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Warriors GM Larry Riley Feeling Good After the Warriors Trade Deadline Roster Shake-Up

The trade deadline has passed, the Warriors are done dealing. So Warriors general manager Larry Riley, surveying the fruits of his labors, felt good enough to make some pretty bold statements.

“Frankly, ladies and gentleman, we’ve changed the organization. We’ve changed the Warriors organization in terms of the way we do business and our roster.”

and …

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“I don’t want to sit in front of the media and make a comment I made last year: ‘I like our team, but I don’t like our record. That gets worn out pretty quick. It was time to go in a different direction and let’s go see if we can grab the brass ring.”

and …

“There is no doubt in our mind that our roster has improved by leaps and bounds. … There is no doubt that the Warriors roster is a much better roster. The media used to ask me if this roster a playoff roster. And we’d have to look at it and say, ‘Uhhh, maybe so, maybe not.’ This is a playoff roster.”

You can see why Riley is feeling good. Thursday afternoon, the Warriors officially announced they traded Stephen Jackson to San Antonio. In exchange, they received small forward Richard Jefferson, the Spurs’ lottery-protected 2012 first-round draft pick, and retiring point guard T.J. Ford. So, all totaled, this trade season has produced their starting center of the future, all but ensured their presence in the first round of the NBA draft.

Golden State also bought a second-round pick from the Atlanta Hawks, giving them two. Combined with a late-first round pick, Golden State has some pieces to possibly move up in the draft. So the Warriors feel like they’ll be in good position come June.

“The point is we now have some tools to work with,” Riley said. “We’ll improve our position in the draft anyway we possibly can. That isn’t something that absolutely has to be done, but it is something that is absolutely desirable.”

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Riley said he’d been talking with Spurs general manager R.C. Buford on Wednesday, but talks really got going on Thursday morning. The Spurs’ condition wound up being amenable. They wanted the draft pick lottery protected (meaning San Antonio keeps their pick if they miss the playoffs and wind up with one of the top 14 picks) and they wanted the Warriors to take the expiring $1.2 million contract of T.J. Ford – who has said he’s going to retire after his latest spinal injury.

The Warriors were willing to add the salary. They are already taking on an extra year of salary with Jefferson, who has two years left after this year worth more than $21 million (Jackson had one year left worth $10 million). Golden State also added future salary in the deal for Bogut, so the Warriors will probably have just the mid-level exception to work with when it comes to free agents.

But Riley, the way he’s feeling right now after the renovation the Warriors just pulled off, couldn’t care less about being under the salary cap. Especially after the Warriors have failed in the past at signing any big-time free agents.

“I’m telling you,” Riley said, “I’d rather have players than space.”

Marcus Thompson

  • Bane

    The moves all make sense to me. With that said, the last year of Jefferson’s contract might end up being pretty brutal. I hope he has something left in the tank.

  • Derek

    Of course he feels good about his bone head trade of Monta, Udoh and a 7 million dollar expiring contract. The guy is known for overspending, getting beat by other GM’s and generally being an incompetent old bumpkin.

    Larry Riley is to stupid to realize exactly how dumb he actually is.

  • GSWFaithful

    Riley is GM of the yeear and props to an owner not afraid to open the wellet.

  • Jaysohn

    At least for once the Warriors took action and a plan for the future. Everyone keeps saying its a risk but I don’t see where the risk is knowing that if you didn’t do anything you were going to continue to be mediocre.

  • PhillyJ

    good moves by the Ws. looking forward to next year.
    Doubt if Riley was the one who actually made the moves but give him credit anyways.

  • Stan

    Couldnt have picked a better time to get Bogut for a cheap price..Monta. Its also a short season,so the Warriors right now wont suffer long..and will have Bogut,Curry, draft picks over the summer into next season.
    But Mark Jackson? He needs to work at being a REAL coach..Nate dribbling to take the last shot isnt something drawn up. A potential big win last night wasted with a school yard brick.

  • Zak

    It is unprecedented allright: trading for a player who hasn’t been on the floor since his latest and most future concerning injury. Conventional wisdom says you don’t do that but for a true 5 they’re willing to take the chance. That said, I like the deal now that Stackjax is out of it, though Jefferson may well end up being worse in 2 years. He’s a couple years younger as well so maybe with the proper motivation he can have a role. Ws are become the charitable organization the Giants are giving comforts to vets (if not fans)..

  • Young

    Used car salesman…

  • rockridge

    I think the trades were great… But not Larry Riley.

    I believe he is correct — they have “changed the Warriors organization in terms of the way we do business and our roster.”

