Kelly Oubre
Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

The Arrival of Kelly Oubre Jr. in Golden State

The golden state warriors were looking to make another run at being a contending team in the west this season. With some key additions most notably Kelly Oubre and James Wiseman, the warriors looked to make a complete 180 turn from the past season they had. Headlined by the loss of Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn nets, Klay Thompson missing the entire season due to rehabbing his torn right Achilles, and Stephen curry breaking his left hand in only the fifth game of the season versus the Phoenix Suns. Things could not have gone worse for the Warriors in the 2019-2020 season as they finished 15th in the western conference with a 15-50 record.

In the 2020-2021 season injuries are still playing a large factor when it comes to the success of the golden state warriors. As the warriors were anticipating their star shooting guards return from over a year of rehab, Klay Thompson suffered another setback which would leave him sidelined for the remainder of the season. This left a hole in the warrior’s rotation a team already over the luxury tax line with little resources to fill it.

They made a gamble and brought in Kelly Oubre Jr., A 25-year-old athletic Forward who just finished a career-best season with the Phoenix Suns averaging 18.8 points. Taking a look back on our Golden State Warriors Preview you’ll see we had high hopes for Kelly Oubre Jr. But so far this season we have yet to see that player make his debut and it’s looking as if this was a costly mistake.

The cost of Kelly

As I said before the warriors were already deep into the luxury tax going into the season so any addition to the team would put a small dent in Golden State Warriors owner Joseph Lacob. With the addition of Kelly Oubre’s 14 million dollar salary, it would take Golden State’s tax bill from 66 million to 134 million according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Kelly Oubre so far this season is costing the warriors 82 million dollars and his play so far is worthy of a veteran minimum contract.

What’s gone wrong

Kelly Oubre’s season couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start in his first ten games shooting a horrific 13.7% from three and most notably not making a three until his 18th attempt this year. A far cry from Klay Thompson, a career 41% shooter from deep who kelly was brought in to help replicate some of his missing production and shooting. Currently, as the season stands 22 games into his career with the Warriors Kelly is averaging 13.3 points per game, 1.3 assists per game, and 5.5 rebounds all down from his past season with the suns and shooting a career-worst 27% from three.

In a Warriors offense that is predicated on moving and sharing the ball at breakneck speeds so far ranking 2nd in the NBA in pace this season. Kelly Oubre has yet to find a consistent role in the offense as a player that barely averages an assist for his career it was obvious he was going to struggle with the warrior’s culture. Only having one game this season with over 4 assists while shooting a career-worst 39% from the field. At times Oubre looks to force his shot instead of looking to move the ball to one of the greatest shooters of all-time Stephen Curry.

Is there a turnaround on the horizon

He currently is a -103 in plus/minus during his time on the court with the warriors and is a -15.9 in the ten losses he’s played in this season. Oubre Jr. Play this season has been plagued with indecisiveness but there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Last night Oubre scored a career-high 40 points against the Dallas Mavericks. Flashing the potential of the player we saw last season with the suns. For a warriors team desperately looking to return to the post-season this year hopefully this is the beginning of more good things to come for kelly.