Warriors making first trade after Klay Thompson injury news

Phoenix Suns guard Kelly Oubre (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns guard Kelly Oubre (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Hours after learning of Klay Thompson’s season-ending injury, the Golden State Warriors have made a move to fill the void.

The Golden State Warriors were supposed to be celebrating on Wednesday evening after they selected Memphis center James Wiseman with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft. Instead, they were worrying about the health of star Klay Thompson, who picked up a right leg injury during a pickup game. On Thursday, Golden State’s worst fears were realized, as Thompson was determined to have a torn Achilles, which will knock him out for the upcoming season. Hours after this gut-wrenching news, the Warriors made a move to fill the void left by Thompson.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Warriors will be acquiring forward Kelly Oubre Jr. from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 2021 protected first-round pick. Oubre was acquired by the Thunder from the Phoenix Suns in the Chris Paul trade. The Warriors will send a first-rounder to the Thunder only if they finish between 21st and 30th in the final regular-season standings next year. But if Golden State are to finish in the top 20, they’ll send two second-rounders to Oklahoma City in its place, per Wojnarowski.

Help on the way for Golden State

Once this deal becomes official, the Warriors will absorb Oubre’s  $14.4 million salary into their $17.2 million trade exception. However, with the addition of Oubre, Golden State’s tax bill will increase from $66 million to a whopping $134 million, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks.

Oubre, the former 15th overall pick by the Washington Wizards in 2015, is coming off a career season with the Suns. In 56 regular-season games, Oubre averaged 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 34.5 minutes of play. Oubre shot 45.2-percent from the field and 35.2-percent from the three-point line. His shooting from beyond the arc will help in Thompson’s absence, since that’s his specialty.

Thompson last played in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, where he tore his ACL on a dunk attempt against the Toronto Raptors. Since the injury occurred so late in the playoffs, he was ruled out for the entirety of this past season. There was heightened excitement for Thompson’s return with the 2020-21 season slated to take place on Dec. 22, as their overall roster would provide great competition for the defending NBA champions in the Los Angeles Lakers. And then, the bad luck continued to strike Thompson, as he’ll have to sit out yet another campaign.

Even though Thompson won’t be on the court, the Warriors are receiving a very suitable replacement in Oubre, who will benefit playing alongside stud point guard Stephen Curry.

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