Kelly Oubre remained without a deal well into NBA free agency deals being announced, and the Charlotte Hornets have swooped in to buy low.
Days into the NBA free agency period, at least when deals can be announced, Kelly Oubre lingered as one of the top names still available. Thursday night that changed, with Yahoo!’s Chris Haynes reporting he was finalizing a multi-year deal with the Charlotte Hornets worth more than $12 million per year.
Shams Charania of The Athletic later reported it will be a two-year deal with more than $26 million.
Oubre spent last season with the Golden State Warriors, and he finished the season sidelined by a wrist injury. The writing was on the wall for his possible return as he got set to hit free agency, when coach Steve Kerr said he’d likely come of the bench next season with the return of Klay Thompson.
Oubre was reportedly looking for a deal worth $20 million a year at one point, with multiple teams mentioned as possible suitors. He ultimately won’t get a lot more than that in total on a two-year deal with Charlotte.
The Hornets have bought low on Kelly Oubre
Oubre was simply not a great fit with Golden State, as he struggled with consistency, and the Hornets will be his fourth team in as many seasons next season. But in his last 38 games before his season-ending wrist injury, he averaged 17.1 points and 6.2 points per game on 47 percent shooting (35.9 percent from the beyond the arc).
In 2019-20 with the Phoenix Suns, Oubre averaged a career-high 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while converting a career-best 35.2 percent from beyond the arc. He will probably never be a great 3-point shooter at this point, but his 32.6 percent career rate reflects inconsistency as much as anything.
Oubre joins a talented forward group in Charlotte that includes Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington. The starting backcourt of LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier is backed up by depth (Ish Smith, rookie James Bouknight, Cody Martin). The Hornets are an exciting-looking team for the first time since the salad days of the Larry Johnson-Alonzo Mourning era, with talent and depth to be a real factor in the East.