‘They Just Asked About Kelly’: Warriors’ Steve Kerr Spill the Beans on Kelly Oubre Jr. Trade Rumors

Published 01/28/2021, 2:43 AM EST
Jan 1, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) shoots the ball over Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum (3) in the third quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


The Golden State Warriors acquired Kelly Oubre Jr. this off-season to fill in for the injured Klay Thompson. However, since his arrival, he has not fit in very well. While Oubre has had some good performances, he doesn’t play the style of basketball typically associated with the Warriors. Naturally, trade rumors started after seeing his play on the court.

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Steve Kerr denies Kelly Oubre Jr. trade rumors

However, Warriors coach Steve Kerr came to the defense of Oubre Jr. and dismissed these rumors. After the Warriors’ win over the Timberwolves, Kerr revealed that he had conversations with Oubre about any trade rumors. He said, “Yeah, I talked to him (Oubre) about it. It’s unfortunate. A team called us, didn’t even make an offer, they just asked about Kelly. Next thing it’s online.”

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Oubre has not had an easy start to his Warriors’ tenure. Unlike most players in the Warriors, he is not adept at shooting three-pointers. However, he has shown that he can make threes when he gets on a hot streak. Oubre brings a completely different dimension to the Warriors’ play, as a defender and an offensive threat.

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This season, Oubre is averaging 11.6 points, 1.2 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game. However, his defensive prowess has been much bigger than his offensive contributions. The Warriors’ fan base has not fully accepted the former Phoenix Suns player. But as time has gone on, Oubre Jr. has proven his value to the franchise.

Oubre brings something different to the Warriors

Oubre had a fantastic game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He scored 20 points, had 9 rebounds, and shot 67% from the three-point line. Additionally, he was a big player on defense, getting one block and two steals as the Warriors defeated the Timberwolves for a second time this week.

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Jan 18, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) tries to knock the ball away from Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) during the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

With each passing game, Oubre seems to be growing in confidence. Steve Kerr is using him to his strengths to add a new dimension of play to the Warriors. Given how reliant the team is on Steph Curry’s three-point shooting, Oubre helps keep the defense in check along with Draymond Green and rookie James Wiseman.

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Will Kelly Oubre Jr. be traded before the deadline? It remains to be seen. But the Warriors have clearly started to find form with Oubre in the starting lineup. And if he can continue to improve, he can be a key contributor to this franchise, as they look to prove their dynasty is still alive.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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