With Klay Thompson out for the season with a torn Achilles, Golden State drops out of potential contender status to… something less than that. How far they fall remains to be seen. However, they are too good and too old — Stephen Curry is 32, Draymond Green is 30 – to waste another season of their stars’ primes. The Warriors need to find someone to step into Thompson’s shoes.
Enter Kelly Oubre Jr.
Golden State and Oklahoma City are finalizing a trade that sends Oubre, a sixth-year wing, to the Warriors, a story broken by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 19, 2020
The Warriors will absorb Oubre Jr., and his $14.4M salary into their $17.2M trade exception once deal is done. https://t.co/GcLaIlnwNF
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 19, 2020
The Andre Iguodala trade exception means the Warriors do not have to send a player back to the Thunder as part of the trade, but you can be sure Sam Presti will want draft picks — OKC is in asset acquisition mode for their rebuild. They already have 15 first-round picks in the next five drafts.
Oubre is the logical fit for Golden State. He is a two-way player (though not as good as Thompson on either end) who scored 18.7 points a game and shot 35.2% from three last season in Phoenix. He’s athletic, runs the floor, and can plug-and-play in Steve Kerr’s system. The Warriors also get a motivated Oubre going into the final year of his contract (next season, the Warriors can try to bring him back or let him walk and watch Thompson step back into his role).
Oubre also is going to cost the Warriors a boatload of money.
He will make $14.4 million this season, but with the Warriors deep into the tax, this will cost them a lot more. There is no way this trade is approved without Golden State owner Joe Lacob and company giving their approval.
Golden State tax bill is currently $66M
The addition of Kelly Oubre would see it increase to $134M
$14.4M of Oubre + $68M in taxes= $82.4M
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 19, 2020
At a press conference Thursday introducing No.2 pick in the draft, James Wiseman, Warriors GM Bob Myers hinted at more moves — and more spending by ownership — to try and plug the hole left by Thompson’s injury.
As much as that is possible, but Oubre is a good start.