The Golden State Warriors are nearing a trade for former Phoenix Sun and current Oklahoma City Thunder swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. News of the potential deal was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Oubre has been a coveted player among many teams trade boards as he has the unique ability at his size to be a very good scorer and lengthy defender. Given the recent reveal of star forward Klay Thompson’s Achilles tear that will keep him out for the full 2020-2021 season this move helps the Warriors to shore up their wing position instantly with young talent.
It also provides a good look into how the Warriors may be able to build into their future around a core of their recent #2 overall draft pick from the 2020 NBA Draft former Memphis Tigers center James Wiseman and 2014 #1 overall pick, and recent trade addition, Andrew Wiggins. If not, it buys the Warriors time to find a veteran in free agency, which is set to begin this Friday, November 20th at 6 pm EST.
Details of The Potential Trade
In order to make the trade, the Warriors had to use their $17.2 million trade exception from their 2019 trade of current Miami Heat swingman Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies. The traded player exception will engulf Oubre’s contract of $14.4 million thus not having the need to trade any of their current players to make the deal work.
At Wiseman’s introduction press conference today, Warriors GM Bob Myers commented on how the Warriors would move forward looking to fill in the void that Thompson’s injury has caused.
“We got this news and we found ourselves with a hole at a position that we can’t find many better guys to fill than a Klay Thompson,” Myers said. “So now we write our board up and under the 2-guard position we had a blank space — after processing that, the league’s now waiting for us. We got to do what we got to do. So we’re exploring a lot of different things.”
“We’re going to keep looking at what we can do and filling that position and try to get the best player we can,” Myers said. “Nothing’s done as far as [an Oubre agreement] or anything yet but we got to look hard and look fast. I probably shouldn’t even be up here [at this news conference]. I should not even be doing this right now, but I got some great guys I work with that are working right now on what we can do. And so we got to fill that position and give our fans and our organization and all the people that support us the best chance to win next year that we can.”
On the Thunder’s end of the deal, they are clearing cap space which will allow them to continue to be major players within the trade market moving forward. This, and the development of their younger players, will aid them in becoming a free agent destination given their ability to offer larger contracts.
Who is Kelly Oubre Jr.?
Oubre was drafted #15 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft after playing one year at the University of Kansas. Upon being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks he was traded to the Washington Wizards. Coming into his own by having a flair for the dramatic and a growing social media following, Oubre showed flashes of turning into a pretty good three-point shooter and defensive player.
Once traded to the Phoenix Suns alongside current Houston Rocket Austin Rivers for Trevor Ariza, Oubre’s game began to blossom even more. His scoring average jumped 4 points from 12.9 to 16.9 and even continued to jump this season to 18.7. His rebounding also jumped from 4.9 to 6.4 over the past season and his three-point shooting percentage increased from 32% to 35%. Something that will most certainly come in handy within the Warriors’ free-flowing offense.