“Winning is everything for Kelly,” Torrel Harris, CEO of Unique Sports Management and Oubre’s agent, told the Bay Area News Group in a phone interview.
Getting a deal done, however, is a different story. While returning to the postseason for the first time since 2018 is a priority for Oubre — who had played for the Wizards and Suns before being traded to the Warriors last fall — money will obviously be a large factor. Oubre could seek a long-term deal that pays him upwards of $20 million annually, according to a league source.
Teams such as the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Mavericks and Miami Heat can create the requisite cap space and will consider signing Oubre, according to multiple reports. The Knicks, Mavericks and Heat all made the playoffs last season, and the Spurs under Gregg Popovich have a winning history.
Despite speculation that free agent wing Kelly Oubre Jr. will seek a starting job first and foremost this offseason, his agent said that playing for a championship contender such as the Warriors is the top priority.
But during a March 26 press conference, Oubre made headlines when he claimed he “can offer a lot more than coming off the bench.” That statement was in response to a question about whether he’d accept a bench role when Klay Thompson returns from an Achilles injury next season and led many to believe he would seek a starting job elsewhere this offseason. Those comments came a day after the Warriors decided not to deal Oubre at the NBA trade deadline despite fielding several offers for the 6-foot-7 wing. According to league sources, despite several offers from other teams, Golden State was not interested in any enough to part with Oubre.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports this week, Oubre said the assumption that he’d come off the bench if he returned to Golden State “put a fire in my heart.” “It added more fuel to the fire,” Oubre said on Chris Haynes’ Posted Up podcast. “To go from the 15th pick to continuously have my numbers grow each and every year to my role and my opportunity on the team grow each and every year, to have a year where my opportunity is lessened… it is unfair. But all I can do is my job and go play and be professional.”
But in Chicago during the NBA Draft combine two weeks ago, general manager Bob Myers told Harris that the Warriors hope to re-sign Oubre this summer. “They want him back,” Harris said. “We are on the same page.”
The source says the Knicks are specifically interested in adding Kelly Oubre Jr. in the event they are successful acquiring a star guard via trade. The acquisition would create a more complete roster alongside Most Improved Player Julius Randle.
The New York Post reported that there is mutual interest between Oubre and the Knicks. SNY hasn’t independently confirmed that report. Some with the Mavs are fans of Oubre, per SNY sources. He’ll surely garner interest from several teams this offseason.
The Warriors do have an interest in re-signing Kelly Oubre Jr. this summer, sources told B/R, yet he presents a unique sign-and-trade opportunity for Golden State.
Oubre will likely seek upward of $20 million in average annual salary on the open market, and there should be plenty of suitors. Several Spurs players appear eager to land Oubre in San Antonio, according to league sources. He could slide into DeMar DeRozan's spot on the wing as a lower-usage, defensive piece who fits the young Spurs' timeline. Tom Thibodeau is also said to have an interest in bringing Oubre, among other veteran players, to New York.
He feels confident he can get over $20 million per year on a long-term deal, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype Podcast. In 2020-21, Oubre made under $14.4 million with the Warriors.
One player on the Knicks' free-agent radar is Warriors small forward Kelly Oubre, the 25-year-old out of Kansas. Oubre’s “3 and D’’ image took a hit early this season when he got off to a treacherous start and missed 28 of his first 30 3-pointers for his new club.
According to one source, there is mutual interest between Oubre and the Knicks. The Knicks are one of the few teams who can offer him more than the $9.5 million mid-level exception. Oubre was drafted by the Wizards in 2015 at No. 15 and was traded to Phoenix, where he scored 29 points with three steals against the Knicks in a January 2020 game.
Notably, the late surge happened after Wiseman and Kelly Oubre Jr. were lost with season-ending injuries. And it’s wholly unlikely that Oubre, a free agent, will be back. There’s a chance that the Warriors could trade Wiseman if the right deal comes up. But if you listen to Kerr, it’s not about needing to move Wiseman to get aligned correctly with the Curry era. And I agree: Curry and Wiseman’s career arcs are not necessarily in conflict.
How about adding a veteran shooting guard while the team waits for Klay to get all the way back? “I feel pretty good about some of the guys on our roster right now,” Kerr said. “Jordan Poole really came on down the stretch. Damion Lee had a helluva year. I thought (Mychal) Mulder and (Kent) Bazemore both really gave us a lot of help, helped us win games. So we’ll see how it all shakes out.” I’ll point out that there is a notable but unsurprising name that Kerr did not mention in this context: Oubre.
One financial point: I think it’s very clear the Warriors will either use the midlevel exception or use Oubre’s salary slot (either to re-sign him or add a player in a sign-and-trade) in a sign-and-trade. They are not likely to do both, given the repeater-tax conditions that complicate everything the Warriors consider these days.
Scotto: Recently, Steve Kerr touched on Kelly Oubre saying that Klay Thompson was going to start for them when he gets back next year, and there was a question of whether Kelly would be interested in coming off the bench, and only he can answer that. Both sides will weigh their options. With that said, the sense I’ve gotten from a league source is that Oubre and his camp think they can get over $20 million (annually), and he ideally wants a long-term deal. The two-year, $30 million deal that he did when he was with the Suns is not something he’s looking to do.
