So….Kelly Oubre could return to play for the Phoenix Suns?

Kelly Oubre, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Kelly Oubre, Phoenix Suns (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

After some words from the Phoenix Suns GM, maybe we should never say never?

A few weeks ago, devasting news hit Phoenix Suns fans when it was announced that Kelly Oubre Jr. would not be returning for the rest of the season following arthroscopic surgery to a torn meniscus in his right knee.  For the Suns, losing their third-highest scorer, second highest rebounder, and someone in the top 10 in assists was a major blow.

Players like Mikal Bridges and Dario Saric would take on bigger roles, but also younger players who are in more of a developmental focus would have to play more major minutes. While getting younger players more time will help Phoenix in the long run overall, doing it in Orlando would subtly shift the Suns overall direction for the continuation of the season.

The goal would go from one of attempting to contend to playing out the string with an eye squarely towards the offseason. However it is broken down, the Phoenix Suns chances of sustained success this season without Kelly Oubre are at best extremely slim.

Kelly Oubre’s return may still not be enough for the Suns to make the playoffs, but it would be a huge boost in the right direction.

Not having Oubre was terrible news, but understood. Recovering from such an injury, one could see the argument of Kelly continuing to rehab with the knowledge that he was shelved for the year. While not ideal for either Oubre or the Suns, it appeared that this was just the hand they were dealt.

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At least it seemed that way until James Jones decided to speak on it, that is.

The Suns’ GM was on a media call on Monday and seemed to express the hope that Oubre would indeed be available for a return upon the season’s resumption.

“Kelly’s been here, he’s been rehabbing and so my expectations for him are the same as every other player, come in every day, practice with the team, work and compete and get yourself in a position to play and hopefully that’s before Orlando ends”. 

Those words sound hopeful, especially as Jones is someone who can see the work that Oubre has put in, and to have him as optimistic as he is can be at least some bit of comfort.

Make no mistake, the Suns still have a long way to go to reach the playoffs this season. Having Oubre would be a big help, however, especially as continuity goes for a Phoenix team that has been simply ravaged by injuries up and down the rotation all season. If Oubre can replicate even some of the production he has churned out all year, the Phoenix Suns will be better for it, both on the floor and for their possible postseason hopes.

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