Posted by Art Garcia
LAS VEGAS — Golden State general manager Larry Riley isn’t worried about his job status or that of coach Don Nelson after Thursday’s announcement of the franchise’s sale. A group led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber bought the Warriors for a record $450 million from Christopher Cohan.
Riley expects the evaluation process of the front office to take place soon. Nelson is entering the last year of his contract and the league’s all-time winningest coach has talked about finally retiring after this season.
Nelson could also step aside this summer, but that’s highly unlikely with $6 million left on his contract. He said earlier this week he’s excited about the upcoming season.
“He will now have some decisions to make himself,” Riley said of Nelson. “I had some consultations with him. I don’t know where all that will go, but I think he has energy where he can coach the team.”
It’s a very real possibility Riley and Nelson aren’t retained by the new ownership group. Riley had spent more than 20 years in the NBA and understands the nature of the business.
“Twenty years ago it would have kept me up at night and it would have been on my mind all the time,” he said. “Fortunately for me I’ve been so busy, even since this whole [ownership change] began that I haven’t had time to really deal with it much, so that’s a good thing.
“I think I have enough maturity to understand what you can control and what you can’t, and you better work on the things that you can do something about. And that’s the way I approach it. it really hasn’t kept me up at night. It’s something that the decision will be made one way or the other on a lot of things in the franchise. There won’t be much I can do about it. I will continue to do my job until I’m told otherwise.”
Riley feels good about the direction of the team, adding the moves made this summer leave the Warriors deeper and more experience without getting older. The Warriors completed a sign-and-trade for David Lee, moving the disappointing Anthony Randolph in the deal. The Warriors expect the former New York power forward to anchor the frontline for years to come.
“I don’t know where Anthony Randolph’s career is going, but I know where David Lee is,” Riley said. “That was a bigger basis for making the deal than anything else.”
Golden State also signed Dorell Wright, is high on rookie lottery pick Ekpe Udoh, even though the power forward is out for at least six months. Hard-working gunner Anthony Morrow was lost to New Jersey and Corey Maggette was traded to Milwaukee.
Cohan approved all the moves up to this point, Riley said, with the new ownership group not having input on any of the transactions. The sale is pending league approval.