Riley expects to be busy in the 2nd half
(01-21) 21:29 PST -- Though it is obviously tough to assess his team because of a plethora of injuries, Warriors general manager Larry Riley has come away from the season's first half convinced they need to add a top-flight player.
"Is a little something good enough? I can tell you right now: No it isn't," Riley said. "We're not looking to do something minor.
"It might take trading somebody that we would rather not trade, but we need another player of substance."
Tonight's game marks the midway point of the season, with Monta Ellis having emerged as one of the league's leaders in scoring, assists, steals and minutes played, and with Corey Maggette playing the most efficient games of his career. Riley said the Warriors need to add another player of that caliber at the trade deadline or during the summer.
Decisions regarding the future of the roster have been muddied since the current roster hasn't had a chance to play together. With the trade deadline looming Feb. 18, the Warriors have suited up nine or fewer healthy players 15 times and have had players miss 220 games because of injuries, illness or personal matters.
"I would have liked to have had the opportunity to really evaluate these guys together, but I don't feel like we have to rush into anything," Riley said. "I think it's extremely important to explore every option that could improve this team.
"I think rather than doing something that might be a knee-jerk reaction in hopes of winning a few more games this season, we need to react to things that will set us up for where we want to go in the future."
The Warriors will have some options at the trade deadline, and Riley said he "fully anticipates a trade" at the deadline or in the offseason. With about $12 million in expiring contracts from Raja Bell, Speedy Claxton and Devean George, the Warriors could put together an attractive package to a team seeking cap relief or looking to enter this summer's free-agent sweepstakes for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and/or Chris Bosh.
Riley said the Warriors won't join the big-name sweepstakes, but he will consider allowing the contracts to expire and using the cap room to make a slightly lesser move in the offseason. The team has voiced interest in re-signing Bell and Anthony Morrow, and will also have a decision to make about restricted free agent C.J. Watson.
"If you trade an expiring contract, you, in theory, would have to get back a good player that you covet or get a draft pick," Riley said. "There has to be something that puts you in a better position than you were, or there is no reason to make a trade."
Riley said he hopes Bell will return from his wrist surgery sometime next month. By then, Morrow (knee), Vladimir Radmanovic (Achilles' tendon), Anthony Randolph (ankle) and Ronny Turiaf (ankle) could rejoin the rotation, too.
"You can't hide behind injuries, and yet you can't deny that injuries have played a major role in what has happened with our team," Riley said. "We hope that we're going to get healthy at some point, and we'll be able to evaluate the team and figure out what we're going to do in the summer."
Poll of NBA beat writers shows that Monta Ellis has almost no chance of making the Western Conference All-Star team as a reserve. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 1BLMV3.DTL