Even if the Golden State Warriors made the playoffs this year, they would still have to give their performance a thorough review in the offseason. The best way to do this is to evaluate their players’ performances, especially the new ones like Kelly Oubre Jr.
Oubre particularly stands out since he’s one heck of a good player. However, there are lingering questions on his fit with Steve Kerr’s system. With the pending return of Klay Thompson as well as the rise of other players in the team, Oubre’s future might be on the line.
Frankly, the Warriors and Oubre are better off without each other. Here are three reasons why the Warriors should not re-sign Kelly Oubre Jr. in free agency.
3. Kelly Oubre Jr. is inconsistent
Oubre’s inconsistency was very well-documented in the regular season. Warriors fans were initially ecstatic after the team acquired him in November 2020. But things went sour from the get-go. Oubre shot horrendously from the field and he didn’t seem to fully mesh with Steve Kerr’s system until later in the season.
Although Oubre eventually improved, this inconsistent play seems to have been his trademark. He’s not a bad player by any means, but general manager Bob Myers needs to reevaluate Oubre’s overall fit with the Warriors.
Oubre’s case presents an interesting dilemma for the Warriors. As for one, if they re-sign him, then it’ll cost them a hefty amount of luxury tax bills. And of course, they have to pay him more in the coming years. However, if they let him go, then they can’t just replace him with a similar player as they’re still over the cap. They can only fill in his spot with a minimum exception player.
From the looks of it, the best option for the Warriors would be to insert Oubre into a sign-and-trade deal to add depth into their lineup. Per Bleacher Report, a good deal would be a sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks involving Dwight Powell and Dorian Finney-Smith.
2. Klay Thompson’s Return Will Make Him Useless
To recall, the Warriors agreed to acquire Oubre via trade after Klay Thompson went down with an injury and was subsequently ruled out for the season. As such, Oubre was basically Thompson’s replacement. Thompson is guaranteed to suit back up next season. He’s obviously the better player than Oubre on both ends of the floor. More importantly, Thompson knows Kerr’s system like the back of his hands.
If the Warriors and Oubre agree to continue their partnership, then the 25-year-old would have no choice but to come off the bench. Head coach Steve Kerr isn’t too confident Oubre wants that type of role at this point in his career. He has worked his way to become a bona fide starter in this league, and he surely wants to maintain that role as long as possible. But this simply isn’t possible with Thompson on the floor.
Besides, the Warriors have Jordan Poole who’s rising as one heck of an offensive talent.
1. Rise of Jordan Poole
Jordan Poole has proven to be one of the most potent scorers from the bench. And unlike Oubre, the 21-year-old seems comfortable in this role for the time being. He seems to be fine carrying the offensive chores while the starters take a rest. The best part about Poole is the Warriors can still mold him into whatever the team needs vis-a-vis to what he wants.
The reality is that their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are reaching the tail-end of their careers. There’s no question that James Wiseman will be the centerpiece of the team soon. But Poole’s rise has made him another important building block.
As such, getting rid of Oubre in favor of Poole will not just work in the short run, but in the long run as well.