Moving Kelly Oubre would not be smart for the Suns

Phoenix Suns, Kelly Oubre(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns, Kelly Oubre(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Don’t get me wrong, Oubre as a player is intriguing for teams, and the contract works in a few moves, but let’s pump the brakes for a bit.

As the NBA draft season quickly approaches (or maybe not so quickly?) Suns fans are looking at the offseason and any an all avenues with which to improve a Phoenix team that both impressed and finished strongly down the stretch. Aside from the draft and free agency, the other avenue of team improvement comes from trades, and with players such as Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and even Ricky Rubio considered part of the main core, one name keeps coming up that apparently is considered an expendable piece: Kelly Oubre Jr.

There are players that could be had for Oubre, but is the potential risk of an ill-fit worth losing a positive culture-setter like Kelly?

Now, I understand a segment of that discussion. Kelly did miss the resumption of the NBA season with that torn meniscus in his right knee. In the time that he was gone, Cameron Johnson was inserted into the starting lineup and impressed, Mikal Bridges flashed even more two-way potential to his ever-growing skillset, and with restricted free agent Dario Saric looking both comfortable and aggressive coming off the bench, and many folks mind, the Phoenix Suns have their forward rotation of the future set.

Let’s cool down just a second on that, and remember Oubre’s value this year.

Now, I wrote a piece earlier about just how much Oubre has stepped up to the plate in a big way for the Suns (you can check that out HERE🙂 BUT essentially I brought up Oubre’s value, not just statistically (18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game are not shabby) but also in terms of the culture, giving the Suns a rallying player to get behind, someone that even helped shape the overall toughness of the team and quality that transcended past the starting lineup and to the bench as well.

That type of value, especially for a team that is just starting to build something lasting, is invaluable. It just is, it is hard to constitute equal value for that. Even in terms of a pure player for player standpoint, it isn’t a given that the Suns will get the perfect player that they need for Oubre. Does Aaron Gordon fit the bill? If you like the high flyer (or think that he should have won the 2020 dunk contest as I do) then you undoubtedly say yes. If you feel that Gordon has shown (and I am being generous here) incremental improvement over the years and wouldn’t be a tremendous upgrade over Oubre than you might think differently. Personally, I lean closer to the latter line of thought.

Related Story. To the surprise of no one, Robert Sarver might take the cheap route this offseason.. light

Can Oubre fetch you a John Collins? Is that a player that would fit what the Suns are looking for? With reports of Sarver cutting costs, would the thought of matching an offer to Collins alongside the future ones of Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges suit James Jones‘s fancy?

The bottom line is that there are no easy answers if moving Kelly Oubre is the question. There just isn’t. Oubre can enhance the team with his play when he returns, and the opportunity to assess whether or not to move him will exist throughout the duration of his short contract. However, the answer as it stands right now is no.

Next. Guess what? The Phoenix Suns should NOT pursue Fred VanVleet. dark