Kelly Oubre Jr. will not be short of suitors this offseason.
Coming off a two-year, $30 million contract, Oubre will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason after averaging 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 55 games in his lone season with the Golden State Warriors. The 25-year-old forward is on the Los Angeles Lakers’ wish list and reportedly has received mutual interest from the New York Knicks.
A league source confirmed to Bally Sports that the Knicks’ interest in Oubre “is true.”
“He’s somebody that’s on the list,” the source said. “A very short list.”
A current Knicks player agreed that Oubre would be a good fit with head coach Tom Thibodeau.
“He’s a Thibs type of player,” he said of Oubre. “He’s got high energy, is a great defensive player and he can shoot the 3. He’s a great finisher around the basket and a good locker room person.”
The Knicks will have about $50 million in salary-cap space this summer. The prospect of Oubre running alongside Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox and Immanuel Quickley is intriguing.
“They’re a wild card in any of this,” Bleacher Report cap expert Eric Pincus said of the Knicks. “If they want Oubre and they think he’s an upgrade, maybe that’s where they put their money.”
Problem is, the Knicks are also in the market for a point guard. Lonzo Ball is believed to be on the Knicks’ radar, but the New Orleans Pelicans restricted free agent could command as much as $20 million per season. Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard continues to be the subject of trade rumors, namely to New York, despite refuting a report that he wants out of the Pacific Northwest.
And then there’s Chris Paul. The 11-time All-Star could opt of his contract with the Phoenix Suns this offseason and reunite with Leon Rose, his former agent and the current Knicks team president.
Oubre’s current team, Golden State, will have very little room to maneuver under the salary cap with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins all currently on max contracts. The Warriors have their mid-level exception to try and retain Oubre, or they can use Oubre’s salary in a sign-and-trade deal to acquire another player. The return of Thompson, the five-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion, could be an issue for Oubre and others seeking minutes.
Oubre believes he can be an asset to any team he joins.
“First and foremost, I’m young — 25 years old, one of the youngest free agents,” Oubre told Stadium’s Shams Charania. “I’m continuously growing and elevating my game each and every year. I’m nowhere close to (my) prime. I’m going to continue to get better and the sky’s beyond the limit. The universe is the limit for me at this point. I’ve proven that with limited opportunity I can make things happen. Always.”