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Klay Thompson’s 2021-22 return to Warriors raises massive question for Kelly Oubre Jr.

Warriors, Klay Thompson, Kelly Oubre Jr., Steve Kerr

With Klay Thompson expected to get back to action during the 2021-22 season, Kelly Oubre Jr.’s role and future with the Golden State Warriors is now in question.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said so as much in his recent press conference, highlighting that Oubre will definitely come off the bench if he decides to sign again with the team. However, Kerr noted that whether Oubre wants to play in the second unit or not is up to him, especially since he’s a free agent and is expected to weigh his options.

“Klay’s going to start when he gets back. So would Kelly be interested in coming off the bench? That’s a question only he can answer. So he’ll weigh his options, we’ll weigh ours and we’ll see where it all goes,” Kerr added, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Kelly Oubre Jr. had a rough start to his career with the Warriors, but he was able to bounce back midway through the 2020-21 season. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 55 games for the Dubs, all while averaging 43.9 percent from the field.

While he has been a solid rotation player for Golden State, he is no Klay Thompson who can get hot any moment and just torch opponents with his shooting. With that said, it has largely been expected Oubre will be moved to the bench when the fellow Splash Bro. of Stephen Curry returns.

This will likely factor in his decision whether to stay or not, especially since he is expected to command several interests in the free agent market–particularly from teams needing a quality starting forward.

For what it’s worth, though, Warriors president Bob Myers earlier noted that it’s unlikely Thompson will be able to play in opening night of next season. As such, it is also possible they try to keep Oubre and convince him to embrace the new role with the team.