Saturday, February 26, 2011


Larry Riley took over the reigns of the Warriors' General Manager position with the official exit of Chris Mullin on May 11, 2009. He's taking on a lot of flack for his inability to get a major deal done this past trade deadline, but prior to the All-Star break, new owner, Joe Lacob has been happy with the way the team has progressed under Riley's watch. Let's go through a list of his transactions.


2009 Draft : Selected Stephen Curry with the 7th pick
2010 Draft : Selected Ekpe Udoh with the 6th pick


07/30/09 : Marco Belinelli to Raptors for Devean George and Cash
11/16/09 : Acie Law, Stephen Jackson for Raja Bell, Vladimir Radmanovic
06/21/10 : 2010 34th Pick to Trail Blazers for 2010 44th Pick, Cash
06/22/10 : Corey Maggette, 2010 44th Pick to Bucks for Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric
07/09/10 : Kelenna Azubuike, Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf, 2010 2nd Rd Pick, 2011 2nd Rd Pick to Knicks for David Lee
07/13/10 : Anthony Morrow to Nets for 2011 2nd Rd Pick (top 55 protected)
07/22/10 : C.J. Watson to Bulls for 2011 2nd Rd Pick
02/23/11 : Brandan Wright, Dan Gadzuric to Nets for Troy Murphy, 2012 2nd Rd Pick


09/09/09 : Mikki Moore
09/09/09 : C.J. Watson (resigned)
09/30/09 : Shaun Pruitt, Diamon Simpson
11/20/09 : Chris Hunter
01/10/10 : Cartier Martin
01/17/10 : Anthony Tolliver
01/31/10 : Coby Karl
03/02/10 : Reggie Williams : $1.8M/2Y (team option)
01/21/10 : Jeremy Lin
09/08/10 : Rodney Carney
09/13/10 : Louis Amundson : $4.6M/2Y (player option)
09/24/10 : Cheyne Gadson, Aaron Miles, Jeff Adrien, Vernon Goodridge, James Mays
07/09/10 : David Lee : $79.5M/6Y
07/13/10 : Dorell Wright : $11.4M/3Y
12/09/10 : Acie Law
02/25/11 : Jeff Adrien


  1. Good info. It would be interesting to see some in-depth analysis on each transaction in total, as means of comparison to some selected league-wide "average" GMs in order to properly evaluate; somehow creating a scale or ranking of Riley's performance.

    I'd say Riley's been mediocre under the circumstances, yet his conservatism and lack of creativity drop his overall grade into the below average range. GM's on losing teams need to be aggressive- you either get better or you get worse enough to take advantage of high lotto picks. Riley's "middle of the road" methods would be much more comprehensible on a perennial winner whose interests lie in hovering on a specific level as opposed to a team in need of jumping hurdles.

    I suppose my biggest argument vs Riley supporters would be: why not upgrade? Even if one were to hold the opinion that Riley has been adequate or average, shouldn't we want something more?

    The Dubs are clearly battling vs the odds in respect to their current talent, contracts, draft picks available, etc...doesn't it stand to reason that those obstacles would require an above average GM?

    All in all, isn't an average-to-below-average GM just about the worst thing possible for a 35-Win team?

    Being stranded in the middle of the road is an all too familiar scenerio w/ this team and a GM who shares the same qualities is not the answer to our two decade long affliction of late lotto finishes.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, JoeDaddy. I, too, think Riley is below average as a GM. He's world's better than Mullin was in terms of dealing with the media and handing out contracts, but there is no doubt Lacob and company can do better. He's missed opportunities to sign quality guys or trade for rising talent than seem to be on the trade block (Sessions and Livingston are a couple that come to mind). In interviews, he's stated that he prefers to work on trades for days and almost never pulls the trigger on deals that come at him in the 11th hour. That, to me, sounds like he's operating in fear and that he's uncertain of his ability to evaluate talent on the fly.

    Some of the highlights of his tenure, however, aren't bad. My favorites include:

    1. drafting Curry
    2. Dorell Wright signing for cheap
    3. finding Reggie Williams out of the D-League
    4. getting rid of Maggette's deal

    Admittedly, Riley hasn't done too many terrible deals. Here are the one's I find most questionable:

    1. sign and trade amount to David Lee: like the acquisition, but hate the contract. He might start to approach his contract value if they go back to Nellie-ball system in which he excels at center. If paired with a defensive PF like Josh Smith and a perimeter defender who can score like Arron Afflalo, this could work.

    2. drafting Udoh at #6: jury's still out, but seems to have drafted a low ceiling player that he could have had later in the lottery. Again, this shows his inability to strike deals when under pressure.

    3. assembling a flawed roster going into the year: no true backup PG, no bench depth, no alternate to Biedrins who has struggled

    Overall, I would give Riley a 'C-' because he has done some good things while managing the financials prudently (save the Lee deal). Warriors have some flexibility to make some moves down the line, but I have no doubt, there are GM's out there that could take what he has started with and ended up in better shape than the Warriors are now.

  3. Ecstatic adoration to constructive criticism!
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