Kelly Oubre Jr. has become quite a disappointment for the Golden State Warriors at the start of the 2020-21 NBA season.
The 25-year-old forward was supposed to be a steal for the Dubs this past offseason after they shelled out two 2021 draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for his services. He had a breakout year for the Suns last season, putting up career-highs of 18.7 points on 35.2 percent shooting from downtown.
Most pundits thought he could be a nice replacement for Golden State’s injured superstar Klay Thompson. While nobody expects Oubre to be the lights out shooter that Thompson is, his two-way presence was expected to at least soften the blow of losing Klay.
Sadly, that hasn’t been the case so far. Far from it, actually.
In his first nine games in Oakland, Oubre Jr. put up underwhelming numbers of 10 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals. His 33.3 percent success rate from the field has been problematic, while that 13.3 percent clip from downtown has been flat out horrible. All in all, Oubre has just made six of his 45 3-pointers so far.
Sure, it’s way too early in the season and maybe, Oubre is just shaking off the cobwebs and still trying to find his groove with his new team. After all, we’ve already seen just how good he can be.
Despite his recent struggles of putting the ball in the hoop, coach Steve Kerr keeps him on the floor because he is still an excellent wing defender.
Plus, it’s not like the 6-foot-6 swingman will stay cold forever. Still, his continued struggles raise questions about his overall fit in The Bay.
It seems silly to put him on the trade block just yet considering the Dubs gave up a lot to acquire him. However, Golden State must entertain this possibility if he continues to play lackluster basketball this season.
Let’s look at two possible trades the Warriors can explore to get rid of Kelly Oubre Jr.
Kelly Oubre Jr. package to the Kings for Buddy Hield
Golden State will always be in need of shooters for that uptempo system. While Oubre’s length and versatility will be missed, a guy like Buddy Hield will be more suitable under coach Kerr’s scheme of things.
The Bahamian guard, after all, is a career 41.1 percent shooter from past the arc. The 2020 NBA Three-Point Contest Winner will no doubt fit in nicely with the Splash Brothers. Hield will be the more fitting replacement for Thompson as he recovers from that ACL injury.
Plus, the Dubs already employ positionless basketball, so they’ll have no problem having Hield, Thompson, and Curry on the same floor.
Getting Kelly Oubre in a trade won’t be enough for the Kings, so the Dubs can also add guys like Jordan Poole and Kevon Looney just to match the salaries. These two will be nice additions to Sacramento’s second-unit.
If that’s not enough, the Kings could ask for a future draft pick as well.
As for Oubre, he might thrive more with the ball in his hands if he moves to SacTown.
On the other hand, why would the Kings trade their third-leading scorer for a struggling guy like Oubre? Despite giving Hield a 4-year extension last season, things haven’t always been amicable between the two sides.
The constant losing has also taken its toll and the Kings should look to shake things up.
Oubre and Draymond Green to Blazers for McCollum package
This potential blockbuster will be extremely tricky to pull off. Still, it would be wise for the Dubs to consider if an offer like this actually comes to the table.
In what could be the biggest (hypothetical) trade of the season, the Warriors trade Kelly Oubre and Draymond Green to the Blazers for CJ McCollum, Anfernee Simons, Zach Collins, and a first-round draft pick.
The Blazers reportedly have their eye on Green, so Oubre is basically just a throw-in on this one. The Dubs are already guard-heavy, so why add McCollum in the mix? He’ll be a great problem for Steve Kerr to have considering he can play both guard positions.
Plus, CJ would be a nice insurance piece given the uncertainty of Thompson’s recovery from another devastating injury. He has also excelled as a playmaker in the past and is no stranger to playing alongside another trigger-happy backcourt mate in Damian Lillard.
Simons and Collins, meanwhile, could help shore out their bench, while that future first-rounder is a nice piece to have for the future. Losing Green would obviously hurt, but they might need to do so if they will figure in another lost season.
Portland, on the other hand, will get the player that Lillard has reportedly been pining for in Green.
Kelly Oubre could come in and play a similar role to Robert Covington. RoCo is thriving in Oregon so far, and maybe Oubre will get a second wind if he somehow lands in Rip City.