NBA trade rumors: Are the Warriors already trying to dump Kelly Oubre Jr.?

Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

The latest NBA trade rumors suggest the Warriors are open to moving Kelly Oubre Jr.

The Golden State Warriors hoped Kelly Oubre Jr. would be part of a new foundation after trading for him in the offseason. Now, it appears they’re already open to moving him if the right deal materializes.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Warriors have discussed a potential Oubre trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.

However, Charania notes that there is currently no traction on a deal, and this is just a scenario being discussed — as is usually the case around this time of year.

Would the Warriors give up on Kelly Oubre Jr. already?

It’s no secret that “Tsunami Papi” has been quite a disappointment in the bay. After averaging 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game on 45.2 percent shooting from the floor and 35.2 percent shooting from 3-point range in a career year with the Phoenix Suns last season, Oubre’s adjustment process with the Warriors has been a bumpy one. His numbers are down to just 11.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and he’s shooting a dismal 35.5 percent from the field and 21.8 percent from downtown.

Part of Oubre’s struggles are due to the way he’s being used in Steve Kerr’s system, since he has never been much of a spot-up shooter and his cutting and slashing abilities aren’t being utilized properly. However, Oubre may also still be trying to adjust to his new surroundings after feeling betrayed by the Suns and the “Valley Boyz” culture he helped instill there. For a guy who was traded from Phoenix to the Oklahoma City Thunder and then back to the Warriors within a few weeks, Oubre is probably just looking for a place that feels like home again.

If New Orleans is interested, it could try to become that new home for the 25-year-old swingman. Charania mentions in that same report that the Pelicans are listening to offers for guard Lonzo Ball and sharpshooter J.J. Redick, whose contracts align fairly nicely with Oubre’s $14.4 million expiring salary.

Redick is on a $13 million expiring contract and would lend some expert shooting coming off the bench, even if he wouldn’t help much on the defensive end, where Oubre gets a ton of deflections as a lengthy wing defender.

Ball and his $11 million salary would help defensively, but his lack of a perimeter shot might bog down the proceedings on offense. He’d present another playmaking option alongside Stephen Curry in the backcourt, but then again, his assist numbers (4.8 per game) are also down this season.

It remains to be seen whether these talks gain traction, and what kind of return the Warriors would be interested in if they made Oubre available, but these early NBA trade rumors are certainly worth monitoring as we approach trade season.

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