The Phoenix Suns may part with him in a deal for Chris Paul, but are they looking at other deals involving Kelly Oubre?
Trade rumors are surrounding Chris Paul again, and this week the Phoenix Suns emerged as a suitor. The No. 10 pick in next week’s draft is an obvious piece to send back to the Thunder, along with Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre.
An 8-0 showing in the bubble has the Suns looking like a team on the rise in a loaded Western Conference. Oubre averaged career-highs in points (18.7) and rebounds per game (6.7) last season while shooting over 45 percent from the floor and over 35 percent from 3-point range. He also missed the bubble run after surgery on his right knee in early March.
Are the Suns looking to trade Kelly Oubre?
Oubre is entering the final year of his contract, and he’s due to make $14.375 million next season. A looming new contract will be expensive off his performance last season, perhaps too expensive for the Suns. That has brought trade speculation, with the Golden State Warriors rumored to have interest.
Within his most recent mock draft piece, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer has included multiple trade rumors and nuggets. When mocking Auburn forward Isaac Okoro to the Suns at No. 10, he had this.
“The Suns are hoping to use this pick to trade for Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul, according to league sources. If the Thunder end up here, it’s unclear whom they would target. But if the Suns stay put, it makes logical sense they’d pursue a wing-like Okoro since they’re still seeking trades involving Kelly Oubre.”
From a broad view, the soon-to-be 25-year old Oubre (Dec. 9) would look to be part of the future in Phoenix as a core piece around Devin Booker. In 96 games for the Suns since being acquired from the Washington Wizards, Oubre is averaging 17.9 points per game with upticks across the board.
It’s been reported by John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM in Phoenix that the Thunder aren’t especially interested in Rubio or Oubre in a potential Paul deal with the Suns. The two years left on Rubio’s deal appears to be a roadblock too, as the Thunder apparently don’t want to take back multi-year contracts in a Paul trade.
But if Paul wants to go to Phoenix, Oklahoma City has shown willingness to work with players to send them to a preferred destination. Regardless of his inclusion in a Paul deal, the Suns seem motivated to trade Oubre at a potential peak his value before having to consider ponying up to keep him long-term.