Ask Kerith: What does future hold for Oubre, Warriors?

Kelly Oubre Jr.
  • Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, takes you inside the team as only she can throughout the season with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #AskKerith

Some injury updates to kick off the Ask Kerith mailbag.

The Warriors hope both James Wiseman (wrist) and Kevon Looney (ankle) will rejoin the team during the upcoming four-game road trip.

The dates for their returns are uncertain. Both are being evaluated but are close to returning.

The Warriors hit the road 16-13 after their stunning overtime win against the Miami Heat at Chase Center on Wednesday night.

The trade deadline this season is March 25. That’s more than a month away. Trade talks generally heat up the week before.

One change might be converting Juan Toscano-Anderson’s contract to a guaranteed deal, but I’m assuming these Ask Kerith questions are along the lines of introducing new personnel. I’m not certain the Warriors will make a trade or other changes to the roster. I think changes will come in the offseason.

As it stands, the Warriors are showing they can win in a variety of ways, and they’ll likely be a playoff team. That’s great! There’s no impetus to blow everything up in a panic.

I’ve noticed some fans like to cherry-pick what Steve Kerr said about “not chasing wins.” That’s NOT what he said. Winning is always the objective, and Kerr’s full quote was about not increasing Curry’s minutes in the fourth quarter to chase wins. He’s playing the long game with Curry and preserving his legs for the future. That future is this season’s playoffs and the remainder of Curry's prime.


I understand fans are frustrated that Steph is having his strongest season since his unanimous MVP year and the Warriors haven’t strung together three consecutive wins yet, but there are plenty of encouraging things happening.

This is Kelly Oubre Jr.’s third team in seven seasons. What player wouldn’t want stability? What player wouldn’t want to call Curry, Klay Thompsons, and Draymond Green teammates?

Oubre arrived as a quick and costly solution to help this season after Thompson’s Achilles injury. When Thompson returns,  things will shift for Oubre. How would he feel about being bounced from the starting lineup? He has to decide, and how well he sends that message to the front office could play a role in his fate.

The Warriors see how well Oubre defends and rebounds. Those things go a long way. He’s also out of his early season shooting slump. In February, Oubre is shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 46.3 percent from the 3-point line.

Considering Oubre is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, both sides can explore other options. It’s sound business to explore at least.

Thompson had surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon on Nov. 25, 2020. He will not play this season.

A torn Achilles for NBA players typically means 10 to 12 months of rehabilitation.

Thompson is around the team at home and on the road. He said it crushes him to miss another season after sitting out of all last season to rehab his torn ACL, but being around his teammates and Warriors trainers is a mental boost.

Based on his Instagram, he’s still living his best life on his boat in his free time.

Yes they can. They’d have to quarantine for a few days to re-join the Warriors, but it’s possible.

Jeremy Lin is a nine-year NBA vet. He’s 32 years old, and after playing last season for the Beijing Ducks in China, Lin decided time in the G League could be his entry back into the NBA.

In five games with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Lin is averaging 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 7 assists.

It looks like Lin is making a case he belongs in the NBA.

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This season, however? The Warriors would put Jordan Poole back in the line-up before trying out Lin. Poole is a first-round draft pick and the Warriors picked up his third-year option in December. He’s their investment.

I don’t see the Warriors and Lin reaching any deals this season. But having a relationship is positive.

On Instagram, @yovngnye asked, “Is there any update on Alen Smailagic?”

Smailagic had surgery in January to repair a right meniscus tear. He’s just getting started in the G League bubble games. In his season debut Wednesday, Smailagic scored 19 points on 7-9 shooting while hitting one 3-pointer in about 17 minutes. On Thursday, he scored 8 points on 2 of 5 shooting with one three in 11 minutes.


Although the Warriors need a center with James Wiseman, Kevon Looney, and Marquese Chriss all sidelined, Smiley still is pretty raw player and is just getting healthy.

He’s 20 years old and has played in 14 NBA games. Smailagic is a work in progress. The G League games will be important for his development. The clock is ticking to see if he can get a foothold in the NBA. It’s unfortunate that injuries have cost him time.

Because JTA is a two-way player, he can only play 50 games at the NBA level this season. As of today, JTA has 33 games left.

The Warriors will manage his days so he can be with the big club during a playoff push. JTA might get some games off this month once Wiseman and Looney return.

On Instagram, Gabriel asks, “Favorite place to hike in the Bay?”

I like the Coastal Trail on Mt. Tam. It’s where my husband proposed.

My dream room would be a workout space with a Peloton, a treadmill, a cable crossover machine, dumbbells, and some mats for stretching. I want a booming sound system and a wall of mirrors to replicate a real gym!

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.

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