The Golden State Warriors had a down season for the first time in years during 2019-20. However, the team’s core did not play together due to injuries and Kevin Durant leaving in free agency. So, not many people expected them to be great. In 2020-21, though, the Warriors have a chance to be excellent. Their two stars, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, should be back healthy. They also have Andrew Wiggins and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. Additionally, many people expect Golden State to have more than just Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Draymond Green, too. In fact, rumors suggest that the Warriors could soon have a new $30 million star — Kelly Oubre Jr.
The Golden State Warriors expect to be back on top in 2020-21
The Golden State Warriors were one of the best teams in NBA history for about five seasons. After winning the championship in 2014-15, the Warriors ultimately went to four more consecutive NBA Finals after that and ended up winning three total championships in five seasons.
However, Kevin Durant went to the Brooklyn Nets in 2019 free agency. The Warriors also didn’t have Klay Thompson for the entire 2019-20 season as he suffered a torn ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. Additionally, Stephen Curry only played in five games in 2019-20 due to injury.
The Warriors were ultimately one of the worst teams in the NBA because of this, going 15-50 overall. This led to them getting the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, as they could now have another star or two in addition to Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins, who they traded D’Angelo Russell for last season.
So, do the Warriors have their eye on anyone?
Kelly Oubre Jr. has become a nice scorer in the NBA
Kelly Oubre Jr., who was the 15th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, began his career with the Washington Wizards. He had a slow start to his career, as he only averaged 3.7 points per game and 6.3 points per game in 2015-16 and 2016-17. However, he has since become a solid scorer.
In 2017-18, Oubre scored 11.8 points per game for the Wizards before becoming a breakout star for the Phoenix Suns in 2018-19. Oubre played in 29 games for the Wizards in 2018-19 and averaged 12.9 points per game. He then got traded to the Suns in 2018, where he ultimately played in 40 games and averaged 16.9 points per game.
Oubre then got rewarded for his stellar play in Phoenix. The Suns ended up signing him to a two-year, $30 million deal in the summer of 2019, per Bleacher Report.
He then had an even better year in 2019-20 for the Suns. Oubre averaged career-highs in points per game with 18.7 and in rebounds with 6.4. He also shot career-bests from the field and 3-point range, as his field goal percentage was 45.2%, and his 3-point percentage was 35.2%.
Could he be on the move now, though?
The Golden State Warriors could add Kelly Oubre Jr.
While the Warriors try to search for that next star to team up with their already very talented core, there are rumors that they could have an interest in Oubre.
“The name that keeps popping up when you talk to people is Kelly Oubre,” ESPN’s Nick Friedell recently said on The Jump, according to Bleacher Report. “Can they get him in? What would they have to give up? They have the trade exception for Andre Iguodala as well that expires here in a little bit.”
One potential trade for Oubre thrown out by The Athletic‘s Anthony Slater was the Warriors sending the Suns their No. 2 pick for Oubre and the No. 10 pick.
If something like that were to happen, Oubre could potentially be an excellent fit for Golden State. Without Kevin Durant now, Golden State needs some help on the wing. They have Wiggins and Thompson, of course, but other than that, they just have Juan Toscano-Anderson and Eric Paschall, per NBC Sports. Oubre is a major upgrade from those two.
The Golden State Warriors will, most likely, look much different by the time the season starts than they do right now. Maybe, Kelly Oubre Jr. will be their next $30 million star.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference