The latest in Phoenix Suns trade rumors invokes one of the last names fans want to hear as a potential departure: Kelly Oubre Jr.
NBA trade news keeps getting more frustrating for Phoenix Suns fans. On Wednesday afternoon, Marc Stein tweeted out: “The Suns are fielding trade calls on Kelly Oubre with 22 hours and change to go before the NBA trade deadline, league sources say.”
Like most Suns fans, my first reaction was that of Darth Vader after learning of Padme’s demise: “Noooo!”
Is this for real? What players are being offered for him? They better be someone huge or else that team can kick right off. Tsunami Papi is a centerpiece of the Phoenix Suns and you can’t have him.
Then I took a breath and quickly talked myself into completely minimizing this rumor.
First off, and I admittedly am parsing words here, “fielding trade calls,” is a far cry from “actively shopping.” James Jones, or any general manager, would be dumb not to listen to offers for anyone. If the Lakers call and want to offer LeBron for Booker, well, that is worth listening to.
If the Timberwolves call and want to swap out Karl-Anthony Towns for Kelly Oubre, well, I love ya, Papi, but you’re about to expand your fashion into winter coats.
Radio’s John Gambadoro, who regularly interviews James Jones, claimed on Twitter to have made a few calls and based those, doesn’t think Kelly Oubre is going anywhere. He further said this rumor stemmed from teams who like Oubre and are asking the Suns if they are committed to him long-term.
This would line up with Jones’ tight-lipped nature. It would be very out of character for him to leak something like this if he were actively shopping Oubre, however, it is entirely plausible other executives around the league are telling someone like Marc Stein which players they are asking about.
Monty Williams talked about the rumors before the Detroit Pistons games on Wednesday. His message? He doesn’t address rumors and players know they can come to him with anything, and he’ll tell him what he knows.
Kelly Oubre has earned the love of Suns fans since he first set first in Phoenix. He coined the Valley Boyz moniker and created the first real, tangible culture a Phoenix Suns team has had since arguably the 7-seconds-or-less era.
He is on a team-friendly, two-year contract, is just 24-years-old, and averaging career-highs in pretty much everything. He would be a monumental loss, so if the rumor is true and teams are making offers for him, they better dig deep. Super deep. Like, gimme your young All-Star who is friends with Devin Booker deep. Barring that, we’ll just burn this one in the rumor mill’s furnace.