The long wait for Kelly Oubre Jr. is finally be over, with the former Golden State Warriors wing finding a new home in free agency just over a month out from the start of the NBA regular season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Oubre will sign a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers despite ongoing turbulence at the franchise regarding the future of former MVP James Harden.
Kelly Oubre Jr. returns to a contending team, having missed the playoffs in each of his last five seasons including his one-year stint with the Golden State Warriors.
Oubre was perhaps the biggest name left on the free agent market, with the 27-year-old having averaged a career-high 20.3 points with the Charlotte Hornets last season. He started in 40 of his 48 games in 2022-23, but may have to move back to the bench in Philly behind incumbent forwards Tobias Harris and veteran P.J. Tucker.
It’s an interesting decision from Oubre given the uncertainty at the 76ers, but as Wojnarowski points out, more opportunity and scoring dependence may fall on the eight-year veteran should the Harden situation go further south.
Oubre had an eventful season with the Warriors in 2020-21. After the franchise acquired him from the Oklahoma City Thunder following Klay Thompson’s season-ending achilles injury, Oubre started in 50 of his 55 games with Golden State.
He had his moments including a career-high 40 points against the Dallas Mavericks in February 2021, but the 6’7″ forward wasn’t quite the winning contributor the Warriors had hoped for. A wrist injury cut short his season, with the Warriors’ record improved with Oubre on the sidelines.
He would depart for the Hornets in the 2021 offseason, posting decent numbers over the last two years albeit in a young lottery team. His long wait this free agency had opened up the suggestion of a Warrior reunion, though that was never reported as a possibility and always seemed unlikely.
It will be fascinating to see what sort of numbers Oubre can produce in Philadelphia where, despite the ongoing Harden issues, the franchise holds championship aspirations built around MVP Joel Embiid.