The Phoenix Suns have been in a habit of trading veterans for youth in recent years with little success. But there is no doubt now that they won the Kelly Oubre trade.
The Phoenix Suns’ big offseason splash acquisition was the free agent signing of Trevor Ariza, a surprise move (not unlike the 2015 acquisition of Tyson Chandler) that seemed like a good idea at the time, but ended up being far less fruitful than anyone could have imagined.
While Ariza was acquired to bring forth veteran leader and a championship pedigree, and he did have a fabulous opening night that led many to believe that he would be a focal point moving forward, Ariza soured on the franchise, fatigued by the team’s lack of competitiveness, and separated himself from the rest of the team.
The rift between he and his teammates grew so severe that weeks before he would finally become trade eligible, it seemed that his bags had been packed and he only needed to know exactly where he would be moving his belongings.
Then came the botched three-team trade with the Memphis Grizzlies and finally a two-team move that brought Kelly Oubre (who originally was expected to go to the Grizzlies) to Phoenix.
In the deal, the Phoenix Suns got another young small forward while the Wizards (hoping to make a long playoff run) received a veteran with champion experience who they hoped would help to unify a toxic lockerroom.
In ten games, Ariza is averaging 14.1 points, (more than he has averaged in six seasons), a significant leap over the 9.9 points he was putting up with the Suns.
But Washington (now without John Wall for the remained of the season) is 4-6 since his arrival, nothing like the record they’d prefer to put up for a team that at least had been hoping to be a title contender this year, and, one a one-year deal, does Washington no good this offseason other than free up a little cap space for a franchise that is both cash strapped, and might need to just burn the whole thing to the ground.
Boy, wouldn’t it have been nice to have had a young small forward to build around if that were so?
Kelly Oubre, on the other hand, has been a breath of fresh air for the Suns.
Kelly plays with such a high level of passion and energy, that between he and Richaun Holmes, the two of them could probably light the city of Scottsdale throughout a game.
Against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night, Oubre matched a career-high in scoring with 26 points (off the bench, mind you) and outplayed every member of both teams on both ends of the floor.
While the Suns don’t need to win at this point being so far out of playoff contention, it is nice to at least see them play hard and see those players who burn their engines hottest each game get the stats that they deserve.
At this point, Oubre should be in the starting lineup with Devin Booker so his energy could be a part of the opening unit which would hopefully be both contagious and help to prevent the team from falling behind early as they have had a recent tendency to do.
I believe that the Phoenix Suns are going to attempt to re-sign Kelly Oubre following this season (he is a restricted free agent) and will accomplish what they set out to do. Oubre has the kind of infectious behavior that good teams need to have, and if Robert Sarver is able to fill out the roster with more talent, then Oubre will be particularly beneficial.
The Phoenix Suns have won the Trevor Ariza for Kelly Oubre trade, no doubt, and it looks like he’ll benefit the franchise far into the future.