Team: Phoenix Suns
Weight: 203 lbs.
Kelly Oubre is incredibly athletic as a small forward. He has a quick first step and long strides that allow him to attack off the catch. Once he does meet the rim, he can finish with either hand whether it is below or above the rim. Oubre is also an intelligent cutter. He has a good sense of knowing when and where to cut to get himself easy baskets. His athleticism also translates to the defensive end. Kelly is an aggressive defender as he is always ready to pick off a bad pass with his 7’3 wingspan, and he usually will turn it into an easy bucket at the other end. Oubre is also impressive as an on-ball defender as he does a good job of staying in front of his man and has good lateral quickness to beat his man to the spot. He is versatile enough to guard 1-4 if he had to. Oubre is not a great weakside rim protector now, but there is potential with his length. When the shot goes up, he will become almost another big man on the glass because of a combination of his quick leaping ability and determination. His jump shot has never been his strong suit, but he is improving. His elbow is always in and is effective from the corners.
Oubre is still inconsistent with the mechanics of his jump shot. He is also not a major threat to pull up in the mid-range. As a decision-maker, he still needs to improve. He doesn’t have a high IQ passing and will miss open teammates at times or hit them too late. Though Oubre doesn’t need to have a variety of moves to beat his man, he is fairly average as a dribbler for his position at this point in his career. His IQ can also improve on the defensive end as he can get caught ball watching and will allow a back-door cut every so often.
Offensively, it will be key for him to keep improving as a shooter and as a decision-maker if he wants to take his game to another level. He is still improving every year and is only 23 years old, so he has shown a lot of promise. Oubre makes an impact on the game even if his team isn’t calling plays for him. He is always a threat in transition and is emerging as one of the better wing defenders in the NBA. He is only 203 lbs., but I don’t consider that a major issue. There are a lot of wings that are underweight. It could be beneficial to make sure he can sustain contact and is then less likely to get injured, but I don’t think it would change his game dramatically. Oubre is one of the emerging players in the league as he consistently finds ways to impact the game at both ends of the floor.
Article written by Bradley Patten
Measurements provided by NBA.com (https://stats.nba.com/team/1610612756/)
Image by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (https://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2019/6/7/18656737/why-the-phoenix-suns-would-be-wise-to-ink-kelly-oubre-jr-extension-free-agency)