 19th, 2011.

On that day the Warriors announced that former Lakers great Jerry West had accepted a position as head consultant for the franchise, in addition to an undisclosed minority ownership stake in the team.

West has demonstrated his ability to build a team as he is arguably the most successful former NBA star-turned general manager in league history, but does his true loyalties lie with the Warriors or the franchise that helped make him a legendary player and executive?

For those of you who scoff at the notion that West may be secretly helping to re-build the Lakers at the expense of Golden State, I offer the Memphis Grizzlies and Pau Gasol as exhibit A.

West vacated the Lakers general manager position in 2002 for the same position in Memphis citing a desire to build a franchise from the ground up and within two seasons the Grizzlies were in the playoffs and West was being named the NBA Executive of the Year.

In 2007 West handed over general manager duties for the Grizzlies to fellow West Virginia native Chris Wallace, but not before laying the groundwork for what would come to be considered one of the most lop-sided trades in NBA history, at least on the surface.

Wallace, under the guidance of West brokered a deal that sent the Grizzlies best player Gasol to the Lakers for a group of non-descript players that included the likes of under-achievers such as Kwame Brown and and Javarris Crittendon.

The Lakers who were r...

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