Kelly Oubre Jr. is still a member of the Golden State Warriors, but said he’s not sure how much longer the arrangement could last.
The team had a big decision to make about Oubre’s future at the trade deadline, ultimately turning down the chance to ship him for a player who could help build a contender next season with the return of Klay Thompson. Instead, they hoped that Oubre would bring for an expected playoff run. The decision ultimately backfired, with Oubre losing the final stretch of the season to injury and the Warriors falling short of the playoffs.
They now have another decision, with Oubre headed toward free agency and the Warriors facing an expensive option on whether to keep him.
The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!
Oubre Sounds Off
“I’m a Warrior right now,” Oubre told Chris Haynes on the latest Posted Up podcast, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “So, until further notice. We’ll weigh our options whenever the time kicks in, the free-agency period ramps up. But at the end of the day, man, I’m a Warrior right now.
“That’s all I know.”
The Warriors face a significant salary crunch in the coming season, and bringing back Oubre using his Bird Rights would put them in an even more perilous situation, noted ESPN’s Bobby Marks. He noted that the Warriors have been in the luxury tax for three of the last four years, and doing so again would be very costly.
“So basically, the penalty is double as far as what it’s going to cost them,” Marks said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “So if you’re paying $60 million in luxury tax, it might be $120 million now. So to bring back Kelly Oubre, it might cost you $70 million on a $15 million contract, so you’re paying for an $85 million player.”
Other Options for Golden State
As NBC Sports Bay Area’s Grant Liffman noted, there could be another option for the Warriors to gain some value out of Oubre on his way out the door. While he acknowledged that it would be unlikely for the Warriors to bring him back for roughly $15-to-$20 million as a bench player — where he would undoubtedly be headed with Thompson’s return — there was an option for Golden State to attempt a sign-and-trade deal.
But even that would be complicated, Liffman wrote.
“A reasonable scenario could be that a team that has no plans on contending this season, or being in the luxury tax, would sign Oubre and try to get the Warriors to send future picks and perhaps a young player over to them,” he wrote. “They could also use the opportunity to shed unwanted salary, in exchange for a trade exception. But how many teams would simply sign a player for something like 3 years and $50 million, just to do that deal?”