Warriors general manager Larry Riley said it himself: To come back next season with the same roster would be "unacceptable."
He and owner Joe Lacob have consistently talked about the need to improve the roster. They spent most of February trying to bolster the team. Now, in this offseason, alterations will all but be required.
"We have to improve this roster," Riley said. "No question about that."
That means Wednesday night's season finale against Portland may be the fans' last look at some of the players they've been following all season.
The Warriors have been assessing and evaluating for the better part of three seasons. Even coach Keith Smart, who may not be back himself, said his mind is all but made up -- which figures to impact his suggestions to management if he's around for the restructuring of the roster.
"There is nothing a guy can do to change my perception," Smart said. "I already know what they can do, what they can't do. I already have a list of things I want to see them work on to improve their game and improve our team."
Who goes and who stays, for the most part, is up in the air. But there are a few players you can expect back next season.
The likelihood is that center Andris Biedrins isn't going anywhere because he's due $27 million over the next three seasons. Golden State management has expressed pleasure with forward David Lee's production, and his contract -- which has more than $68 million left over the next five seasons -- makes him tough to trade.
But the rest? Swingman Reggie Williams is a restricted free agent. Forwards Vladimir Radmanovic and Al Thornton are unrestricted free agents. It would seem at least one would have to go, since they all compete for the scarce minutes behind starting small forward Dorell Wright or, in some cases, Lee.
Big man Lou Amundson, who is on pace for a career-high in minutes per game (15.1), could opt out and become a free agent. If he picks up his option, he's due $2.4 million next season.
In the team's efforts to improve the roster, some players -- including fan favorites -- would almost have to be shipped away.
Certainly, Wright has some value because of his high production-to-salary ratio. He's averaging 16.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 38.4 minutes but is due just $3.8 million next season. Rookie forward Ekpe Udoh, who has displayed the potential to become a defensive force, was a noted commodity near the trade deadline and figures to be attractive this offseason.
Undoubtedly, point guard Stephen Curry is the most valuable trade asset the Warriors have because he is loaded with potential and still on a rookie contract. But even though a team source said the Warriors would have to get a major player to move Curry, who knows if the Warriors wind up having to take the ultimate gamble and using him as a trade bait.
Guard Monta Ellis is not as attractive considering his salary of three years, $33 million. But as the Warriors' best player, moving him is a risk -- one the team might have to take.
After all, coming back with the same roster, according to Warriors' management, would stunt the very progress the franchise is trying to make.