With a slow start to his season with the Golden State Warriors, guard Kelly Oubre Jr. has made significant improvement in his role on the team. Despite this, there were rumors earlier in the season that Oubre Jr. might potentially be traded and now his name has reemerged in trade talks ahead of the trade deadline. Reportedly, the Warriors are exploring their options for their newly required forward before the NBA’s trade deadline this Tuesday.
Shopping Oubre Jr.
The Warriors are doing whatever they can to remain as playoff contenders in their stacked Western Conference. Minus All-Star Klay Thompson, they may be dabbling in the trade market to bring in some last-minute help. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Kelly Oubre Jr. may be the piece that the Warriors give up in order to achieve this.
“The Warriors are shopping Kelly Oubre Jr., who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.”
Oubre Jr. is expected to rake in $14 million this season and will become an unrestricted free agent by the end of his tenure, which makes him a great candidate to offer for a trade. The 6-foot-7 swingman has struggled with consistency all season since trading for him during the offseason from the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Warriors were hoping to fill in the void of missing their star guard Thompson with acquiring Oubre Jr., however, it looks like the Warriors do not plan to re-sign him and hope to get as much value out of him now versus later.
It’s still not certain what the team hopes to receive in return for the forward, but it might be beneficial for them to ask for a veteran of the game who might fit better into their system and aid in their hopes of making the postseason. After a breakout year with the Phoenix Suns just last season, it was hopeful that Oubre Jr. along with Andrew Wiggins would make a great wing duo for the team. Unfortunately, Oubre Jr.’s slow start to the season impacted this outlook
Will Golden State Trade Oubre Jr.?
Oubre Jr. does hope to stay with his current team as the trade deadline approaches. But his chances might be slim. He has managed to start in 41 games this season and now averages more than 30 minutes per game, which is even more than star guard Steph Curry. He is even the third-leading scoring currently so far this season.
The main reason that makes Oubre Jr. a key trading option is his expiring contract. With four of their players with high-value contracts, it is hard for them to consider keeping Oubre Jr. as part of their core.
Fortunately, Oubre Jr.’s shooting has gotten better and his play has become more impactful. He is currently averaging 14.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 steals for the season. There’s no doubt that he may have several teams interested before the deadline, and it will be up to the Warriors to pick which offer is the most satisfying. However, it’s quite obvious that he did not make a great impression on the Warriors’ organization early on so his time with the team might be short-lived. Sitting at 9th place in the Western Conference and only winning four of their last ten games, Golden State definitely needs some sort of spark to boost their playoff hopes.