The Golden State Warriors decided against making any blockbuster moves at the trade deadline, leaving an uncertain future for one player who was rumored to be on the move.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was at the center of trade rumors for much of the last few weeks, seen as the most likely option to move given that Golden State was averse to trading more valuable assets like rookie center James Wiseman or the top-three protected draft pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves from last year’s D’Angelo Russell trade. That has now left an uncertain future for the soon-to-be free agent Oubre, and he spoke out this week about his future with the team.
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Warriors Decline Offers for Oubre
As ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported, the Warriors fielded several offers for the 25-year-old wing, but turned them down in favor of keeping him on the team for the final two months of the season. As she reported, the move signaled that Golden State is still focused on making a run in the playoffs this season.
“Warriors had several strong offers for Oubre but said no. They value him, still want to make the playoffs & keep optionality for next year,” she tweeted.
Oubre will become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and ESPN’s Nick Friedell noted that it would be costly for the Warriors to bring him back, giving the team a massive tax penalty at a time when those penalties are set to double because of the repeater status.
Here were Kelly Oubre's full postgame comments about the trade deadline and his possible future with the Warriors pic.twitter.com/TjSi2UXJk3
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 26, 2021
Oubre’s Future Unclear
If the Warriors do decide to bring Oubre back next season, it will likely be in a different role, NBC Sports Bay Area pointed out. Though he has become a fixture of the starting lineup this season, the expected return of Klay Thompson next year would likely send him to the bench. Oubre spoke to reporters before the team’s loss to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, saying he can only focus on the present, and is happy with where he’s at right now.
“I can’t speak for the future … but at the end of the day, I’m growing, I’m honing in on my skills in this league and I can offer a lot more than coming off the bench,” Oubre said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “At the end of the day, this is my life, so I can’t tell the future, only God can.”
“It comes with the territory. This is a pretty important year, but I’m in a great situation right now, so all in all, I’m just happy to be here.”
Oubre said he would like to stay with Golden State for much longer than the two months remaining on his contract, but right now is focusing on moving up the playoff ladder. The Warriors dropped to 22-23 with Thursday’s loss, keeping them in the playoff picture but falling further from the No. 6 spot that would allow them to avoid the play-in tournament.
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 26, 2021
“I would love that,” Oubre said of the idea of staying with the Warriors. “At the end of the day, this is a business. We got through one step. Next step is giving my all to this team so we can reach our goals this season and this summer is another step. So I’m kinda in the moment right now. And I’m here. I’m a Warrior.”