Has Golden State’s Oubre Experiment Seen its Course?


Kelly Oubre was never going to be Klay Thompson.

But when the Dubs acquired him with a $17.2 million trade exception, he was supposed to be an efficient scorer who could help the Golden State Warriors stay afloat when Steph Curry was off the floor.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder first dealt him to Golden State — after initially being sent to OKC as part of the Chris Paul trade — he was emphatic the Warriors were who he wanted to play for long term.

Safe to say, he has been far from a success this season, despite a recent hot stretch from three.

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Low-IQ plays sum up the frustration Warriors fans everywhere feel when watching Oubre. He is the ultimate roller coaster, but so far this season, he has undoubtedly been more down than up. To say his lack of awareness on offense — which is inexcusable at times when you share the floor with Steph Curry — and defense is frustrating would be like saying Tom Brady is a good quarterback. 

With Golden State far over the cap, however, they can’t sign someone of Oubre’s caliber this offseason. They can either re-sign him since they have his Bird rights, or trade him for someone around his salary range and bring them back for next year. If the acquired player’s contract goes beyond this season, they could also move forward with that player. 

Oubre is not someone to help chase a title next year once Thompson returns. Giving important playoff minutes to someone who can display a lack of awareness is not something the Warriors should want, especially since his scoring is hit-or-miss. 

Moving On?

If he isn’t a fit next year, and if the Warriors want to max out the roster, they should explore something for him before the March 25th trade deadline. Who knows what Oubre’s value is? In the Warriors’ best-case scenario, though, averaging 18.7 points per game on 35% shooting from three just a year ago should give the 25-year-old swingman at least some value on the open market. 

The most talked-about trade involving Oubre on Warriors twitter has been a swap for Lonzo Ball.

At this point, after Ball’s recent uptick in play, the move seems a tad unrealistic. Nevertheless, if the Warriors could make this trade, it would be massively beneficial to add a high-IQ playmaker for both this year and next, especially with Brad Wanamaker being a disappointment (to say the least).

Trade Musing

If that doesn’t work, the Warriors could look into Terry Rozier or Aaron Gordon, as both are talented players with uncertain futures. Perhaps the Dubs could theoretically look at someone like Davis Bertans, but since he is in the first of a five-year, $85 million contract, the Wizards would almost certainly have to attach another asset for the Warriors to absorb a deal that long.

Like Lonzo, all three players have salaries at or around Oubre’s contract. 

All those players seem within reach, and they are all better fits for 2021 and 2022. Curry is going to turn 33 next month, and Thompson just turned 31. It is paramount that Bob Myers and Co. maximize the rest of the Splash Brothers’ prime.  Bringing back Kelly Oubre next season does not do that. At all. The Warriors must weigh their options, but Oubre on the roster is not what would best help the Warriors bring home another trophy. It’s also paramount that they get something for him; they have six weeks to figure out what that could be. 

Follow us on Twitter @DubsLead for the latest Warriors news and insight. 

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About Zevan Shuster

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