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr on free agent Kelly Oubre: "Klay's going to start when he gets back. So would Kelly be interested in coming off the bench? That's a question only he can answer. So he'll weigh his options, we'll weigh ours and we'll see where it all goes." Full soundbite pic.twitter.com/zEbxRCGEtt
Though it has been speculated that the Warriors would consider re-signing Kelly Oubre Jr. and steering him toward that role, the impending free agent has expressed little enthusiasm about coming off the bench. Poole, who turns 22 next month, seems ready to embrace such an opportunity. “Be ready to step up for wherever I’m needed,” he said. “The plan is to be at full health next year, bringing Klay back to an already talented team. If that is something that makes us more powerful, stronger, a better team, I’m all for it, whether it’s coming off the bench or whatever the situation is, I’ll make sure to be ready.”
Nick Friedell: Myers said there was “high level” interest in Oubre at the deadline — but Warriors are still hopeful to keep him in the future. “We like Kelly. We’d love to see him in our future plans.”
Oubre, 25, figures to have plenty of interest from teams when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. League sources told The Chronicle that he could command contracts worth north of $20 million annually. If the Warriors aren’t willing to pay Oubre, or if they believe he wouldn’t re-sign with them for what would likely be a sixth-man role in 2021-22, they would have been wise to deal him.
At least that’d ensure Golden State could get something back for Oubre, as opposed to letting him leave for nothing. A league source told The Chronicle that the Warriors turned down multiple “compelling” offers for Oubre in recent days.
Oubre said Monday in his introductory video conference call with reporters that he "100 percent" believes he can be a long-term fit with the Warriors. He compared the questions he has faced early in his career to the doubts Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green had to overcome.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Restricted free agent Kelly Oubre Jr., has agreed to a two-year, $30M deal to stay with the Phoenix Suns, agent Nima Namakian of @BDA_Sports tells ESPN.
Bobby Marks: Phoenix will need to make a roster move to fit the projected $17M Ricky Rubio salary for 2019-20. The Suns are $2.6M over the cap when taking into account the Kelly Oubre Jr. hold and the projected new salary of Rubio.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Phoenix has extended qualifying offer to Kelly Oubre Jr., which will make him a restricted free agent, league sources tell ESPN. Oubre is a target for significant offer sheets in the market, especially with cap space teams who miss out on high-profile unrestricted free agents.
Wherever he is, Oubre is someone Jones and the Suns are looking to keep. “I’ve said before, we love Kelly,” Jones said. “We want Kelly here.” Oubre is a restricted free agent, which means the Suns can match any deal he's offered. But that could be a hefty price after he posted career-bests in his run with Phoenix.
When asked, Jones didn’t address whether the Suns were currently working on a deal with Oubre. If the two sides haven’t come to an agreement by July 1, when free agency begins, Oubre can test the open market and see how much the Suns really love him when he receives offers from other teams. “We’ll address that when the time comes,” Jones said.
Kelly Oubre Jr. isn’t ready to change his current NBA location anytime soon. “I’m here, No. 3, small forward for the Phoenix Suns,” he said. “Trying to keep it that way for the rest of my career.”
But leave it to the man himself to speak on how much he’s enjoying his time in Phoenix and potentially staying beyond this season when he joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo. “Why would I go anywhere else?” Oubre said when asked if Phoenix was his preferred destination across the entire NBA. “I’m here, I’m getting established and I’m not a guy that really wants to be on a million teams in my tenure in the league and I just want to create a dynasty and a legacy here in Phoenix with [Deandre Ayton], [Devin Booker], [Mikal Bridges], all the guys in the locker room. It’s beautiful.”
“One-hundred percent I would love to remain Phoenix,” Oubre said. “The money and all that stuff is above my head right now. I’m just trying to focus on these last 17 games so that I can prove myself and show that I’m worth every penny thrown at me.”
Rivers mightily struggled during his 29 games with the Wizards. Meanwhile, there was nearly no realistic chance Oubre was returning to D.C. after this season, according to sources. The Wizards created their own suboptimal situation on the latter. They couldn’t afford to pay Oubre, a restricted free agent after this season, because of the $107.9 million on the books next season just for their four most expensive players — Wall, Beal, Porter and Ian Mahinmi, who is no longer in the rotation. Filling out the rest of their roster and re-signing someone who could earn eight figures annually on his next deal could drive them into tax territory. Paying so much in consecutive seasons for a losing team wasn’t an option.
December 7, 2021 | 8:26 pm EST Update
Upon further examination, a CT scan revealed that Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has a pneumothorax (right lung), the team announced today. McCollum sustained the injury during the 4th quarter of Portland’s game versus Boston on December 4. He will be further evaluated before a prognosis is determined and his status will be updated accordingly.
Casey Holdahl: In more injury news, Anfernee Simons (right ankle), Ben McLemore (left hip), Nassir Little (left ankle) and Cody Zeller (right quad) are questionable while CJ McCollum (right pneumothorax) and Damian Lillard (abdominal tendinopathy) are out for Wednesday’s game vs. Golden State.
Jason Anderson: The Kings are listing Harrison Barnes (foot) and Maurice Harkless (knee) as questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic. Neemias Queta (G League), Jahmi’us Ramsey (G League) and Robert Woodard II (G League) are out.
Mark Medina: Clippers list Nicolas Batum as questionable for tomorrow’s game vs Celtics. He’s cleared NBA health and safety protocols, but status uncertain amid conditioning concerns
Jovan Buha: When asked about his job security, Frank Vogel said he’s not worried and that he believes he has management’s support. He said he hasn’t spoken to Rob Pelinka about how the Lakers’ 12-12 affects his job status.