The Warriors lost out on their top free-agent target, center Tyson Chandler, to New York, and their bid for a superstar in New Orleans point guard Chris Paul is at best on life support.
As a result, Golden State is left all but empty-handed as free agency officially begins Friday.
The players union and owners ratified the new collective bargaining agreement Thursday.
Having money to spend and new ownership and a new head coach didn't appear to be enough for Golden State to land the big-time free agents.
"It's been a hectic few days," said general manager Larry Riley, who declined to comment about specifics. "We put a tremendous amount of work into it. ... Anything that could help our team, we're going to be involved in."
Chandler, it was widely reported Thursday, chose to sign with the Knicks. Yahoo! Sports reported New York offered Chandler a four-year deal worth $58 million. A team source said the Warriors' unofficial offer hovered around $13 million to $14 million a year. But even if the Warriors went to $15 million a year, they were under the impression it wouldn't have mattered. Chandler wanted to go to New York.
Even after the Chandler option fell through, Golden State was still trying to acquire Paul. Though they took point guard Stephen Curry off the table, team sources said Golden State was still trying to get the Hornets to give up Paul for guard Monta Ellis and forward Ekpe Udoh.
That deal was later nixed by the NBA, which currently owns the Hornets. It's still unclear whether that opens the door for the Warriors to acquire Paul.
"Who knows," one of the sources said. "Maybe."
One source said executives across the league are hesitant to negotiate with New Orleans after the league nixed the deal. No one knows what the league will approve or not, so the pursuit of Paul will cool off until league approval is certain.
It stands to reason the Warriors' offer of Ellis and Udoh looks even better to the Hornets now whenever negotiations resume. The source said the Warriors will be in the mix for Paul whenever that is.
The Warriors will also try to pry promising young center DeAndre Jordan away from the Los Angeles Clippers. He and Memphis center Marc Gasol are next on the Warriors' list of free agent big men they desire. But both are restricted, meaning their teams will have the option to match any offer sheet.
The Memphis Commerical-Appeal reported the Grizzlies plan to match any offer sheet Gasol signs and, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Clippers have plans to match any offer sheet Jordan signs.
The Warriors, one team source said, are reluctant to go after Nene because he's commanding $15 million a year, which is too rich for the Warriors' blood.
Another option: the Warriors can back off the big names and try to find a few role players to grab now and try their luck again at the trade deadline or next offseason.
Golden State has about $7 million under the projected salary cap. They can create $4 million more by waiving guard Charlie Bell under the amnesty clause. The Warriors can add $9 million of cap space by waiving center Andris Biedrins, which according to multiple sources they don't want to do.