He took a roundabout route to get there, arriving via layover in OKC (a frequent pit stop for players this offseason), but Warriors newcomer Kelly Oubre is finally in the Bay Area and ready to put down roots. While the former Kansas Jayhawk enjoyed his best individual season as a member of the Suns in 2020 (career-high 18.7 points per game), it doesn’t sound like Oubre will miss the time he spent in Phoenix.
“I can play for an owner, somebody who actually cares about the organization and not just the perception of the organization on the media end of it,” Oubre expressed during a recent appearance on “Damon Ratto, & Kolsky.” “It’s all about the foundation for me, man. You have a beautiful foundation, you can build a beautiful [future].”
Oubre, who began his career as a Washington Wizard in 2015 after a year spent under Bill Self’s tutelage in Lawrence, was initially traded to Oklahoma City in a swap that sent All-Star Chris Paul to Phoenix. With Thunder GM Sam Presti prioritizing draft capital above all else, Oubre was on the move again six days later, landing with the Warriors in exchange for two draft picks. The 24-year-old inked a two-year, $30-million extension with Phoenix in 2019, but only lasted another year in the desert. Out with a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery, Oubre was not present for the Suns’ surprise eight-game winning streak in the Orlando Bubble this summer.
The 6’7” swingman has a chance to be a major contributor for the Warriors, who just lost long-range marksman Klay Thompson to a torn Achilles. Critics have been quick to dismiss Golden State’s chances coming off last year’s disaster (league-worst 15-50 record), but with a healthy Steph Curry and a strong supporting cast of Oubre, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and prized rookie James Wiseman, the Warriors certainly have the means to be competitive in the Western Conference. Oubre has appeared in the playoffs on two previous occasions (both as a Wizard), though he’s never made it past the second round.
“I want to show everybody that I can potentially be a Hall of Fame player as well,” said Oubre via ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “Who is better to learn from than guys like Klay, guys like Steph, guys like Draymond?” Oubre didn’t come cheap. With Golden State well over the league’s luxury tax threshold, Oubre’s addition will set the franchise back over $80 million.
Though he never got to wear one in an actual game, Oubre recently modeled the Suns’ new Valley-themed “City Edition” jersey for promotional use. Apparently, he won’t be keeping it as a souvenir either. “Of course not—they didn’t let me keep that, man,” Oubre told 95.7 The Game. “It had my last name on it, but I think they're going to take the stitching out and give it to CP3."
Oubre is entering the final year of his contract, though the New Orleans native is hopeful he’ll remain a Warrior long-term.