Larry Riley's First Move as Golden State Warriors GM Was Exceptional

K ShakranSenior Analyst IJune 24, 2009

Larry Riley's first move as the newly promoted general manager of the Golden State Warriors was characterized by a trade that sent Jamal Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks for guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.

The deal was first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.

Realistically, the trade only involves two players, Crawford and Law, as the Warriors are expected to waive Claxton, who has never seemed able to shake off the numerous injuries that have haunted him.

By any means, this has to go down as an exceptional maneuver by Riley and his compatriots in the Warriors front office. After Don Nelson proclaimed his distrust in Crawford by informing him to either opt out of his contract or expect to be traded last season, the Warriors have received something in return for the streaky combo guard.

Instead of leaving Crawford to opt out without receiving a player in return, the Warriors have made a move that will hopefully fill the notable backcourt hole they have suffered since Baron Davis' departure to Los Angeles.

Though Law may be used as trade bait for the NBA draft, he will certainly help the Warriors if a trade does not transpire in the next 24 hours.

What Law brings to the Bay Area, if he wears a Warriors jersey next season, is size, quickness, and some much-needed court vision.

In the 2007 Draft, in which the Warriors sent Jason Richardson to the Charlotte Bobcats for Brandan Wright, some reports came out that Nelson was extremely interested in Law. He even wanted to go so far as trading Monta Ellis to accomplish his goal.

If anything, Law might remind Warriors fans of Marcus Williams. Williams, who was expected to play the point guard role last year for the Warriors, barely set foot on the court due to Nelson's claim that he was "unfit."

However, Law seems like a Nelson player—not to mention he has a reliable mid-range jumper.

This deal, for the Warriors, might be an indication of what might occur on draft day or in the summer.

In an interview with Warriors' radio play-by-play announcer Tim Roy, Riley said, "At one time, I thought there would be more than usual, the kind of trades being that one guy picks for another guy. I think there will be a few of those (trades), but I don't see a lot of that."

The Warriors may decide to use Law, Claxton, and their first-round pick to acquire a veteran point guard (against Ellis' wishes) or a big man who has the ability to aid in the rebounding department.