    But getting rid of Riley as well is a necessary part of this change. Isn’t Bob Myers “their young hotshot” supposed to replace Riley?

  • Ewok

    It hurts that Monta is gone. Monta was the entertainment value of the franchise. His athleticsm, his spectacular moves, his quickness… they were all magic but its all gone now. However, this by far, is not a bone head deal at all, especially the second trade deal in my opinion.

    Monta is a great scorer and he bailed us out countless times but with him being on the team doesn’t provide a definite direction because the team with him around, is still flawed without a true big guy. Sure we can win games with him but only good enough to a certain point and this has been the case for the past three years.

    With Bogut around, Lee, Wright, Thompson and Curry, we have a direction to enjoy. We now have a complete team, with less and manageable flaws.

    The bench is also solid with Nate Robinson, Brandon Rush and Dominic Mcguire. Throw in Jefferson in the mix.

    The team seemed more promising now that we have quality draft picks to look forward to with of course, a bit of luck still needed.

    So the team has established a solid direction to the future. If we can manage to add Andre Drummond or Jared Sullinger, or Anthony Davis, or Perry Jones in the mix, we finally have a team that will surely attract attention.

    If we decide to go to the direction of acquiring Jeremy Lamb, or Harrsion Barnes, it can be done. So there’s flexibility now.

    As for Monta, i can only wish him the best and hopefully, he becomes an all star. On Ekpe Udoh, i seriously think his game will take off to great heights because he can now play his natural position. I would like to get Ekpe Udoh again in the team in the future. I really think Udoh has a special place in this team.

    JERRY WEST is really one awesome presence in the organization.

  • roadster

    Next Year’s lineup:
    PG- Curry/Robinson/Jenkins
    SG- Thompson/Rush
    SF- Jefferson/D Wright
    PF- Lee/McGuire/C Wright
    C – Bogut/Biedrins/Tyler

    Need to draft another tall SF and Center. Consider Biedrins and D Wright gone in 1-2 years. Hope Tyler is ready in 2 years.

  • Ewok

    It hurts that Monta is gone. Monta was the entertainment value of the franchise. His athleticsm, his spectacular moves, his quickness… they were all magic but its all gone now. However, this by far, is not a bone head deal at all, especially the second trade deal in my opinion.

    Monta is a great scorer and he bailed us out countless times but with him being on the team doesn’t provide a definite direction because the team with him around, is still flawed without a true big guy. Sure we can win games with him but only good enough to a certain point and this has been the case for the past three years.

    With Bogut around, Lee, Wright, Thompson and Curry, we have a direction to enjoy. We now have a complete team, with less and manageable flaws.

    The bench is also solid with Nate Robinson, Brandon Rush and Dominic Mcguire. Throw in Jefferson in the mix.

    The team seemed more promising now that we have quality draft picks to look forward to with of course, a bit of luck still needed.

    So the team has established a solid direction to the future. If we can manage to add Andre Drummond or Jared Sullinger, or Anthony Davis, or Perry Jones in the mix, we finally have a team that will surely attract attention.

    If we decide to go to the direction of acquiring Jeremy Lamb, or Harrsion Barnes, it can be done. So there’s flexibility now.

    As for Monta, i can only wish him the best and hopefully, he becomes an all star. On Ekpe Udoh, i seriously think his game will take off to great heights because he can now play his natural position. I would like to get Ekpe Udoh again in the team in the future. I really think Udoh has a special place in this team.

    Andre Bogut’s injury? Who’s to say he’s washed up? According to reports, he was examined by doctors of both organizations and he was deemed ok. Who’s to say we know better?

    That’s why this off season, its important to trade Biedrins and a filler so we can have a great room for a back up big guy. Biedrins however, is playing well ever since Monta left.

    JERRY WEST is really one awesome presence in the organization. I also think Larry Riley knows what he’s doing. People can’t be hard on Riley just for the sake of doing so.. His actions were direct results of the collective planning of the top brass. So Riley knows what he’s doing.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Very good moves for the Dubs now and later, if we’re bad enough to secure the seventh worst record in the league. It is essential that we lose games and tank this season so that we can start fresh with Curry, Klay, Lee, Bogut and hopefully Harrison Barnes or Michel Kidd-Gilchrist at the 3.
    We need to see a lot of Jenkins to determine whether or not he’s capable of being an NBA back-up PG and occasional starter when Curry’s ankes are feeling weak. Same goes for Jeremy Tyler.
    We need to re-sign McGuireto back-up the 3/4 spots and make great efforts to re-sign Brandon Rush to be a sixth man extraordinaire as a wing. The Spurs pick we get should be used to get a tough, defensive-minded big man.

