Philadelphia 76ers: Rerouting Kelly Oubre to Philly would be a disaster

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Even after being traded to the Phoenix Suns for Trevor Ariza, it looks like Kelly Oubre could be on the move to yet another team. That team, however, should not be the Philadelphia 76ers.

After watching J.J. Redick, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid account for 80 of the team’s 101 points in a Jimmy Butler-less loss to the Indiana Pacers; the Philadelphia 76ers are desperate, desperate for some additional offense off of their bench.

To be fair, the Sixers could use help in a variety of different ways to really solidify themselves as the premier team to beat in the East, like guard defense, secondary playmaking, and a competent lane clogging foil for Embiid in the paint, but adding some auxiliary shooting could very well help to cover up many of those issues on a game-to-game basis.

For a two-game period, it looked like Furkan Korkmaz could have been that guy, as he recorded back-to-back 18 point performances in place of an injured Butler, but his hot streak, unfortunately, came to an end against the Pacers in a big way, as he only hit 2-10 shots from the field for six measly points.

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Add in Wilson Chandler‘s zero points in 30 minutes and Brett Brown got six points in 59 minutes of action from his fourth and fifth starters, a strategy that is almost impossible to win with consistently.

Sigh, another game, another 40-20 Embiid double-double wasted in an Eastern Conference shootout.

To put things simply; even if Butler does return to the court without issue, and continues to give the team 20 points and five rebounds a night in 32 minutes of action, the Sixers need more to truely contend.

The team needs a player who can play solid defense, especially against guards, shoot clean from downtown, and maybe even dish out a few dimes as a secondary playmaker.

Kelly Oubre Jr. is not that player.

While it’s a bit surprising to see Oubre’s name back in trade discussions after just being traded to the Suns alongside Austin Rivers for Trevor Ariza on Saturday, he’s kind of a bad fit in Phoenix, especially with how their roster is presently constructed.

With a slew of young wings already on the roster in maxed-out shooting guard Devin Booker, flex wing T.J. Warren, former fourth overall pick Josh Jackson, and Philly fan favorite Mikal Bridges, Kelly is a bit of a luxury for a team looking to build for the future, and may not even remain with the team after the season if he can stuff stats down the stretch.

Though the team did just trade for a player with some playmaking ability in locker room calmer Austin Rivers, he’s far from their point of the future, and may not even be a good fit as a full-time, pass-first guard.

If the Suns could find a way to flip Oubre to a contender for a young point guard with upside, it may be better for all parties involved (now who could that be?).

However, even if it would be a solid idea to ship Markelle Fultz to Phoenix, as he could develop in a smaller market without folks like yours truly dissecting his every move, cashing him in for Oubre is horrible value for the former first overall pick.

Sure, Oubre is also a former first-round pick, a player that many believe could eventually become an unquestioned starter due to his A-plus athleticism, but he checks almost none of the boxes Philly is looking for in a trade target.

Over his first four seasons in the NBA, Oubre has only knocked down an average of 32 percent of his three 3-point attempts a game. While said attempts have risen noticeably, jumping from 1.8 over his first two seasons in the league to 4.6 over the last two seasons, he’s never made more than 34 percent of his shots from downtown in a single season.

That is way below the association-wide average of 35.7 percent over the same time frame.

Now granted, that’s not good by any stretch of the imagination, but outside shooting alone does not make a great basketball player (just ask Ben Simmons). No, some players can be invaluable to their team based on playmaking, or defensive ingenuity as well.

Unfortunately, Oubre isn’t particularly good at defense or playmaking either.

According to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus, Oubre is with 72nd worst defensive small forward in the entire NBA, with a -2.37 DRPM, almost a full point worse than is also not good -1.74 ORPM. This stat essentially means that for every 100 possessions Oubre is on the court, his team will give up two-plus more points than if he’d simply stayed on the bench.

Factor in the fact that teams are also better offensively with Oubre on the bench, as he’s an inefficient shooter and has never averaged more than 1.2 assists a game over a full season, and you have a player who scores about 12 points a game based on raw talent and athleticism alone.

Even the NBA’s advanced stats paint Oubre as an inefficient player, as his -7.8 Net Rating ranks 363rd in the league.

No matter how you slice it, there isn’t a stat that paints Oubre as a good player right now.

Much like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, another player who’s a bad fit in Philly, Oubre can help a team push their pace, but he’s an ineffective scorer, shooter, defender, rebounder, and playmaker at this point in his career. While he’s still only 23 and could conceivably develop into an elite switchable two-way forward, Oubre is hardly the kind of sixth-man that a team like the Sixers needs to get things going when the starters are off the court.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the team can’t get in on an Oubre trade before it becomes official, not by a long shot.

If the Suns are tantalized by Fultz’s two-way potential next to Devin Booker, which honestly is anyone’s guess, the teams could still attempt to swing a three-way deal that sends Markelle to Phoenix, Oubre to a third team, and an immediate contributor, hopefully a guard, to the Sixers to help in their pursuit of home field advantage throughout the first two rounds of the playoffs.

Next. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a bad fit in Philly. dark

But if this is an option for the team moving forward, they’ll need to move fast, as once the trade becomes official on Monday, he’ll be a Sun for the remainder of the year.