Warriors' trade for Kelly Oubre Jr. could cost them more than $80 million due to luxury tax bill

Jack Baer
·Writer
·3-min read

After a brief stint with the Oklahoma City Thunder, a deal to flip Kelly Oubre Jr. to the Golden State Warriors is being finalized, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Oubre Jr. had landed with the Thunder earlier this week via the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Phoenix Suns, alongside several other players and a first-round pick. Going back to the Thunder in this deal would be yet another first-round pick, in this case a protected 2021 selection.

In Oubre Jr., the Warriors are acquiring a player who developed into a solid starter for the Suns. The 24-year-old averaged a career-high 18.7 points per game last season on .560 true shooting with 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

Oubre Jr. will likely be one of many players the Warriors hope can step up in the aftermath of Klay Thompson’s Achilles tear. The team is certainly paying up as if they intend to compete this season despite missing Thompson for a second straight season.

The Warriors are on the hook for a nine-figure luxury tax bill

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is seen during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Kelly Oubre Jr. didn't come cheap for the Warriors. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Despite being set to make a salary of only $14.4 million this season, Oubre Jr. may go down as the most expensive acquisition in basketball this offseason, at least on a per-year basis.

That’s because of the Warriors’ luxury tax bill, which was already set to be quite high next season. According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, adding Oubre Jr. would take the Warriors from a $66 million bill to $134 million.

Add in Oubre Jr.’s salary, and the Warriors are paying as much as $82.4 million to add him to their roster.

Marks later noted the Warriors will get some kind of financial reprieve from the NBA in the likely event of a revenue drop for the league this year, but the team’s tax bill will still be above $100 million.

Meanwhile, the Thunder will be kicking up their heels and counting up their incredible bounty for first-round picks.

The Thunder have 16 first-round picks over the next six NBA drafts

Credit to the Thunder, when the moment came that Russell Westbrook and Paul George were clearly no longer the future of the team, they didn’t just commit. They went all out in acquiring a truly disgusting amount of draft picks.

With the addition of the Warriors’ protected 2021 first-rounder, the Thunder now have 16 first-round picks in the NBA drafts between 2021 and 2026, plus several potentially valuable pick swaps. The team also had two late first-rounders in this year’s draft, which turned into Kentucky guard Immanuel Quickley and Washington forward Jaden McDaniels.

Just this week, the team acquired first-rounders in trades for Oubre Jr. and Danny Green, then acquired more first-rounders trading them away.

This year’s team is set to be much less competitive than last year’s surprise playoff team due to the loss of Paul and Dennis Schroder, but the future appears quite bright as long as even a few of those picks can turn into quality players.

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