Golden State Warriors forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is headed for unrestricted free agency this offseason, and it appears as though he will have several suitors. The Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks are among the team’s interested in Oubre Jr., according to Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. Plus, you can’t rule out the possibility that the Warriors would want to bring him back. Oubre Jr. didn’t have his best season with the Warriors in 2020-21, but at just 25 years old with solid size for the perimeter and elite athleticism, it’s not surprising that he would generate a lot of interest.
[Oubre] is slated to enter free agency after a two-year deal he signed in 2019, presumably healthy and looking to have better years to come than this one, where he shot a career-low 32% from 3-point range… According to league sources, Miami, San Antonio and the New York Knicks are among the teams interested in Oubre in free agency, and it’s easy to see him at his best, fitting into those places. Playing next to Jimmy Butler with Bam Adebayo underneath the rim, or in Tom Thibodeau’s aggressive defensive scheme on a Knicks team in need of athletic wings, it’s certainly feasible.
Oubre’s season in Golden State sticks out like a sore thumb, similar to Warriors rookie James Wiseman. There’s no doubt Wiseman should be an impact player in time, and the Warriors’ season is a story in contrast — as was this NBA season in general with the COVID-19 protocols, lack of practice time and very little continuity.
Oubre will likely be on the hunt for his fourth team this summer, and he’s still very young. No reason to think there isn’t plenty of room to grow in the meantime.
We don’t know where Oubre Jr. will end up signing, but we do know one thing: he’s looking to get paid wherever he goes. Oubre Jr. is confident he can get over $20 million per year on his next contract, ideally on a long-term deal, according to Michael Scotto on the HoopsHype Podcast. He adds that while Golden State is willing to keep him, that $20 million price point might be a bit too rich for their blood. Oubre made just under $14.4 million this season.
Just because Oubre Jr. is looking for a deal in the $20 million range, doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll find one. But there’s nothing wrong with setting the bar high. He has a valuable skill set, and NBA teams love to spend money. As such, other suitors are likely to emerge as free agency draws closer. Oubre Jr. will be one of the many players to keep an eye on this summer.