Warriors Rumors: Kelly Oubre Jr. Could Seek Free-Agent Contract Worth $20M Per YearJuly 7, 2021
Kelly Oubre Jr. wants a starting job, and he apparently wants a lot of money along with it.
Wes Goldberg of the Mercury News reported Wednesday that Oubre could seek a contract worth $20 million per season when he becomes a free agent next month. Oubre made $14.4 million with the Warriors in 2020-21, the final year of a two-year, $30 million deal he originally signed in Phoenix.
It would be a bit of a surprise to see Oubre reach that number, as he's coming off a 2020-21 campaign that was a disappointment by any measure. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 31.6 percent from three, all numbers that were down from his last year with the Suns.
He also expressed frustration with his role after being relegated to the bench after returning from a wrist injury. When head coach Steve Kerr said Oubre would return next season in a bench role—should he return at all—the 25-year-old told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that the comments "put a fire in my heart":
"It put fire in my heart. It added fuel to the fire. Being 25 years old, the way my career has shaken out, the growth that I've shown in my career, to go from the 15th pick, to continuously having numbers grow each and every year and my role and my opportunity grow each and every year, to have a year where my opportunity is lessened. Then as the year goes on, I'm put into this category of trying to [play for the future] when I haven't been able to show what I can do on the large scale, yeah, it is unfair."
Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes
Posted Up w/ C. Haynes Pod: Pending free agent Kelly Oubre Jr. (<a href="https://twitter.com/KELLYOUBREJR?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kellyoubrejr</a>) on year with Warriors, how he adjusted to diminished role, on GS wanting him to come off bench next season, playing through injury & what he’s looking for in free-agency. <br><br>🎧: <a href="https://t.co/lGlXxTZvbK">https://t.co/lGlXxTZvbK</a> <a href="https://t.co/zMBZahNC0T">pic.twitter.com/zMBZahNC0T</a>
Oubre's agent, Torrel Harris, told Goldberg winning remains his client's top priority. Harris added that Oubre and the Warriors are "on the same page" regarding his free agency.
However, it's clear Oubre wants something more than what he got last season—both in terms of his role and his compensation. The overwhelming odds are those things are not improving in Golden State, especially with Klay Thompson slated to return next season.