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Since Landing a Player Isn’t Working, the Warriors Hunting For Picks

No, the Warriors were not involved in the Carmelo Anthony deal. You’ve figured that out by now.

They are involved in the sense that their second-round picks are involved. But the New York Knicks got those from the Warriors in the David Lee trade, sources confirmed. The Warriors aren’t getting any players out of the Anthony deal.

So what are the Warriors working on?

General manager Larry Riley, I keep hearing, is determined to get something for the $17 million in expiring contracts he has in his wallet. He may not be able to cash in all of them, but the goal is not to let them go to waste. The funny part is, the Warriors finally have an owner that is willing to use the expiring contracts, instead of letting them come off the books and save the money, but now they’re worth nothing.

So Riley is rummaging the market looking for something. The chances of the Warriors getting a difference maker is slim to none. The chances of them getting a smaller piece they like isn’t looking too good. (No, they don’t want Troy Murphy). Teams want some players in addition to those expirings — namely point guard Stephen Curry — or they want the Warriors to take an undesirable contract.

So what’s left? Draft picks. Multiple sources have told me the Warriors are trying hard to at least get a draft pick.

It’s not looking too good, at this point, in terms of a first-round pick. Golden State may have to settle for a few second-round picks. For example, New Orleans has interest in forward Brandan Wright, but the Warriors don’t really like anything on their bench. Problem is, the Hornets’ first-round pick belongs to Portland. Even if they had it, it’s unlikely the any team is coughing up a first-round draft pick for Wright.

Golden State already has a 2011 first-round pick that they cannot trade (because 2012 is going to New Jersey in that Marcus Williams deal). And they have two second-round picks in 2011 (one from Chicago in C.J. Watson deal and one from Nets in Anthony Morrow deal). But the Warriors don’t have any picks in 2012 (first-rounder is top-7 protected), as their second-rounder is now in Denver via New York.

Marcus Thompson