Phoenix Suns: Trading Kelly Oubre may be necessary to keep improving

In order for the Phoenix Suns to continue to improve, they may need to leverage Kelly Oubre into a player that can help this team more.

The Phoenix Suns and “Bubble Book” clearly took the next step in their development in the NBA restart and seem poised to be a true NBA Playoff contender moving forward.

There are a number of things that have been very opaque for the Suns from their play in the Disney bubble:

  1. They are showing their team chemistry and their commitment to using their unusual four and half month break (longer than a normal NBA off-season) to improve their games and develop in new ways.
  2. Devin Booker rises to the occasion when the lights are on and he is playing in meaningful NBA games.
  3. Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson are the most improved players on the roster with both their play and their physique. They are both cementing their status as foundational pieces and valuable two-way players to surround Phoenix’s two young stars (Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, of course).
  4. The Phoenix Suns are better without Kelly Oubre.

The Phoenix Suns may better without Kelly Oubre.

The last two points, and the last one in particular, are most relevant in determining what the Suns should do to improve their roster this fall.

As much as Suns fans love Kelly Oubre and his swag, passion, scoring prowess, highlight dunks and status as creator of the moniker “Valley Boyz,” Oubre’s emotional style of basketball (his gift and his curse) and propensity to disrupt the Suns’ ball movement in order to spark his offense can be just as much of a deterrent as they are a boon for the Phoenix Suns on a given night.

Guys like Bridges and Johnson who defend multiple positions, spread the floor, and move well without the ball (they are both elite cutters) are the perfect ancillary players to the development of Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton as NBA stars.

Bridges needs to be the Suns starting small forward and guard the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer every night, and Cam Johnson’s increased strength and rebounding prowess have made him a potential power forward of the future for the Phoenix Suns.

So with Johnson and Bridges development and Dario Saric‘s play deeming his worthiness of the Suns retaining him (at the right price) as a rotational power forward in 2020-21, what is the Suns’ greatest moveable asset and need in the 2020 off-season?

The answer is Kelly Oubre. And there is a possible trade that just might work.