So yesterday the Mad Ants and the Sioux Falls Skyforce swapped point guards; David Bailey for Carl Elliott. A trade, that as Scott pointed out last night, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for Sioux Falls. The trade definitely favors Fort Wayne, as they are getting a very solid backup to (my pick for) the best PG in the D-League, Walker Russell Jr, for a (very) small point who doesn’t fit into their offense at all.
Elliott has started all 19 games for the Skyforce this season and trails only Frank Williams in minutes played this season. Elliott is bringing the Ants some nice scoring potential as well, as he’s averaging 15.9 on the season. Also his 2.58 steals per game won’t hurt (just behind Russell’s 2.59). Why would the Skyforce want to give up all of that for little 5-8 David Bailey, with his cringe-worthy 36% shooting mark? Frankly, David Bailey fits in Sioux Falls a lot more than he does here in Fort Wayne. He’s played for the team twice on two different stints, and when you’re 5-8 with a strange (but very awesome) walk, and crazy hair to go along with it, you’re going to become a fan-favorite wherever you go. Plus, he averaged numbers very close to what Elliott has been averaging this season. So it sounds like a solid trade. We gave Sioux Falls a point who has proven he can fit in their starting five, and in return the Ants get a solid guard who puts the “point” in point guard (how lame was that?). So what’s the problem?
Well, the Skyforce could have easily gotten Bailey a few weeks back and not had to give up Elliott (they could have possibly waived Milone Clark, who averages just an assist and barely five points a game and not much else in near 19 minutes a game). Bailey was playing in Poland earlier this season, it wasn’t working out for him, and went back home to Chicago before he started the next chapter in his basketball career. This is information you think a team like Sioux Falls, who had a pretty good relationship with Bailey, would know about. But who can complain? Bailey will most likely get a significant increase in minutes, as he saw limited time (just five minutes in Sunday’s win over Anaheim) off Jaren Jackson’s bench.
Skyforce fans get one of their favorites back (plus, the kid is a natural in Skyforce blue!) and Elliott shouldn’t be too missed with Bailey likely to put up similar numbers for the team, just like he has in the past. The Mad Ants move on from a failed experiment with a big smile on their face as they’ve acquired one of the better scoring guards in the league.
So in the end, what I’m saying in a very long, very rambling, very ridiculous sort of way, is that Bailey belongs in Sioux Falls and Carl Elliott can only help the Mad Ants (even if it sort of hurts Elliott at the same time). Bailey is out of Fort Wayne and all is right in the world. You may now go back to living your regular life, in your average sized home, with your average looking wife/husband.
And the title of my post would be really awful if it wasn't a Smiths reference now wouldn't it? Continue on to read the rest of my breakdown of this (interesting?) trade...
There are losers however. First off, Carl Elliott. I can’t see Elliott starting for the Ants. The team has Russell (who you may have heard about, ya know, leading the league in assists) pretty much set at the point (he’s played 666 minutes in 17 games this season…a fact that could actually explain this trade in some sort of weird superstitious sort of way). Ron Howard is back from injury and looking just as good as ever (he had 19 in Sunday’s win) and is likely to keep his spot at the two guard. So Elliott’s minutes are likely to suffer. I’m sure he’ll get some solid time off the bench, but his numbers are going to suffer, and in the D-League, numbers are a big deal to these players (let’s be honest, they’d all trade a D-League championship and the ability to use vowels for an NBA contract). Also, Fort Wayne loved Bailey while he was here (all eight games). There was even a group of three fans who sported shirts with “the Bailey Bunch” across the front at the Coliseum those four home games he was around for (who seemed to just recently start yelling very loudly at Ant home games; I want to hear what they’re saying however, I’ve sat behind them and neither me nor my girlfriend could make out a word of it – but perhaps this is their thing? Unintelligible yelling? Maybe neither her or I can hear very well? Toss up).
Bailey probably received the loudest cheers of any Mad Ants player since Jeremy Richardson (you know, all those twelve months ago). However, a lot of that was the novelty factor. Bailey was short! He had crazy hair! Just the type of player that old white people who are casual basketball fans love! I say “novelty” because sadly there aren’t that many of “US” (those who follow the D-League and actually know how many assists per game a 5-8 kid out of Loyola averages). And I hate to admit it (because I love watching Bailey play-he truly is a great player in this league, he just simply didn’t fit very well with the Ants) but “novelty” just doesn’t win games.
David Bailey coming to Fort Wayne is the D-League equivalent to Patrick Ewing (not Junior) coming back to the NBA and playing for the Pacers. Yes, Pacers fans would love the novelty of having Ewing play for them after all of the years of rivalry between the Knicks and Indiana, but something about it would just seem a little off (and a little impossible, but I’m a dreamer), mostly because Ewing would probably rather break all the necks of Pacer fans due to all of the possible rings the team took away from him (Bailey wasn’t very well liked here in Fort Wayne when the Skyforce would come to town last season). And yeah, it was off.
When I learned Bailey was coming to the Ants, part of me was very excited (you can see that in my post about the situation), but the other part was dreaming. Bailey isn’t an Ant (I won’t make a height joke here). He’s a Skyforce-er (is that what they call themselves?). I’ll miss him, but in the same way you miss the mansion you owned in your amazing dream last night where you were married to Penelope Cruz. It was very nice at the time, but it really did nothing for you in the long run (as it was a dream). However, this particular dream gained us Carl Elliott. So that’s something. And wow this comparison is really bad isn’t it? I’m not good at comparisons.