Suns Rumors: Restricted Free-Agent Kelly Oubre Jr. a 'Priority' for Phoenix

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIJune 5, 2019

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) reacts to a call during the second half of the teams NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Saturday, March 16, 2019. The Suns won 138-136 in two overtimes. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns are prioritizing restricted free agent Kelly Oubre Jr. come July 1, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday.

"Oubre averaged 20.2 points per game in 12 starts for the Suns during their best stretch of the season to close 2018-19," Charania explained. "If Oubre enters the market, he's a prime option for teams with cap space that strike out on their first-tier targets." 

The 23-year-old forward arrived in Phoenix in December from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Trevor Ariza. Since settling in with the Suns, Oubre appeared in 40 games overall averaging 16.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals. 

While the Suns stumbled to a 19-63 record, the second worst in the NBA, they have young pieces to be excited about. 

Oubre is one of them.

Suns general manager James Jones said as much to the Arizona Republic's Duane Rankin in April. 

"I've said before, we love Kelly," Jones said. "We want Kelly here." 

After the 2015 No. 15 overall selection posted career-bests across the board last season, that may be a pricey admiration. 

While the Arizona Republic's Jeremy Cluff reported Tuesday the Suns' increased interest in adding Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is "heating up," Rankin posited in April that Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris could be a great fit in free agency: 

"His ability to shoot the 3 (43.4% in 55 games with Los Angeles) at the four would give Phoenix a much needed deep threat. The Suns finished last in the NBA in 3-point shooting (32.9%), but Harris is a versatile offensive player. He can put it on the floor to hit the pull-up jumper or finish above the rim. He moves well without the ball, too.  

"At 6-foot-9, 235 pounds, Harris has the size to compete on the glass and is averaging 7.9 rebounds per game. Deandre Ayton led Suns in rebounding at 10.3 per game, but Kelly Oubre Jr. was second with a distant 4.9. Harris can help in that area, too." 

The Suns' interest in Harris could heat up should they fail to match any deal presented to Oubre in free agency.