Kelly Oubre Jr. Reportedly Receives Qualifying Offer from Suns; Will Be RFA

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

The Phoenix Suns reportedly have extended a qualifying offer to talented young wing Kelly Oubre Jr., according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, making him a restricted free agent.

Per that report, "Oubre is a target for significant offer sheets in the market, especially with cap space teams who miss out on high-profile unrestricted free agents."

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42

QO on Oubre Jr. is $4.9M. His $9.6M cap hold will dictate what room Phoenix will have: $13M (with) or $22M (without). https://t.co/lsF6eiSDMu

Oubre isn't going to come cheap. The 23-year-old thrived after he was traded to the Suns last season, averaging 16.9 points per game in 40 contests—and 20.2 points per game in 12 starts. Young two-way wings are some of the most sought-after players in the NBA, and plenty of teams have cap space this summer.

That means the Suns may end up dipping into the luxury tax to re-sign him, though according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic, Phoenix would be "willing" to do so.

The other issue with retaining Oubre is that it could keep the Suns out of the running for a player such as D'Angelo Russell if the Brooklyn Nets sign Kyrie Irving and renounce Russell's rights.

Rankin noted that the Suns are reportedly pursuing Russell, but it's hard to imagine a scenario in which they have the cap space to land him even if they don't match any offer sheet to Oubre.

For Phoenix, the choice may come down to Russell or Oubre, assuming the former has interest in joining the Suns and is renounced by the Nets. That makes Oubre's return the more likely scenario, even if he's surely going to get paid in a big way this summer.