  • Niners in 2012

    We should have waited till Draft night to buy a pick! You’re only allowed to do that once, why now?? Besides that, nice trades.

  • Dave

    So what is the starting lineup now?

  • robert rowell

    of course riley feels good. he didn’t do a damn thing (lacob and west did) and he can sit back and answer fluff questions from mt2.

    that being said, love the moves, at least now we are HEADING IN A DIRECTION. not sure if i like being cap-strung, but at least it’s a plan and they’re executing it.

    well, i might have to drop my “let’s get Tropical” moniker if this kind of stuff continues.

  • gary

    However and whoever (or what team of FO people) put this together, it looks like a terrific achievement for the future. We finally get a top level 5, a first round draft pick, and Jeff.

    Hope the story gets out on how all this was orchestrated over the past 2+ days… Riley? Myers? West? Locab?

    Now that would be good reading.

  • raj

    basically, if both steph curry and bogut don’t get healthy… we are screwed for the next 5 years.

  • noma_pride

    I have to hand it to the Warriors. They turned me from almost complete apathy, to very hopeful for the future.

    I hope we can keep Rush at the end of the season as a defensive minded backup SG (or starter if Klay falters), but am somewhat worried about the timing of Curry coming off his rookie contract and getting rid of the albatrosses we have on the roster.

  • Angrygswfan

    pretty much we have put all our eggs in one basket thats injury prone..greeaaat

  • Stan

    You guys ever heard of an evolutionary dead end? That was the Monta era. Monta,Nelson,skinny small guards who only shoot for a modest 22-25 ppg while adding NOTHING else. F-THAT!
    I’m glad the Logo-Lacob now see things my way. I could have saved Lacob millions and two years… Sloan,GM and Randy Bennet coach I said two years ago. Instead he kept R&R and Keith Smart..jeez.

  • Goodbye Smallball

    Why are people so paranoid and scared about the injuries???

    What’s the worse that can happen — we win 35 games next year and miss the playoffs (the exact same result we have every season with Monta)???

    Fans who are questioning the trade act as if before it we were a championship contender, and in the playoffs every year… You people are laughable cowards.

  • Grey Warden

    I hear Greg Oden is available. Larry Riley must be salivating at the thought.

  • Stan

    And Monta could do for the Bucks what Carmelo has done for the Knicks,no Linsanity just plane insanity.
    I hope the ushers dont mistake Monta for a HS kid sneaking in..

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  • Jay

    Sheridan Hoops gave the Dubs a D for the trading effort:
    http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2012/03/16/nba-trade-deadline-grades/

    A little short-sighted maybe…

  • Grey Warden

    John Hollinger of espn gave the Warriors a D+.

  • Young

    these guys are clowns….

    coulda had Kaman for nothing….Made the playoffs and seen the Monta / Curry thing with a center. Warrior brass lied about wanting to keep Monta…Bogut better be healthy

    http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/219855/Warriors_Could_Have_Dealt_Rush_Kwame_For_Kaman

  • ben brung

    I know it’s sports so everyone has to have an extreme opinion right away but, as an old man who has been a life-long W fan, I’m remaining philosophical about this one. The worst case scenario would be that Bogut can’t play and the Warriors suck for a couple years. That would be a huge improvement compared to being mired in mediocrity for another decade. Monta could help a championship team (not with the Bucks) but that wasn’t going to happen here. I agree that this is almost no risk but for a different reason than the spinners and hypers.

  • ben brung

    But Jay, the same article gave the Rockets an A+ for landing Marcus Camby & Derek Fisher. Those 2 plus a time machine might be worth a B.

  • robert rowell

    #28 houston added two backups and a pick. that deserves an A for a team looking to go someplace in the playoffs.

  • Fat Panda

    @Stan

    You should fill out an application for the Warriors’ GM job. You seem to have this NBA GM thing down pat.

    I’m sure we would be looking at a third straight title this year if only Cohan would have hired you 3 years ago.

  • Grey Warden

    #28 Ben, Rockets did pretty well in that trade. They got rid of Flynn and Thabeet, both pretty much useless (remember they tried to trade these 2 for Biedrins last year) who are expiring contracts, for Camby, who can give them rebounding, and is also an expiring contract. So in this case, you essentially give up nothing for nothing, but gain some rebounding in the process.

    Fisher has 1 year left on his contract after this season, but he has playoff experience.

    Rockets want to strengthen their roster to make a push for the playoffs this year. These trades only help them stay in contention.

