Kerr explains how Oubre's move to bench not about next season

Kelly Oubre Warriors yellow

When Kelly Oubre returned to the lineup this week after missing five games because of a sprained left wrist, he found himself in a different position.

Steve Kerr decided to have the 25-year-old come off the bench against the Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Wizards, and it looks like that will continue over the Warriors' final 13 games.

Why did Kerr take him out of the starting lineup? How much of the decision sets the stage for Oubre possibly being the team's sixth man next season?

"This really only has to do with this year," Golden State's coach said Thursday evening on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show. "I learned a long time ago -- if you find momentum, don't do anything to change it.

"I felt like we found something with [Kent] Bazemore in the starting lineup a couple weeks back when Kelly got injured. We just seemed to have a good rhythm. And so I went to Kelly when he was ready to come back and I told him what I was gonna do.

"He handled it perfectly. He's handled it really professionally."

Right before last month's NBA trade deadline, Kerr was asked about Oubre's potential future with the franchise.

"As it relates to next year, Klay [Thompson] will be back and obviously Klay will be in the starting lineup," he said. "I'd love to have Kelly back next year. If that were to happen, it would be off the bench more than likely, because we'd be looking at Klay, Steph [Curry] and [Andrew] Wiggins in the starting lineup."

RELATED: Oubre explains mindset with new role coming off Warriors' bench

Oubre the next day created headlines when he made the following comments:

It's no secret that the pending unrestricted free agent would prefer being a starter. But it's possible that his perspective changes with time. All of that will sort itself out in the coming months.

For the time being, Oubre will look to build off his strong performance vs. the Wizards when the Warriors host the Denver Nuggets on Friday night.

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