NBA Trade Rumors: Kelly Oubre Jr. Deal Discussed Between Warriors, Pelicans

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David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The NBA trade market could be picking up steam again following the blockbuster four-team deal that sent James Harden from the Houston Rockets to the Brooklyn Nets earlier this month, as the Golden State Warriors reportedly looked into a swap.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans have “discussed a potential deal” for Kelly Oubre Jr., though “there isn’t traction as of yet.”

The NBA trade deadline is March 25, but there’s an important date looming next week. According to the new collective bargaining agreement, free agents who signed with a new team can be traded beginning Feb. 6.

According to Charania, teams around the league think the Pelicans will “be prominent in the trade market picture” following their 5-10 start. He went on to note that the team has fielded queries about Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick and have “shown an openness to discussing trades around both.”

Ball, who has averaged 12.0 points and 4.7 assists per game this season, is scheduled to enter restricted free agency this offseason. The 36-year-old Redick has started quietly, with an average of 8.1 points per game.

Through 17 contests, Oubre has averaged 11.6 points on 35.5 percent shooting from the field with 5.5 rebounds. He had a career season with the Suns in 2019-20 as he averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in an average of 34.5 minutes per game, all career highs.

Oubre, who began his career in 2015 with the Washington Wizards after the team took him 15th overall out of Kansas, went to Phoenix in a 2018 trade. He was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder last November in the package that brought Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns, and then moved to Golden State days later.

The 25-year-old, who is making nearly $14.4 million this year, will hit free agency this offseason.

If Oubre finds his way to New Orleans, his energy and experience would provide a welcome boost to a Pelicans squad that is still finding its way outside a core of Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

Warriors Notes: Starting Five, Wolves’ Pick, Mannion

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The Warriors suffered their second consecutive loss on Saturday in Utah, dropping to .500 (8-8) on the season. In the wake of that blowout, head coach Steve Kerr left the door open to the possibility of making changes to his struggling starting lineup, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

“It’s going to take us 20 games to figure out where we really want to be with our rotation,” Kerr said. “We’re at 16 now, and I think getting a pretty good look at everything. We just had two bad losses in a row, so we have to assess everything. No doubt.”

Kerr has suggested that Golden State’s starting five – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre, and James Wiseman – has the highest upside of any of the team’s lineups, but the results haven’t been there so far. That unit has played 161 minutes together, while no other five-man group has played more than 37. In those 161 minutes, the Warriors’ net rating is -20.3.

The team will have a good opportunity to turn things around this week, with home games against the 4-11 Timberwolves on tap for Monday and Wednesday.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

3 intriguing trade targets for Golden State Warriors at deadline

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To say this season has been anything but predictable for the Golden State Warriors is an understatement. The Warriors may be the most “hot-and-cold” team in the entire NBA and while it is not entirely their fault, since they are without Klay Thompson once again this season due to an Achilles injury, some of their role players around Steph Curry do need to take some of the blame early on.

We are inching closer to being a quarter of the way through the 2020-21 NBA season and so far, the Warriors are 8-8, which is pretty good for them seeing as nobody knew what to expect from this team entering the year. Key guys like Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Draymond Green have stepped up at times for Golden State in Klay’s absence, but they are going to need to be a lot better if this team is going to be a legit playoff team in the Western Conference and not a team that barely gets in and then gets swept 4-0 in the first-round.

It is expected to see Wiggins and Oubre Jr. struggle early on in the year, as there was virtually no offseason for these guys to get acclimated to the Warriors’ system and given this roster has not played a lot with one another. Draymond Green on the other hand has been disappointing early on and there is no excuse for his play.

The 3x All-Star has never really been a legit scorer, as he basically does everything else for the Warriors, but his overall production on the offensive end of the court has been close to non-existent. His offensive rebounding is close to a career low this season, his scoring is way down from where it usually is and teams might as well leave him open outside of the paint since he is shooting just 23.1% from three-point range.

Steph Curry cannot carry the Warriors the entire season and while he has had success doing it early on, he cannot do this for all 72 games this year, otherwise, he runs the risk of getting hurt again. If this team is going to make the playoffs, they will need to be aggressive near the trade deadline and try to bring in more high-level talent.

Let’s take a look at three realistic and intriguing future trade targets for the Golden State Warriors to consider near this season’s trade deadline.