It’s been known for some time that the Golden State Warriors were going to be active ahead of the NBA trade deadline. For the most part, that included the bottom-end playoff contender adding reinforcements behind Stephen Curry.
This might no longer be the case with 24 hours to go ahead of the deadline. Three-and-D wing Kelly Oubre could very well be on the move after the 25-year-old was acquired in an off-season trade.
According to this note from Anthony Slater of The Athletic (h/t 95.7 The Game), Golden State is in fact “aggressively” shopping the impending free agent to other teams.
On the surface, it really wouldn’t make much sense for the Golden State Warriors to move off the still-young wing. After some initial struggles this season, Oubre has picked it up in pretty much every aspect of his game.
The former first-round pick is averaging 18.2 points and 6.4 rebounds on 38% shooting from distance over the past 20 games. He’s also one of the elite perimeter defenders in the game right now.
At issue here is Oubre’s status as a impending free agent and the Warriors being an historically high number over the NBA luxury tax. While their brass is willing to spend money, it remains to be seen if it makes sense to meet what promises to be a strong market for Kelly Oubre that could reach $20 million annually.
That’s especially true with Klay Thompson returning to the two-guard position next season and Andrew Wiggins under contract for the foreseeable future at small forward.
How would a Kelly Oubre trade from the Golden State Warriors look?
The first point here is obvious. Golden State would like to acquire a starter who is under team control beyond the 2020-21 season. Picking up a free agent in which Birds Rights exist is also another option. That is to say, the Warriors could re-sign said player despite their salary cap limitations.
Golden State has been linked to Houston Rockets All-Star guard Victor Oladipo on a near never-ending loop. While he will cost in excess of $20 million annually in free agency, it’s possible he’s a better fit than Oubre. A perimeter trio of Stephen Curry, Victor Oladipo and Klay Thompson with Andrew Wiggins moving to a Sixth Man role could make sense.
These Warriors have also been linked to impending restricted free agent Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans for some time. That $20 million per-season estimate I noted above comes in handy here. It’s exactly what Ball will demand once he hits the restricted free agent market during the summer. He could also be a fit with Curry in the backcourt while Thompson moves to the three.
These are just two big names the Warriors are said to be targeting. However, there’s a few other scenarios that could work out ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
Toronto Raptors shooting guard Norman Powell is said to be on the block. He’s averaging nearly 20 points per game on the season. With that said, Powell joins Oubre on the free agent market this summer. It’s all about whether the Golden State Warriors view him as a better fit moving forward.
Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has been looking for help at forward this season. He’s also under pressure to make a move with the underperforming team under .500 on the campaign. Perhaps, Ainge offers up defensive stalwart Marcus Smart and a second-round pick for Oubre.
Out west, we already know that the surging Denver Nuggets are looking for help at the two and three. Oubre has played both positions exceedingly well for the Golden State Warriors this season. Could Denver entice the Warriors with someone like Gary Harris and rookie first-round pick R.J. Hampton? It’s possible.
Regardless, it’s now clear that the Golden State Warriors are looking to move off Kelly Oubre ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Whether that happens remains to be seen.