Sources: Warriors nearing deal for OKC’s Oubreon November 20, 2020 at 4:25 pm

The Golden State Warriors are finalizing a trade to acquire Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kelly Oubre Jr. for a 2021 protected first-round NBA draft pick, sources told ESPN.

The Warriors will convey that pick to the Thunder next season only should they finish 21st to 30th in the final regular-season standings. If the Warriors land in the top 20, they will send two second-round picks to Oklahoma City, sources said.

Golden State will absorb Oubre and his $14.4 million expiring contract into a trade exception — costing the franchise a staggering $66 million additional luxury tax. Golden State has a historic luxury bill on the horizon — $134 million based on the team’s current payroll. The Warriors will receive a discount on their tax bill if league revenue declines this season.

The Warriors became more motivated to make the deal Thursday after learning that All-Star guard Klay Thompson would be lost for a second consecutive season — this time with a torn right Achilles tendon.

Oubre quickly passed through Oklahoma City after being part of the Chris Paul blockbuster deal with the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

For the Thunder, the deal continues to build on an already impressive war chest of future draft capital. After using two picks to move up in the first round in Wednesday’s draft, the Thunder could have up to 16 first-round selections through the 2027 draft.

Oubre, who turns 25 next month, has a chance to be impactful on the wing this season, but there is no replacing Thompson — one of the most productive and popular players in franchise history.

Speaking to reporters before a formal introduction of the organization’s new draft picks, Warriors general manager Bob Myers noted that while the deal to acquire Oubre hasn’t been completed yet, the Warriors have to work quickly to attempt to fill the void on the roster that Thompson’s injury created.

“We got this news and we found ourselves with a hole at a position that we can’t find many better guys to fill than a Klay Thompson,” Myers said. “So now we write our board up and under the 2-guard position we had a blank space. After processing that, the league’s now waiting for us. We got to do what we got to do. So we’re exploring a lot of different things.”

Myers made it a point to single out Warriors owner Joe Lacob for the financial backing that Lacob and the rest of the team’s ownership group continue to provide in the wake of uncertain circumstances surrounding the Warriors’ present and future.

“I’m not saying this because the guy’s 15 feet away from me, I am so lucky to have an owner [in Lacob] and an ownership group like I have,” Myers said. “And I don’t know if the fans know how lucky they are, but my boss wants to win. My boss has never said, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ And I’d like to thank him for giving myself and our front office the opportunity to be aggressive, because he wants to win.

“I could say he’s doing it for the fans — he does it for them too — but he wants to win. And I want to win and our coaching staff wants to win and our players, our whole organization, but it is a business too, and sometimes you got to look at that part. But he [Lacob] does — in all fairness I’ve been here 10 years and it’s been about winning.”

Myers knows that there are still a lot of things the Warriors must figure out on the roster for a team that finished a league-worst 15-50 prior to the NBA’s shutdown in March. The Warriors were hoping that, with a healthy Stephen Curry (hand) and Thompson (torn left ACL) back after both missed almost the entirety of last season, they would be back on a championship track, but Thompson’s latest setback makes Oubre’s arrival even more pressing than it might have been even a few days ago.

“We’re going to keep looking at what we can do and filling that position and try to get the best player we can,” Myers said. “Nothing’s done as far as [an Oubre agreement] or anything yet, but we got to look hard and look fast. I probably shouldn’t even be up here [at this news conference]. I should not even be doing this right now, but I got some great guys I work with that are working right now on what we can do. And so we got to fill that position and give our fans and our organization and all the people that support us the best chance to win next year that we can.”

Myers noted that the Warriors are looking into using the disabled player exception to give themselves even more roster flexibility in the wake of Thompson’s injury, but those decisions haven’t been finalized.

“We’ve actually had those conversations,” Myers said. “We had to await what the severity of the injury was to go down that road, but we should have that answer soon and see what optionality that provides. Nobody ever wants — a disabled player exception means roughly you lost a player for a year, you never want that for any player, you certainly don’t want that for a Klay Thompson, so potentially it’s another vehicle to look at. And we’re kind of doing this on the fly too. But it’s a fair question, and it’s something we’ve looked into.”

Oubre, the 15th overall pick in the 2015 draft, averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season for the Suns.

ESPN’s Nick Friedell and Royce Young contributed to this report.

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