Warriors nearing deal to land Kelly Oubre, help fill Klay Thompson void

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Needing to add scoring to replace five-time All-Star Klay Thompson, who will miss the season with a torn right Achilles’ tendon, the Warriors are nearing a deal Thursday to acquire Kelly Oubre from the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to the Athletic.

Oubre, 24, averaged 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game last season for the Phoenix Suns. Earlier this week, he was traded from Phoenix to Oklahoma City in a package for Chris Paul. Golden State will absorb Oubre’s $14.4 million salary into the $17.2 million trade exception.

The Warriors needed to address the wing position after learning Thursday that Thompson, 30, would miss his second straight season. Oubre gives them a scoring-minded wing with the length, at 6-foot-7, to guard multiple positions.

Thompson’s injury was a devastating blow to the Warriors, who intended to vault back to title contention after stumbling to the league’s worst record last season. The Oubre acquisition accomplishes the need to get younger, longer and more athletic, but no single player can replace Thompson, a five-time All-Star and one of the great shooters in league history.

“We got this news, and we found ourselves with a hole at a position where we can’t find many guys better than Klay Thompson,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday.

After using the trade exception — which was created by trading Andre Iguodala to Memphis last summer — to acquire Oubre, the Warriors will still have a $5.7 million mid-level exception to sign a player when free agency begins Friday. They also applied for a disabled player exception, which would be worth $9.3 million. “We should have that answer soon and see the optionality with that,” Myers said.

The Oubre deal signals that ownership is willing to spend and increase what will already be an expensive luxury tax bill. According to ESPN cap expert Bobby Marks, the addition of Oubre will result in a $134 million tax bill. Because of revenue losses due to the pandemic, teams will have their luxury tax bill decrease in proportion with the league’s revenue at the end of the season.

Given the circumstances, the Warriors’ short-term expectations may not be as rosy as their long-term outlook, but if Oubre proves to be a good fit, the Warriors can re-sign him next summer. Along with Andrew Wiggins (25) and James Wiseman (19), who the Warriors took with the No. 2 pick in Wednesday’s draft, a young trio has formed to support the existing championship core of Stephen Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green.


©2020 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)