The Golden State Warriors are set to acquire Kelly Oubre Jr. from the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Warriors will absorb Oubre into the trade exception created after dealing Andre Iguodala without taking back any salary last offseason, meaning they will not have to send back any salary to match Oubre’s in the deal. The Thunder will receive Golden State’s 2021 first-round pick, but only if it falls between No. 21 and No. 30 overall, according to Wojnarowski. If it doesn’t, the Warriors will send the Thunder two second-round picks.
The financial ramifications of the deal are absolutely enormous. ESPN’s Bobby Marks projects that Golden State’s luxury tax bill could rise up to $134 million. This likely won’t be Golden State’s last financial expenditure, either. The Warriors can also use the taxpayer mid-level exception, could get a disabled player exception after Klay Thompson’s injury, and will have to fill out the remainder of the roster with minimum salary contracts. They are trying to bring fans back to the Chase Center next season at a limited capacity, but no matter what they do, they are going to lose a meaningful chunk of projected revenue next season, making the financial commitment here all the more impressive.
With Thompson out for the season recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, the Warriors needed this sort of jolt. Oubre will presumably fill Thompson’s spot as Golden State’s starting shooting guard, joining a lineup featuring Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman.
The Thunder, meanwhile, save the money owed to Oubre Jr. as they continue to offload veterans. Oklahoma City has now spun off both of the big salaries acquired in the Chris Paul deal, as they sent Ricky Rubio to Minnesota on Wednesday. With Paul and Dennis Schroder gone, the Thunder are expected to let Danilo Gallinari leave in free agency and begin a rebuild around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and their mountain of draft picks in earnest.
Golden State’s championship hopes may have been dashed by Thompson’s injury, but in Oubre, they’ve found a player that can at least help them make it back to the postseason. It’s not the level of success that the Warriors have become accustomed to, but now that Stephen Curry is 32-years-old, the Warriors can’t afford to waste seasons of his prime anymore. They have to try to win now, and this move helps them do so.
Courtesy: CBS Sports