FanPost

KELLY OUBRE, JR.



I've been looking at how the Jazz could plug the big hole left at the SF position by Gordon Hayward leaving the Jazz in free agency to go to Boston. There really aren't many good SF free agency options coming up in the 2018 free agency period.

Kevin Durant and LeBron James will both be free agents--but there's no chance in hell that either one of them would ever consider signing with the Jazz.

Both Carmelo Anthony and Paul George can opt out of their contracts and become free agents this coming summer. However, although I think Carmelo would fit in well with the Jazz short-term, he's not a good long-term option for the Jazz--even if the Jazz might be able to sign him. Also, even if the Jazz might have had an outside chance at trading for Paul George this past off-season, it's now looking more and more like he will either stay in OKC, or perhaps go with what he originally announced that he was going to do while he was still with Indiana--go to the LA Lakers in free agency.

Perhaps the Jazz could make a run for Jabari Parker as a restricted free agent, but Milwaukee is not likely to let him go, and he not only has a significant injury history, but is also not a very good defensive player.

And finally, although Rudy Gay has a player option and could become a free agent this upcoming summer as well, if he recovers well from his achilles injury and plays well for the Spurs this season, it's likely he'll stay with the Spurs, rather than look for another team--even if he has to re-sign with the Spurs at a discount over his true fair market value.

The best long-term option I can see right now for the Jazz at SF is to go after Kelly Oubre, Jr. of the Washington Wizards. Oubre seems to be developing into a really nice player--he has great measureables and athleticism for a SF; is becoming a very good shooter; can handle the ball; and is an aggressive defensive player and rebounder. His one weakness is that he is not yet much of a play-maker, but perhaps he can develop that skill over time.

The Wizards just re-signed Otto Porter to a max contract as their SF of the future, and he is doing a bang-up job for them in that role this season. At the beginning of the 2019 free agent period--when Oubre will be a restricted free agent--the Wizards will have $108 mil. in salaries tied up in just four players: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, and Ian Mahinmi (which is turning out to be a really bad signing for Washington at $16 mil. per year for 3 years). Thus, it appears that a team may be able to make Oubre a big offer and steal him away from the Wizards in the 2019 free agency period for the following reasons: (1) it is unlikely the Wizards would be willing to carry two (redundant) small forwards on the team on close-to-max contracts, when the Wizards will most likely already be over the luxury tax threshold; (2) the Wizards already have Beal ingrained as a star at the SG position (on a big contract), so it would not make sense to also sign Oubre to a big contract to be the starter at the SG position; (3) neither Oubre nor Porter can effectively play at the PF position, so it doesn't make sense to sign Oubre to a big contract and then move either Porter or Oubre to the starting PF position for the Wizards; and (4) it wouldn't make sense to sign Oubre to a large contract as a backup player when the Wizards will most likely already be over the luxury tax threshold.

I wonder if the Jazz might be able to trade Rodney Hood straight across to the Wizards this season for Oubre--perhaps the Wizards might bite on that trade, if the Jazz threw in a couple of draft picks to sweeten the deal. Otherwise, I think the Jazz should be patient and wait for the 2019 free agency period, and clear enough cap room to aggressively attempt to sign Oubre as a restricted free agent.

What do you all think about Oubre as a possible option for the Jazz at SF?

All comments are the opinion of the commenter and not necessarily that of SLC Dunk or SB Nation.