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Mailbag: Trades, offensive schemes, and Kelly Oubre Jr.’s future

All that and more.

Brooklyn Nets v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors have a fun game tonight against the Miami Heat. While we wait for tipoff, let’s get to some mailbag questions.

As much as I want to avoid a copout answer, I think the only answer here is “no clue.” I think if you gave Bob Myers and Steve Kerr a truth serum, and then asked them that question, the answer would be “no clue.”

There are so many factors. How good do the prospects available at that range look? Do the Warriors feel like they’re genuinely a Klay Thompson away from contending, or do they need to add veteran talent? How far have James Wiseman, Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall, and Nico Mannion developed, and can the Warriors afford to take on another raw prospect?

But the biggest unanswerable question is this: who is available on the trade market?

The Dubs probably can’t get too much for the pick, simply because they’ll have a hard time matching salaries, unless they reverse course and make Andrew Wiggins available. So if I had to pick an outcome, I say they answer a lot of phone calls, and then ultimately draft the best player available.


With that said, I don’t think he’ll be back next year, but it is an option and a discussion, and I don’t think anything is solidified. The biggest thing that Kelly Oubre Jr. offers is this: the ability for the Warriors to spend extra money. If they let him walk, then they’re still above the salary cap, and can’t replace him with anything other than minimum contracts and exceptions.

But if they keep him — no matter the price — they get to keep spending money on him. That opens up trade opportunities, and also just allows them to keep a better player than they would be able to sign for the minimum.

There are two problems: first, will the Warriors want to pay a hefty price — which is amplified significantly by the tax penalty — to keep Oubre, who hasn’t looked great in the Dubs’ system? And second, will he want to re-sign even though he’ll be moved to the bench with Klay Thompson returning?

We may learn a bit in the coming weeks and months. Oubre is starting to get familiar with the system, and his play is improving as a result.

I don’t get the sense that Warriors media is particularly invested in what outside voices say. I think Warriors fans are, which is pretty normal for fans, especially since Steph Curry usually doesn’t get the respect that a two-time MVP and three-time champion garners.

Warriors Twitter is an interesting place. I’ll leave it at that.

I think the Warriors will field calls on Kelly Oubre Jr. If they don’t think they’ll re-sign him, it makes sense to move on from him now so they can get back another contract and maintain that financial flexibility moving forward.

Other than that, I don’t see any likely trades.

This is a hard one. I’m usually all for maximizing a title window, but the price tag for Beal would be steep. It would start with Wiseman and the Minny pick, but I think it would need to include Andrew Wiggins as well, and perhaps another first-rounder.

Here’s the big problem: the Warriors have grown really fond of Wiggins’ defense. Beal is a substantially better player, but isn’t too good on that end of the court, and forces Klay Thompson to move down a spot defensively. And in addition to that, you sacrifice your ability to keep the championship window open by getting rid of your good draft picks and your young center.

If nothing else, I think the Warriors’ and Joe Lacob’s egos will keep the Dubs from mortgaging the future. I think they fully believe in the Spurs model, and believe they can keep the championship window open not for the next two years, but the next two decades.

Probably not. But that answer changes dramatically when Klay Thompson is healthy, and it makes more sense to familiarize players with next year’s offense this year, than change things just to maximize the win total of a non-contending team.

The Warriors are in a weird spot. The future looks pretty bright, but the past looks even brighter. There are reasons to be optimistic about this year, but it’s also frustrating to be treading water during an MVP-caliber season from Steph Curry.

The dynasty spoiled both the Warriors and their fans a little bit. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Thanks to everyone for the questions! We’ll do it again next week.

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