A quarter of the way through the season and the Phoenix Suns are still performing above expectations. One of the players leading the way for them is Kelly Oubre Jr. who is continuing on his strong play from last season.
At the beginning of this season I wrote that Kelly Oubre was one of two Phoenix Suns players who fans were most likely to get upset with this season.
One suspension from Deandre Ayton and 20+ games of strong play from Oubre later leave me confident in saying that the love affair between Oubre and Suns fans will continue.
In one of the bigger surprises of the year, Oubre has been the second most consistent contributor this season if you include health. Oubre has scored in double digits in all but two games so far this season and still brings elite effort and solid defense every night.
One area that Oubre has improved this season is with his rebounding, which has been important given the injuries the Phoenix Suns have suffered at the center position. Oubre has increased his rebounding up to 6.3 a game, including 1.4 offensively, which is up from his 4.9 average with the Suns last year.
While Oubre has still not seemed to improve his three point shot, it is a good sign that he has kept his efficiency the same from all levels even with increased usage this season. If Oubre were to ever move into a smaller role this could still leave some hope that he might become more efficient than he already is, in a simplified role.
With how well Oubre has started the season, and Mikal Bridges struggles Oubre should remain the in starting lineup for the foreseeable future. However, once Ayton returns and if Bridges keeps performing as well as he has as of late it might be beneficial to move Oubre and his scoring and athleticism to a sixth man role.
For the time being though, Oubre has played so well that there should not be any outrage with him remaining in the starting lineup if he continues to play how he has. The biggest and only problem the Phoenix Suns have with Kelly Oubre Jr. right now is how much he is going to cost to keep him in the summer of 2021.