Ever since Kelly Oubre Jr. joined the Warriors in November, his name has popped up in trade rumors. It got to a point where, in February, Steve Kerr sat Oubre down to reassure him the team believed in him.
Heading into the trade deadline, Oubre was the Warrior to keep an eye on. And by 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, the words Kerr said to Oubre back in February were solidified.
He wasn't going anywhere.
"High-level," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Friday afternoon on the interest level other teams had in Oubre. "I think a lot of people thought he might be available, but we value him too. As evidenced by not trading him."
So Oubre is the Warriors' guy for the rest of the season, but his long-term status with the team is up in the air. He's on an expiring contract, and even if he comes back next season -- which Oubre says he would "love" to do, his role would be up for question.
Oubre would be expected to come off the bench whenever Klay Thomspon returns from his Achilles injury. And it's not clear if that's something Oubre would be interested in doing.
"I can offer a lot more than coming off the bench," Oubre said following the Warriors' 141-119 loss in Sacramento Thursday night.
"I like what he said last night," Myers said. "He should want to start. That's what you should want. Every player should want to start."
Myers hasn't had elaborate conversations with Oubre regarding his future with the team. First off, it's against NBA rules for general managers to promise anything to players, and secondly, both parties believe it's more important for Oubre to be focused on the current season.
But Myers has spoken with Oubre's representation. Myers said he would love to see Oubre as part of the Warriors' future plans, but there are a lot of other questions that need answering and will be sorted out over the next four to five months.
"Most of the factors are what the player wants and what the team wants," Myers said. "Those two parties have to agree financially, vision-wise, how we finish, how he finishes ... It's a situation like every free agency where the two sides have to agree on many things. And again, that's a conversation that will take place later."
Of the factors Myers mentioned, finances and vision will be the biggest areas to watch. As previously noted, Oubre doesn't see himself as a bench player, which is what the Warriors most likely would need him to be at some point next year.
Financially, there are some complications. The Warriors already have nearly $140 million committed to Steph Curry, Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green. They already are over the luxury tax line and will see their tax penalty double next season because of the repeater tax. So, taking less money would almost have to be a requirement for Oubre if he wanted to remain in Golden State.
It's asking a lot of a player to take on a smaller role and less money, and Myers and the rest of the Warriors' front office understand that.
On Thursday night, Oubre said he can't look into the future regarding his spot on the Warriors. He's not a psychic. And Myers shares the same sentiment from his point of view, such as not knowing what draft spot the Warriors will get.
As they both sit in this grey area, they only can reassure each other that in an ideal world they would want to work something out. So for now, they choose to focus on the present, and right now that's Oubre remaining in Golden State.
"This isn't the time for me to sit him down and say what do you want or talk to his agent about what his expectations are," Myers said. "This is a time for him to focus on playing basketball which, like I said, he's done a very good job of, and doing the best he can."