Restricted free agent forward Kelly Oubre Jr. and the Suns have agreed on a two-year, $30 million deal for him to remain with the team, his agent told ESPN.com.
Per the report: The deal — confirmed by agent Nima Namakian — gives the 6-7 small forward, who turned 23 in December, financial security in the near term but an opportunity to return to the market as a 25-year-old unrestricted free agent in 2021.
Oubre himself appeared to allude to the new contract in an overnight tweet that read, simply: “VALLEY BOYZZZZZZ #Shhh”
VALLEY BOYZZZZZZ #Shhh
— Tsunami Papi (@KELLYOUBREJR) July 11, 2019
Oubre, acquired from the Wizards at the trade deadline, immediately brought a palpable intensity and a fresh style to a struggling Suns team.
“I’ve said before: We love Kelly,” Suns GM James Jones told reporters in April. “We want Kelly here.”
In 40 games (12 starts) for the Suns, Oubre posted career highs in points (16.9), shooting percentage (45.3), rebounds (4.9) and assists (1.6). He was even better after moving into the starting lineup after the All-Star break, averaging 20.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and a league-high 2.1 steals.
By comparison, the 15th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft averaged of 8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game in three-plus seasons with the Wizards.
Yet his impact in Phoenix went far beyond the stats sheet as he injected energy and a no-fear approach to the game.
“Since he’s been here, he’s helped this team tremendously on both sides of the floor,” Suns guard Devin Booker said in March (via azcentral.com). “He’s not scared he’s going to get blocked. He’s going to rebound for us. He’s making shots.”
“Energy-wise, he’s changed this whole team around,” rookie Deandre Ayton added.
Still, the Suns finished with their second-worst record in franchise history (19-63), and Jones has been overhauling the team. As of Thursday, only four players from the 2018-19 roster remain.
By retaining Oubre, Jones gives Suns fans a reason to believe — for now — that things are heading in a different direction and certainly with more swagger.