  • Stan

    Panda-I said what I said..Lowell Cohn’s blog and some at SF Gate remember my posting those ideas. I WAS RIGHT. And-if you even read my posts here the last few weeks..The Warriors ARE doing what I wrote.
    And as far as the Monta tribute? Not needed. If you’ve only been a Warrior fan for the last seven years..you hate the trade. If you’ve been at it decades?..Good riddance Monta..your playing style hurt the team..and behavior from MoPeds to Harassment of female employees sort of puts to lie the P.R. that he has “matured”.

  • Stan

    Bob Meyers a minute ago “We are now a talented and HIGH CHARACTER TEAM”…In otherwords folks-no Monta and his baggage and no Stack Jack. Like I have been saying-what NO REPORTER WILL SAY..Monta’s behaviour wasnt what Lacob could feel good about. Hell,Monta’s wife -as I said- must have hated to go to Warrior HQ. Thats how woman are when their men cheat on them. THEY feel the shame even if Monta didn’t.

  • Young

    Stan, you may not want stand too closely to Mr. Meyers

    Mr. Meyers resume:
    1.) Advise warriors to sign your former client DeAndre Jordan for $13M per. They cut Lin sign Jordan and clippers match. 0 for 1

    2.) Warriors attempt to trade for your former client Tyreke Evans. Trade denied…

    3.) these questionable trades earning the rave reviews of a D from impartial journalist…

    Meyers advisement hasn’t produced much unless he did the SJ deal…

  • Fat Panda

    I totally agree Monta had to be moved. And I totally agree being stuck in mediocrity is the worse place you can be in the NBA. However, lets not make Monta the scapegoat here and pretend he has been the sole reason the Warriors have been mired in mediocrity the past few years.

    But he was “the best player on a sub .500 team!” Yes, he was, but was it his fault he was their best player? Monta was miscast as a “franchise player.” Hes not. Monta is a 1.5 option AT BEST. He cannot be expected to lead a franchise to a championship.
    If the franchise golden boy and cornerstone Stephen Curry were as good as management believes he is…why isn’t Curry considered “the best player on a bad team?” And if the other front office golden boy David Lee played as well as he was paid, shouldn’t he have been our best player?
    But Monta was getting paid like a franchise player! He was clogging up our cap space! Oh wait..his contract was only $11 million a year. Comparable to that of Biedrens’ and Richard Jefferson’s.
    But all Monta could do was score! NOTHING ELSE! Oh wait..he also leads ALL NBA SG’s in assists at 6.0 a game. Not only is Ellis’ assists totals higher than that of All-NBA PG Russell Westbrook, but Ellis’ A/TO ratio is also higher.
    But Monta is a liability on defense! This one I cannot disagree with. However, its not as if every championship team has 5 shut down defensive starters. Monta would not be exposed so much had he not been paired with arguably the worse def PG in the league and the worse def PF in the league. At least Monta can play solid defense in spurts. We’ve seen it. I have much more faith in Monta’s def than Curry’s.
    But Monta is an overrated, low-efficiency scorer who’s numbers are greatly inflated by team tempo! Oh wait..but he also shot 53% on over 15 attemps/game to the tune of 20.2 ppg for 81 games in 07-08! Oh and his 46.5 career percentage is also higher than Kobe Bryant’s.
    Look, I love the trades we made this deadline. I’m very excited about our prospects for next season. It was also Monta’s time to go. But lets not pretend the man didn’t pour out his heart and soul for us every time he stepped onto the Oracle floor. He was also as durable and tough as they come (besides the moped season).
    Let’s give the man his props on the way out.

  • Young

    Lets leave montas personal life out of this…

    The warriors FO has allegations from women as well. Namely, the warriors cheerleaders. Might wanna do your homework…

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Please sit Curry for the rest of the season and have David Lee miraculously get hurt so we have no chance of winning games. We need that top-seven protected pick because that and SA’s first rounder will be enough to trade up (if necessary) to get Harrison Barnes, a future star small forward. Barnes can learn from one of the classiest and smartest SF’s in the past ten years (Richard Jefferson). I was so ready to give up on the Dubs if no trades were made, but now, I’m juiced and ready for next year! Thank you, new ownership, for renewing my belief and hope in my beloved Warriors!

  • Yoda

    No, let’s not leave Monta’s “personal” life out of it. The allegations against him are actually part of his professional life. And although you don’t hear it often enough from people inside the organization, he’s been a prima donna and a pain in the ass for years.

    One plus of the deal was just getting him off the team. He’s very replaceable and this will become clear shortly.

    The potential upside of the deal is huge.

    Hollinger is an ass.

