After their All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson went down with a torn right Achilles, the Warriors traded for Kelly Oubre Jr. in hopes that he would be able to supplant some of the production lost with Thompson. However, Oubre Jr. has regressed this season. After a career year in 2019-20, he is now shooting a career-low from behind the three-point line at 21.8%.
Follow the Heavy on Warriors Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
What the Warriors and Pelicans Discussed
So far this season, the Warriors have compiled a 9-8 record and are currently 8th in the western conference standings. Meanwhile, the Pelicans are 14th in the western conference with a disappointing record of 5-10.
Coming into the 2020-21 NBA season, some expected the Warriors to compete for the best record in the NBA. Yet after Thompson’s injury and both star forward Draymond Green and rookie sensation James Wiseman tested positive for coronavirus, the team started the season with two blowout losses to the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.
The Pelicans are another team many analysts had high expectations for after being invited to the NBA’s Orlando bubble and competing for a playoff spot. Similar to the Warriors, injuries and a changing roster have become a deterrent to them being able to rack up more wins.
It still may be early in the season, but a trade to help spark both teams may be just what they need. In his report, Charania detailed the talks both teams have had and the possibility of it happening.
“The Warriors and [New Orleans] Pelicans discussed a potential deal involving Kelly Oubre Jr. There isn’t traction as of yet,” Charania noted. “Like many conversations around this time, it is a scenario.”
Even more so, further in the report Charania also overviewed two Pelicans players that teams overall have been calling about.
“New Orleans has been receiving calls about the availability of Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick and has shown an openness to discussing trades around both with interested teams.”
Green Sees Oubre Jr. ‘Finding Confidence’
Last week the Warriors were able to stun the league and win against the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. One reason the team played so well was Oubre Jr. as he had his best game of the season so far scoring 23 points, grabbing 2 rebounds, and recording 2 steals.
After the game, Green spoke highly of Oubre Jr. and saw that he was beginning to find himself with the Warriors system.
“He was great. He was great on both sides of the ball,” Green stated per USA Today. “Especially during that second half, he was amazing defensively. The entire game he was great offensively. He’s really finding his confidence. He’s finding his way on this team. He’s knocking shots down — which is huge. But he’s also slashing in the lane more. I think that’s been great for him. He’s getting to the basket, and it’s not like he’s getting there with someone helping him. He’s putting his head down and getting to the cup. Huge game for us tonight. We need him to continue to build on that.”
For the Warriors have a chance at the playoffs Oubre Jr. will need to have more performances like this to help balance out the team. If not, the talks with the Pelicans may move further beyond the ‘scenario’ phase.