Kelly Oubre Jr. Rumors: Heat Interested in Warriors UFA in 2021 NBA Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 1, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 25: Kelly Oubre Jr. #12 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on April 25, 2021 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat reportedly have eyes for free agent Kelly Oubre Jr. 

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat "tried to acquire" Oubre in a trade with the Golden State Warriors this past season ahead of the trade deadline and have "interest in him again" as an unrestricted free agent. 

They may miss out again this summer, however, with Jackson adding that "Miami is an unlikely match because he likely will command significantly more than $9.5 million midlevel."

Oubre, 25, appeared in 55 games for the Warriors last season (50 starts), averaging 15.4 points, six rebounds and an assist per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the field but a disappointing 31.6 percent from three. 

That perimeter shooting—Oubre is a career 32.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc—is the one major skill holding him back. 

Nonetheless, his athleticism and upside will make him a player that more than a few teams check in on come free agency. The San Antonio Spurs are reportedly one of them, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News:

Tom Orsborn @tom_orsborn

UFA SF Kelly Oubre Jr. has interest in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Spurs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Spurs</a>, with his camp believing he would be a good fit in San Antonio and would flourish under Pop and the developmental staff, a league source said.

It's unlikely he'll return to the Warriors, barring the team making some roster moves or Oubre taking a pay cut compared to what he might be able to get on the market. The Dubs have an active roster cap of $166.8 million, dramatically above the $112.4 million salary cap and leaving them in the luxury tax. 

Even if they cut the non-guaranteed contracts of Gary Payton II, Damion Lee, Mychal Mulder and Alen Smailagic, it would only save them $7.2 million. Oubre is a solid player, but his path to a Warriors return is hard to find, especially if he wants over $20 million annually on a new contract, as previously reported.

As for the Heat, rumors are circulating that they have big plans come free agency, with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan reportedly in their crosshairs:

Five Reasons Sports @5ReasonsSports

The Miami Heat are trying to figure out a way to reunite free agent DeMar DeRozan with his former Raptors teammate Kyle Lowry in Miami, multiple sources have told <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/5RSN?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#5RSN</a>.<br><br>There are many complications to getting such a deal done.<a href="https://twitter.com/GregSylvander?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GregSylvander</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamNBorai?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AdamNBorai</a>

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

In addition to its increasingly promising pursuit of Kyle Lowry, Miami has been exploring pathways for acquiring Lowry's former teammate and free agent-to-be DeMar DeRozan as well, league sources say. <br><br>More NBA from me: <a href="https://t.co/A6ycVm5PUQ">https://t.co/A6ycVm5PUQ</a>

If the Heat are in the running for both of those players, it's hard to see a pathway for Oubre ending up in Miami. It's possible Pat Riley and the front office has Oubre atop their list of potential backup plans, however.