As the All-Star break approaches, the Warriors' current place in the standings represents a worst-case scenario for the 2011/12 season. Golden State is tied for 12th place in the Western Conference, well out of the playoff picture, but its 12-17 record is only the ninth-worst in the NBA. If the season ended today, the Warriors would be watching the postseason at home and sending their top-seven protected draft pick to Utah.
"We're working day and night and we're hopeful," Riley said. "But what will not happen is, we won't do something that sets us back just to do a deal. We want to find the right deal, and if we get one of those we'll do it. I don't know what the odds of it are right now."
Riley sounds committed to making a move to improve the team's playoff chances this year, as reports on the Warriors ongoing interest in Dwight Howard would suggest. But the best move for the club's long-term future may be trading a veteran for a draft pick or a young, inexpensive player. The Warriors have a challenging second-half schedule, and falling into the league's bottom seven teams to keep its draft pick could be a huge boon for the team in the long run. Talking to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group, Riley acknowledged that the Warriors may have to look toward their future soon, but still believes they have time to turn this season around.
Jesse Blanchard of Hoops Rumors examined the Warriors' assets on Sunday, noting that a backcourt which includes Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, and Klay Thompson is the team's strength. Ellis, who is owed $11MM annually through 2013/14, is probably the likeliest trade candidate of the three, with Curry close to untouchable and Thompson still young and cheap. Whatever the Warriors decide to do, they're making it clear they're open for business as March 15th approaches.