Free-agent wing Kelly Oubre Jr. is looking to speak with the San Antonio Spurs once the negotiating period begins Monday, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News.
A source told Orsborn that Oubre thinks “his game would flourish under the direction of Gregg Popovich and the team’s developmental staff” were he to sign with San Antonio.
Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer listed the Spurs along with the Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks and Miami Heat as teams that may pursue the 25-year-old.
Speaking with HoopsHype's Michael Scotto, Oubre laid out what will factor into where he decides to play next year:
"I’m really just looking to make the best decision with my team and my family, that’s best for us. Obviously, I want to be a leader, and I want to continue to expand my game, grow and spread my wings. I want to continue to show all the things I’m capable of and not be put in a box. I felt like the universe was trying to put me in a box last year. It’s something that always clashes because it’s a big deal whenever I’m trying to be put in a box because I can’t be put in a box."
DeMar DeRozan is a free agent after leading the Spurs in scoring (21.6 points) last year. San Antonio may lose Rudy Gay, who put up 11.4 points per game, as well. DeRozan's departure in particular would create an obvious void in the team's rotation, one that Oubre would likely fill.
The 6'7" forward seemed to allude to the fact that his time with the Golden State Warriors didn't go to plan. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds after having put up career highs in points (18.7) and rebounds (6.4) for the Phoenix Suns in 2019-20. His three-point percentage also fell from 35.2 to 31.6.
The Spurs are in a difficult spot.
Rebuilding is probably off the table as long as 72-year-old Gregg Popovich is the head coach. At the same time, San Antonio doesn't have a roster that can reasonably deliver a championship, either.
Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson and Derrick White have all worked out nicely as draft picks toward the end of the first round. None of the three is a true cornerstone along the lines of Tim Duncan or Kawhi Leonard, though.
Based on what he has done so far, Oubre doesn't fit that role either, but he'd at least help San Antonio continue to contend for the playoffs. Because of his age, he could also stick around for any transition the organization makes in a post-Popovich era.