The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to sign free agent/forward Kelly Oubre Jr. to a one-year contract, a league source confirmed Monday. ESPN first reported the news. Here’s what you need to know:
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How did Philadelphia acquire Oubre?
Oubre was hoping to cash in after averaging over 20 points per game in Charlotte last season, but with the Hornets not interested in re-signing him after drafting Brandon Miller with the second pick, he’s had trouble finding higher-priced suitors. With camps opening in two weeks, he decided to take the bird at the minimum bidder — along with likely plenty of minutes in the thin wing’s rotation — and try to build his market for next summer. — Hollinger
What this means for the Sixers
While Oubre plays more of a shooter and has been an inconsistent shooter during his career (33.0 percent from 3 for his career, 31.4 percent last season), he is a dynamite transition player and gives the Sixers the ability to play more offensively potent lineups, especially late in games . Moving Tobias Harris to the 4 and playing Oubre at the 3 is more likely against bigger teams than doing the same with D’Anthony Melton, especially since Oubre is a reliable on-ball defender. After Boston largely ignored PJ Tucker in the playoffs last season, he could be the antidote for new Sixers coach Nick Nurse.
Needless to say, Oubre’s ability to score and soak up minutes at the two wing spots also potentially softens the blow of any Harden holdout and/or potential trade. Wing depth has been a sore spot for this team for years, but Oubre could be a Sixth Man Award candidate if things click in Philly.
Philadelphia will also need to clear a roster spot for Oubre before Opening Day, as he is now under contract to 16 players. Danny Green and Filip Petrusev are on semi-guaranteed deals, while Montrezl Harrell is likely out for the season after tearing his ACL in August. If not for the trade, one of the three would be seemingly odd. — Hollinger
Oubre, the 15th overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, is averaging career averages of 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds.
He spent the first three years of his career with the Washington Wizards before being traded to the Phoenix Suns. Oubre also played for the Golden State Warriors two seasons ago in Charlotte.
(Photo: Nell Redmond/USA Today)