Kelly Oubre Jr. is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Though terms have not yet been released, the deal will in all likelihood come for a minimum salary. The 76ers are already above the first luxury tax apron, and while they have room to spare before the second, they would likely prefer to save room underneath it in case it is needed for a midseason James Harden trade. Considering Oubre sat on the market until the middle of September, it is unlikely that he had a better offer available.
That is somewhat surprising given his resume. Oubre averaged 20.3 points per game last season as a member of the Charlotte Hornets and has started over 200 NBA games. However, he’s never managed to stick with the same team for more than a few years. The Wizards traded him to the Suns in the middle of his fourth season. He spent parts of two years in Phoenix, followed by a single year with the Warriors and two with the Hornets.
Oubre is a frustrating player. He is a talented scorer with a multitude of physical gifts, but that has never translated into consistent production on a winning team. His defense leaves something to be desired, his 3-point shot has been inconsistent at best and in his lone year with the Warriors, he struggled to adjust to their unique offensive system, which requires a high basketball IQ. Wings are so scarce around the league that Oubre will always be able to find a job, but thus far, he has not lived up to the lofty talent he has so frequently displayed.
But Philadelphia tends to bet on talent when it can. Daryl Morey has replaced a number of lesser-known reserves like Georges Niang, Jalen McDaniels and Shake Milton for better-known veterans like Patrick Beverley and Mo Bamba. The 76ers are betting they can maximize Oubre’s talent. If they do so, they’ll have added a valuable contributor for a very reasonable price.