If you think nine games into the season is a premature time to pull someone from the starting lineup, you haven’t been watching Kelly Oubre.
The Warriors’ “big” free agent signing this offseason has been struggling from three-point rang so badly, the dreaded “yips” are starting to get thrown around. Part of the reason Oubre was attractive to the Warriors this offseason was his 35 percent shooting from three-point range last season. He’s currently shooting 13 percent on five attempts per game this season.
Oubre’s inability to shoot has affected the scoring ability of the first unit, one that also includes non-shooters Draymond Green and James Wiseman. Pulling him from that lineup would be premature according to Steve Kerr, who said he wants to get Oubre in a rhythm. It’s also premature according to Warriors beat writer Connor Letourneau, who thinks that doing so could have significant negative implications.
“I don’t see that happening any time soon, and I don’t think it should,” Letourneau told Papa & Lund on Monday. “There’s massive ramifications for a decision like that. It can affect locker room chemistry, it can affect Kelly Oubre’s confidence, it could end up actually hurting him even more. He could go from being in a shooting slump to it being a complete snowball effect where his entire season is ruined. There’s a lot at play with a decision like that, there’s a lot that goes into it.
“I don’t think we’re at the point in the season yet where Steve needs to sound the alarms and make that drastic of a move. Especially since there isn’t to me an obvious guy who should come in and take that spot. I know Damian Lee has his moments, but to me Damion Lee is a really nice fit in that second unit, and you’ve been getting good production out of that second unit, and you don’t want to mess that up either.
“I think they need to stay the course and stick with the current lineups. I really like his lineups right now, and I think that Kelly Oubre is in a mental funk and just has to get out of it. I think it will come. The law of averages suggest that he is bound to have some enormous hot streak, and I think it will come.”
Listen to the full interview below.