January 28, 2021
NBA Rumors: Kelly Oubre Jr. And Steve Kerr Open Up About Trade Inquiry Reports

The trade rumors surrounding Kelly Oubre Jr. are continuing to grow, but the Golden State Warriors player and his coach have thrown a bit of cold water on them.

There have been a number of reports claiming the New Orleans Pelicans had reached out to inquire about a trade for Oubre, leading to rumors that the two sides may be hammering out a deal. But Warriors head coach Steve Kerr clarified it was just an initial inquiry, with no real movement toward a deal.

"A team called us and asked about Kelly, didn't even make an offer. Next thing you know, it's online. … It's unfortunate," he said, via the San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau on Twitter.

The Athletic's Anthony Slater also reported that Kerr had a discussion with Oubre about the inquiry, letting him know that he's not going anywhere right now. Oubre, who has struggled offensively this year after a breakout season with the Phoenix Suns last year, said he appreciated the honesty from Kerr and is committed to winning with Golden State.

"At the end of the day, I'm a Warrior," he said, via Slater on Twitter. "Let's go get this f*cking win."

Letourneau wrote that despite the interest in Oubre, he doesn't expect a trade anytime soon. In a mailbag published this week, he noted there is not yet any traction between Golden State and New Orleans, adding it appears Oubre is starting to figure out the Warriors' system and has looked more comfortable in recent games. With the prospect that he could return to form and serve as a starting point guard for a playoff team, Letourneau said he thinks Golden State will hold pat for now -- though noted that could change if they had the opportunity to land a player who better fits their long-term plans.

"His defense has already made an impact, and his age — he turned 25 last month — suggests he's only going to get better," he wrote. "That being said, I don't think Oubre necessarily fits into the Warriors' long-term plans. He'll be a free agent this summer, and I don't think he'd want to come back to Golden State just to be a backup wing behind Wiggins and Thompson."

But Oubre has hit a stride in recent games, including scoring 16 second-quarter points in a 123-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, which was a career high for points scored in a quarter for him.

The Warriors have returned to the playoff picture after an abysmal 2019-20 campaign, with the team's 10-8 record putting them in the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference.