Warriors

Ask Kerith: Will Dubs trade Oubre, Wanamaker before deadline?

Warriors
  • 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

Hi everyone, this week in the Ask Kerith mailbag, you wanted to know about TRADES. The trade deadline is March 25.

The Warriors will be more aggressive this season in the trade market. President and general manager Bob Myers said as much, specifically, “I think we'll be more open in making calls and listening to calls than we've been."

That sounds like aggressive listening to me, not eagerly onboarding anyone to push all-in on a NBA championship run this season. The Warriors believe they have the ability to make the playoffs this season, and I agree. So the dance becomes, how can the Warriors compete well now AND set themselves up for next year? How much tinkering needs to be done? 

When I look at some of the rotation changes and who’s on the outside looking in, I wonder about the futures of Brad Wanamaker and Mychal Mulder. I think the clock is ticking for Alen Smailagic, whose development was stunted by injuries and a long stoppage of play due to COVID-19. 

There are a few things at play for Oubre. First, he’s an unrestricted free agent this offseason. If a team inquires about him for a trade, the Warriors could get something for him now instead of seeing him walk this summer. 

There will always be a market for a two-way wing. In free agency, Oubre would be wise to see what offers he gets.

 

When I interviewed Oubre last week, he said he’d like to make a home with the Warriors and stay past the trade deadline. And yeah, that’s what he’s supposed to say, but I did not detect any fakeness. He likes the Warriors’ culture, and he’s figured out how to play well here. 

He’s also a good compliment for Klay Thompson’s return next season. Klay won't jump in to 35 minutes a night. They need to ease him back into play after two serious injuries. Oubre would greatly help Klay’s transition. 

Can the Warriors afford Steph, Klay, Draymond, Andrew Wiggins and Oubre next season? Whew, that’s pricey. There’s a big financial hurdle. But Oubre might have given the team a tough decision. It would be hard to let him go considering the traction he’s made.

On Instagram, @drewatt asked, “Do you see the Warriors moving on from Brad Wanamaker and do you see them pursuing a player for a playoff push?” @_kicckksta @flyerb26 wondered the same thing about Wanamaker.

Wanamaker is on a one-year contract, which is a trial. It’s not working out the way the Warriors hoped.

He might have some trade value for a draft pick, or as a deal-sweetener for a team that needs depth. 

This was supposed to be a season where Nico Mannion watched and learned in the G League or from the bench, but Mannion has leapfrogged Wanamaker as the backup point guard, in part because of Wanamaker's struggles and because Mannion might be more advanced for a rookie than expected. 

Mannion needs to keep working on his defense, but his confidence and playmaking are impressive. 

Yes I do! Wiseman might even go back into the starting lineup. Coach Steve Kerr said he likes the look of Kevon Looney as a starter for his defense, but it might be time for a shake-up to get more lobs and lay-ups with Wiseman.

Unfortunately, Wiseman’s seven-day quarantine for contract-tracing in the COVID-19 health and safety protocols halts the acceleration of his development. Combined with the 11 games he missed with a sprained wrist and the weird blip of missed COVID testing during the All-Star break, Wiseman’s faced with some interruptions. 

Once he returns, as Wiseman grasps the rotations and help defense, I bet he’ll start.

Damion Lee is a voice in the locker room. He has experienced everything in his basketball career: injuries, DNPs, G League stints, playoff runs, game-winning shots. 

He knows the NBA’s rollercoaster and his perspective is always refreshing. 

Lee and Juan Toscano-Anderson hit it off.

“That’s my brother,” Lee said recently.

They’re less than a year apart in age, but JTA is at an earlier stage in his NBA journey. Having a friend and sounding board like Lee helps. 

 

Marquese Chriss’ status has been a popular mailbag question all season, also asked by @kngpomn, @_chelsea_lyn this week. 

I remember the first reports in December when Chriss broke his leg indicated he would be out for the season, but until that is official from the Warriors, there is a slim chance he might return. Slim. 

Chriss recently posted on Instagram that “the comeback gonna be even better than the come up!” A comeback is on his mind ... is it close?

Chriss’ next re-evaluation date is expected at the end of March. 

March 29 is a Chicago Bulls-Warriors game at Chase Center, and Kate Scott, Mary Murphy and I will be calling the game on the radio! It’s an all-female broadcast for Women’s Empowerment Month. 

The preparation has already begun, by listening to previous broadcasts and looking at show rundowns to see what content and ads we’ll include. Emails are flying! Phone calls are happening! 

We want to make our broadcast as seamless, high-quality, and energetic as the ones Tim Roye and Warriors usually put on.  

On Instagram, @mikeyismyname asked, “Who was the first person in the Warriors' organization to welcome you when you got on board?”

My memory is a little fuzzy about the absolute first, but I recall Raymond Ridder, Steve Kerr and Steph Curry welcoming me quickly. 

The Steph story makes me smile. I went to my first Warriors practice and tried to get a 1-on-1 moment with him. Turns out that's difficult to do because he’s very in-demand! 

Reporters are always around him, plus he was working out with Bruce Fraser or doing things with trainers. So on Day 1, I thought I missed my opportunity to introduce myself. 

But then Steph ... came over ... to me?! And he already knew my name?! I was happy and stunned. Steph was so kind to say congratulations that I got the job and to introduce himself unprompted. 

He’s aware of other people and how little deeds can make them feel good. I just saw this with all the happy birthday fanfare. With every birthday question Steph got, he reminded people it was Nico’s birthday too.

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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