  • Grey Warden

    #35 Fat Panda, very nice post.

    Ellis can be a team player, like he was with the Bucks yesterday. He knows it’s not his team anymore and can show he is willing to make the extra pass.

    It’s just that on the Warriors, NOBODY was willing to step it up. Curry’s offense disappears when he’s not feeling it, David Lee doesn’t want the ball in crunch time, and the rest of the players just stand around waiting for somebody to do something. When the Warriors were playing well from 2006-2008, I didn’t hear anyone complain Ellis was hogging the ball too much. When all the talent disappeared from the team, nobody was willing to step up except Ellis.

  • Grey Warden

    Hollinger may be an a** and a Lebron fanboi, but he’s right about the Warriors case. Plus I don’t see any other grades giving the Warriors anything better than a C+ from any NBA analyst. Also, any article with “Biggest winners and losers by the trade deadline”: have you seen anybody lump the Warriors into the Biggest Winners category?

  • Stan

    And you know-I have been all over MEYERS..for his front office work,for his KNBR clowning as the team did nothing. But-like Yoda says -and I agree- Its been all about Monta that has hurt this team. The behavior (as Meyers says)to the FO passing on some great deals because only they thought Monta was HOF.
    Thats why it came to where he had to go. Monta knew it too..admitted as much.
    And Monta winning last night? Ironic..it only helped the Warriors draft cause. So,the trade is paying dividends already.

  • Stan

    As far as the Warriors C+ trade rating? IT’S the WARRIORS..Nobody on the team was more then C+ in the NBA!..So,they done good.

  • Grey Warden

    I guess the front office thinks Curry’s a HOF too as they passed up All-Star PGs in CP3 and Rondo.

  • Goodbye Smallball

    You armchair GM’s are so funny… Knee-jerking to every article on the net, thinking you know more about trades and personnel than NBA GM’s and scouts.

    Ha! You know-it-alls need to get a life.

  • moreaufan2

    Man this trade is still to be assessed. No happy about it but still want to see how it goes next season. The problem still remains, D Lee and Curry can’t defend very well! Curry is not the PG of the future to me, but is a great player, need to play more off the ball. Hope Bogut is ready to go.

  • moreaufan2

    Jefferson was a little rusty tonight but played great defense for us. David Lee doesnt want to play defense period.

  • moreaufan2

    Hopefully Klay is ready to carry us scoring wise!

  • Derek

    More small ball. Of course Riley’s happy, he’s but together a smal team incapable of competing at a top level. Teams like this current roster all Larry Riley specials,

    I read yesterday where that Riley idiot passed on a Kamen for Rush deal. Had he dealt for Kamen and kept Monta and Udoh the dubs would have made the playoff easily and made alittle noise.

    Now this seasons blown and next year will only be marginally better if at all, due to the fact slow unatheletic teams never fare well in the western conf.

  • moreaufan2

    Well I beg to differ. Rush is a keeper, we just have to use him right, and we actually are bigger in a sense, on the wing we are bigger, Jefferson, Klay, Rush, Wright, McGuire,so we are bigger there. I would also like to see us draft a real point guard in the draft too! Like Damian Lillard from Weber State, he is NBA ready now and can truly play point guard,but we do need to get another Big in the draft if we arent going to let Tyler play. Once again its about using guys strengths, and if we can do that, we can start winning even thru these last games of the season. lets see how Coach Jackson does! We may need to let Tyler touch the ball a little more and get that experience in the post.

  • Derek

    reserve small fowards are a dime a dozen, quality centers are not.

    Rush is a good player, but trading him for a starting center capable of averaging doubles and allowing the team to keep Monta and Udoh is a no brainer.

    Addition by substraction is a proven loser.

  • moreaufanb2

    I hear ya Derek but at the same time u dont have to have an allstar center to win in the NBA, you just need smart basketball players. Chicago has gotten along well with Noah who is not an Allstar but he plays defense and is smart. Look at Philly, and some other teams who do well with Centers who come in and know there, they rebound and make layups, block some shots, but really you need good players on the wing, its a perimeter game these days and you have to defend the perimeter also. And in my opinion, Kaman is good but overall Bogut is better and can produce more, the only issue is that he is hurt so right now it makes no sense, but we will see how this goes. Miami Center is horrible yet they are able to win games, yeah i know they have two of the best players in the league but still, thats why you need good wing players. we have Klay but we lost monta who can bring alot more to the team now, klay is young and still has alot of gowth, i didnt like the trade cuz it makes us fans have to wait out another year instead of winning now. thats what we have been doing the last how ever many years