Despite the postseason not being over yet, the rumor mill is churning for the New York Knicks as they head into what most expect to be a lucrative off-season. With more than $60 million to spend in free agency, the summer months will be full of excitement and potential, but the Knicks aren’t only being linked to players like Chris Paul and Damian Lillard, a few complimentary pieces with upside have also been rumored to be in connection with the organization.
According to Marc Berman of the NY Post:
According to one source, there is mutual interest between Oubre and the Knicks. The Knicks are one of the few teams who can offer him more than the $9.5 million mid-level exception. Oubre was drafted by the Wizards in 2015 at No. 15 and was traded to Phoenix, where he scored 29 points with three steals against the Knicks in a January 2020 game.
Over the past few seasons, the Knicks’ primary need has been a point guard, and they have failed to find a long-term solution at the position. Trading Dennis Smith Jr. for Derrick Rose was one of the best moves the front office made in recent memory, acquiring a veteran PG who helped tremendously during the regular season and represented one of the only productive players in the postseason. However, the Knicks have plenty of forwards, including RJ Barrett, Reggie Bullock, Kevin Knox, Obi Toppin, and Julius Randle.
What would Kelly Oubre bring to the Knicks?
Oubre is an intriguing player, though, having scored 15.4 points, collected 6.0 rebounds, and shot .439 from the field in 2021. At 25 years old, Oubre is still preparing to hit his prime, and he could be a solid complementary piece at small forward. Interestingly, he is also a lefty, so the Knicks would have three lefty players in Randle, Barrett, and Oubre.
The Warriors’ forward struggle to start the most recent campaign, hitting just two of his first 30 3-PT attempts in his first season with Golden State. Nevertheless, Oubre is believed to be an adequate defender, something head coach Tom Thibodeau looks for in his players. Kelly has room for improvement as a 3-PT shooter, and he is a solid defender who would offer a bit of consistency at small forward. According to Berman, it is believed that the Warriors view him as a part of their long-term plans, but he desires to test free agency and see what type of offers he can garner on the open market.
This might not be the splash signing the Knicks desire, but if they can snag a player like Oubre at the right price, they can still feel confident with their salary space regarding a run at a bonafide star point guard.