Warriors Starter Leaves Dubs For More Money in Free Agency


The Golden State Warriors roster will look considerably different when the 2021-22 regular season kicks off this fall.

One significant change will be the absence of Kelly Oubre Jr., who left the Warriors in free agency after signing with the Charlotte Hornets. Shams Charania, of The Athletic, was first to report the departure on Thursday night, Aug. 5.

“Free agent Kelly Oubre Jr. has agreed to a two-year, $26M-plus deal with the Charlotte Hornets,” Charania tweeted.

Oubre’s Time in Golden State was Full of Peaks and Valleys

Kelly Oubre Jr.

GettyKelly Oubre Jr., of the Golden State Warriors, in action against the Philadelphia 76ers at Chase Center on March 23, 2021.

Oubre spent just one year in Golden State, the sixth of his young career, after previous stints with the Washington Wizards and the Phoenix Suns.

The perimeter specialist, most valued for his scoring ability, played in 55 games for the Warriors, starting 50 of them. He averaged 15.4 points on nearly 44% shooting from the field, a figure hampered by one of the worst shooting efforts from behind the 3-point arc of his career at 31.6%. He also grabbed 6 rebounds per game for Golden State during his one season in the Bay Area.

Oubre suffered a wrist injury in early April, which hampered him for the rest of the season. He returned later that month for five games, though was relegated to a bench role by head coach Steve Kerr. Oubre went back to the sideline permanently after that due to his wrist issues and did not play again before the Warriors season ended in the final game of the NBA’s play-in tournament.

Oubre Was Not Central to Warriors’ Offseason Plans

Kelly Oubre

GettyKelly Oubre Jr. drives the ball in a game against the Brooklyn Nets.

The Warriors had a number of free agent priorities this offseason. The first was resigning superstar Steph Curry, which Golden State did in spectacular fashion, signing him to a deal worth $215 million over four years and making the point guard the first player in NBA history to sign two contracts worth north of $200 million.

As the month of July progressed and the NBA draft neared, the Warriors engaged in trade talks more publicly as they gauged interest in their two lottery picks, No. 7 and No. 14, along with other assets to try and secure a fourth superstar to join their Big 3. Curry, the returning Klay Thompson and Draymond Green expressed their desire for the team to make “win-now” moves, as they enter the latter stages of their careers.

Golden State kicked the tires on both guard Bradley Beal, of the Wizards, and forward Ben Simmons, of the Philadelphia 76ers. They found Beal unavailable and the price for Simmons too high, which led the team to draft Jonathon Kuminga and Moses Moody with their top two picks, respectively.

In the days that followed, the Warriors landed Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica via free agency, both of whom signed veterans minimum deals to join the team. Golden State then brought back forward Andre Iguodala, after the Miami Heat declined a $15 million team option on the 37-year-old defensive specialist.

Iguodala spent six seasons with the Warriors and was a member of the team during all five of their consecutive NBA Finals appearances, winning three championship rings and the 2015 Finals MVP Award.

Along with Oubre, the Warriors also said goodbye to guard Kent Bazemore, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency, and traded Eric Paschall to the Utah Jazz for a protected future second-round pick.

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