The Warriors are moving onto life without Klay Thompson by trading for Kelly Oubre Jr in exchange for a protected 2021 first-round pick.
5-time All Star Klay Thompson went down to his second season-ending injury in succession. He suffered an Achilles tear in preseason practice just ahead of the NBA draft 2 days ago. This leaves the Warriors in a precarious position, as they pay well into the luxury tax with few championship hopes.
Many had tipped the Warriors to be the foremost challengers out West to reigning NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers. With the injury to Klay Thompson, those hopes have been put paid to. The Warriors will now look to sneak into the exceedingly tough playoff battle in the Conference.
Kelly Oubre Contract: How did the Warriors acquire Kelly Oubre Jr. despite paying luxury tax?
The Warriors obtained a trade exception worth $17.2 million when they signed-and-traded Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets last season. Oubre Jr, a crucial piece in the Chris Paul to the Suns trade, is on the books for $14.4 million this season.
Bob Myers will be using this to presumably provide some two-way support to Steph Curry, who now has to bear the brunt of the scoring burden.
The Golden State Warriors are finalizing a trade to acquire Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kelly Oubre, Jr., for a 2021 protected first-round pick, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 20, 2020
The Warriors will also be applying to the league for an injured player exception worth $9.3 million for Klay in his absence. This is similar to the one the Boston Celtics got in the 2017-18 season after Gordon Hayward’s injury.
While Oubre Jr is considered a good lockdown defender, his offensive abilities are suspect. There is hope for the Warriors yet that they can add another piece or two to bolster their offensive depth.
The Warriors’ pick is top-20 protected. If it doesn’t convey next season, it will devolve into two second-round picks over the drafts after that.