OAKLAND -- Fans will be happy to know that the Warriors are adding a player before the trade deadline, bolstering their lineup for a postseason run.
His name is Andrew Bogut. He'll be on the court Thursday when Golden State hosts the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m.
OK, so Bogut has been with the Warriors for almost a year, having been acquired from Milwaukee before last year's trade deadline. But his return to the lineup Monday from a lengthy ankle injury likely will have to suffice. According to multiple sources, it is highly unlikely the Warriors will make a move before the Feb. 21 trade deadline. One team source called the chances "remote."
Fortunately for the Warriors, Bogut figures to significantly improve their team for the second half of the season. Judging by the way he played in Monday's win over Toronto, he is going to be a significant addition.
"It makes a huge difference having him there," Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. "He makes things so much easier."
The Warriors have seven games before the All-Star break. The trade deadline comes shortly after. Coach Mark Jackson has sent his list of needs upstairs. Frontcourt help has been at the top of that list for a while. Even with Bogut back, one source said some in the organization wouldn't mind adding to the front line.
The three centers they have now can only be deemed as uncertain. Rookie Festus Ezeli has been up and down. Veteran Andris Biedrins disappears for stretches. And Bogut is on restrictions as he works himself back to 100 percent. He won't play back-to-back games, which rules him out of two contests before the All-Star break. He's capped at 25 minutes of action per game.
"He's been working his tail off, and he's been waiting for this moment," Jackson said of Bogut. "We certainly want to be smart about it. Not going to ask him to play 40 minutes."
The Warriors would love to get their hands on Denver's Timofey Mosgov, or even San Antonio's DeJuan Blair. But acquiring worthy help would require the Warriors to part with someone they like.
Golden State would much rather stand pat.
The Warriors have a few other holes they could fill, such as a backup shooting guard or an athletic wing off the bench. But management prefers to let its young players develop rather than ship them off too early.
Besides adding a big man, the Warriors do have another motive to make a trade. Shaving nearly $2 million off their payroll would take them out of luxury tax territory. But even that is going to be a tall order. Golden State probably would have to find a team willing to take one of its big contracts -- Biedrins or forward Richard Jefferson -- which is unlikely.
A healthy Bogut alleviates the desperation for front line help. Ezeli is better off as a reserve, and forwards David Lee and Carl Landry can spend more time at their natural position.
Perhaps Bogut can offset some of the Warriors' other needs, as well.
Maybe his low-post scoring and passing help their offensive efficiency. Maybe his shot-blocking and rebounding fuel their transition gam.
Maybe just having Bogut in the lineup will be a boost to the team's psyche. The Warriors can only hope, because Bogut probably is the only reinforcement they're going to get.
The game will take place Feb. 15 in Houston.
Point guard Stephen Curry was the last Warrior to participate in the event, in 2011.
Barnes, who had a sore left knee after an awkward landing in Monday's win at Toronto, had an MRI on Wednesday. The results revealed no serious damage.
Curry, who sprained his right ankle Monday, also had an MRI. Doctors were waiting for the results Wednesday evening, according to a Warriors official.
Landry received an X-ray on his left shoulder contusion, also sustained at Toronto. It came back negative.