Warriors

Why Oubre trade rumors were 'frustrating' to Kerr, Warriors

Warriors

Warriors coach Steve Kerr lamented Kelly Oubre Jr.'s presence in the NBA rumor mill this week, claiming that the wing wasn't at the center of any serious trade discussions.

Kerr knows navigating the 24-7 news cycle is "the flip side" of life in the league and part of his and the players' jobs, but he admitted Friday on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" that Oubre deserved transparency in this case because the Warriors weren't shopping him.

"I think it's important for guys to accept it because in the modern life that we live there's just going to be constant scrutiny and judgment and rumors and all kinds of stuff," Kerr said. "But I did feel compelled to tell everybody exactly what happened, which was, somebody called us, there wasn't even an offer made and all of a sudden, it's on the internet. So that stuff is frustrating when it happens."

The Warriors traded for Oubre in the aftermath of Klay Thompson's season-ending Achilles tear. The 25-year-old has had an up-and-mostly-down start to his first season with Golden State, perhaps best epitomized in the Warriors' first two games after it was reported they had discussed trading him to his hometown New Orleans Pelicans.

Oubre had perhaps his best game of the season the night after the report, then his worst a day later. In all, Oubre was averaging 11.7 points per game on a career-low 35.9 percent shooting and 22.1 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

 

"There's always things a coach can do, I mean, that's my job, is to help our team as a group and help players individually," Kerr said of his conversations with struggling players. "That means private conversations, that means maybe a little strategic advice, maybe it's just a little bit of a chat and 'Hey, here's a couple ways to get yourself going,' that kind of thing. That's just part of coaching and every single year, you go through stretches where some guys are struggling a little bit, other guys are playing well and you just try to keep everybody moving forward."

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Kerr has repeatedly said he doesn't think the Warriors can reach their potential this season without Oubre in the starting lineup, although the coach showed some flexibility when he moved rookie center James Wiseman to the bench earlier this week. Whether their conversations center on Oubre's play or his place in the rumor mill, Kerr believes he needs to get the most out of Oubre for Golden State to succeed.

Just shy of 20 games into the season, that hasn't happened yet. If Oubre's continues to struggle, trade rumors won't be the only thing frustrating the Warriors.

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