Could Oubre's cooling free-agent market lead to sign-and-trade?

Kelly Oubre Jr.

Before the open of free agency, many expected the market for Warriors forward Kelly Oubre to be scorching hot.

That has not been the case so far, and The New York Daily News' Kristian Winfield reported Wednesday that it has "cooled significantly" two days in.

It was reported that Oubre was seeking a deal in the $20 million per year range. With a number of teams having used a majority of their available cap space, Oubre's predicament could work in the Warriors' favor.

While the Warriors agreed to deals with Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica, they lost out on Nicolas Batum and Patty Mills. The Warriors still have the taxpayer midlevel exception to use, and a reunion with Andre Iguodala isn't out of the question.

But if Oubre still covets a lucrative deal in the $20 million range, his best chance to get that might be if he can work out a sign-and-trade with the Warriors.

Of course, a sign-and-trade has its complications. While the cooling market could work in the Warriors' favor here, there still would need to be a team out there who wants to sign Oubre to the deal he is looking for and would be OK with being hard-capped for the entire season. This team would either need to not have the available cap space to sign Oubre without the sign-and-trade (a scenario that appears more likely as free agents are snapped up), or would like to try and get assets out of the Warriors in the deal.


The Warriors still are in search of veterans who can help them compete for a title this season, and an Oubre sign-and-trade very well could end up being their best chance of adding another impact player.

Players like Buddy Hield, Eric Gordon, Goran Dragic and Myles Turner all make in the $18-$22 million range and could be options in a sign-and-trade for Oubre. Of course, one of those teams would want to give the 25-year-old the three-years, $60million-ish contract he is looking for.

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Prior to free agency, the New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks all were rumored to be interested in Oubre. The Knicks have added a number of players, the Heat agreed to a sign-and-trade to acquire Kyle Lowry, the Spurs signed Zach Collins and traded for Thaddeus Young, and the Mavericks appear to be in a holding pattern after missing out on Lowry.

All that is to say that Oubre might have to find a different suitor in need of a young, versatile wing. He would fit with what Kings GM Monte McNair is trying to build in Sacramento, and the Kings-Hield marriage is on the rocks so it's certainly not inconceivable that a deal could happen. However, that also would require owner Joe Lacob to be OK raising his tax bill even higher by adding another player with a sizable contract.

An Oubre sign-and-trade still has many obstacles, but the longer he goes unsigned the more likely it is that a deal could fall into the Warriors' lap.

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