Warriors

Oubre: Kerr's bench comments 'added more fuel to the fire'

Warriors
Kelly Oubre Jr.

Kelly Oubre's first, and perhaps only, season with the Warriors wasn't exactly smooth sailing in the Bay. 

Acquired to best fill the hole that Klay Thompson left for the second straight season, Oubre started off ice cold. He never exactly seemed like a perfect fit, looking lost at times as he tried to figure out his role. His numbers took a big dip, too. 

Oubre increased his points per game every season his first five years in the league. In Steve Kerr's offense, Oubre went from 18.7 points per game a season ago for the Phoenix Suns, down to 15.4. He also averaged fewer rebounds and assists, as well as shooting just 31.6 percent from 3-point range. 

Near the end of the season, Oubre already began being asked about a possible bench role if he returns to the Warriors over the offseason as a free agent. Coach Steve Kerr even suggested it's more than likely Oubre would turn into a Sixth Man with Klay Thompson back in the fold.

Ahead of free agency, Oubre doesn't sound too pleased

"I don't even want to speak and elaborate on much on that situation," Oubre said to Chris Haynes on the latest Posted Up podcast. "But all I'll tell you is that it put fire in my heart. It added more fuel to the fire.

"Being 25 years old, the way that my career has been shaping out, the growth that I've shown in my career to go from the 15th pick to continuously have my numbers grow each and every year and my role and opportunity on the team to grow each and every year to have a year where my opportunity is lessened, and then as the year goes on I'm put into this category of trying to shape out the future of the organization when I haven't been given a fair opportunity to show what I can do on a large scale -- yeah, it is unfair.

 

"But all I could do was go do my job and play. Keep focused and be professional. I was just worried about playing basketball for the team, and now I'm blessed to be an unrestricted free agent."

RELATED: What Kelly Oubre Jr.'s Warriors role could look like if he returns

Those aren't great comments for the Warriors if Golden State does want to bring Oubre back. 

Oubre came off the bench five times this season, and improved his scoring averages off the bench with a higher usage rate and better true shooting percentage.  But he doesn't sound too excited about a possible future bench role. The veteran wing should have his suitors this offseason, it's just unclear how serious of a run the Warriors will make to resign him, especially at a high cost with an already dire salary cap situation.

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