Kelly Oubre Jr. is expected to be a hot commodity on the free-agent market this summer, with the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs reportedly among the teams expected to be chasing the Warriors forward.
But Oubre isn't the only big fish the Knicks will be chasing this offseason, as the New York Daily News' Kristian Winfield reported Wednesday that New York's pursuit of Oubre is tied to a larger plan to bring a star guard to Madison Square Garden.
According to Winfield, via sources, the Knicks have their eye on Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard and Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal but also are looking at Terry Rozier, Collin Sexton and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Should the Knicks be able to swing a deal for one of these guards, they reportedly see Oubre as the perfect fit to flesh out their roster.
"The source says the Knicks are specifically interested in adding Oubre in the event they are successful acquiring a star guard via trade," Winfield writes. "The acquisition would create a more complete roster alongside Most Improved Player Julius Randle."
Oubre had an up-and-down first season with the Warriors as the 25-year-old wing got off to a horrid start offensively before turning things around midseason. All told, Oubre averaged 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game for the Warriors.
The Warriors have been open about their desire to bring Oubre back, but it's unclear if he would be willing to accept the bench role he will have to take with Klay Thompson set to return to the starting lineup after missing last season with a torn Achilles.
Oubre is expected to command a lucrative contract that might be too expensive for the Warriors given their dire cap/luxury tax situation.
However, the Warriors won't want to lose Oubre as an asset for nothing, so it is possible that Oubre finds a team willing to pay him the money he wants and the Warriors work out a sign-and-trade with that team.
The Knicks, a team in desperate need of wings who can defend multiple positions and score, would appear to be an ideal suitor for Oubre should he elect to leave the Warriors.
Whether or not the Knicks will be able to land the star they crave, however, remains to be seen.