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Suns’ Oubre on impending RFA status: ‘Why would I go anywhere else?’

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) reacts to a forced turnover against the Milwaukee Bucks during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 4, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Phoenix Suns wing Kelly Oubre Jr. has quickly become a fan favorite since being acquired in a December trade with the Washington Wizards.

His energy on the court, vibrant personality and clear swagger with the way he operates make him practically impossible to dislike.

With that being said, Oubre’s long-term future in Phoenix is a bit unknown. He’s a restricted free agent this upcoming offseason, and while that means the Suns can match any offer, they traded for Oubre in one-of-a-kind circumstances after a three-team deal fell apart on a roster crowded with wings.

But leave it to the man himself to speak on how much he’s enjoying his time in Phoenix and potentially staying beyond this season when he joined 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo.

“Why would I go anywhere else?” Oubre said when asked if Phoenix was his preferred destination across the entire NBA. “I’m here, I’m getting established and I’m not a guy that really wants to be on a million teams in my tenure in the league and I just want to create a dynasty and a legacy here in Phoenix with [Deandre Ayton], [Devin Booker], [Mikal Bridges], all the guys in the locker room. It’s beautiful.”

In 34 games for the Suns, Oubre is averaging 16.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 steals a game. A recent move into the starting lineup paid off on Monday when he had 27 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

“We’re learning from our mistakes that we’ve made in previous games and throughout the season and we’re starting to realize that we are definitely capable of competing with the best so we have to continue to go out there and prove that,” he said of the team’s improvement, noting the Suns have to look past what has happened this season and focus on the future.

“We’re just trying to get some momentum going into next year.”

Oubre spoke on where his head was at during a time in which it was initially reported he was going to Memphis in a three-team deal that collapsed.

“I compare that time to like being in the draft, pre-draft process as far as not knowing where you’re gonna be picked,” he said. “Everything is in open airs.”

He noted that the Grizzlies were more of a similar situation to the Wizards, and with the Suns, he’d have more of an opportunity.

“Here I can kind of solidify myself and just show the world that I’m a player — I’m not just a pretty face,” Oubre said.

“I’m just so happy that Phoenix, James (Jones) made the call and traded for me to come to Phoenix man because that was the biggest blessing of my career so far.”

The 23-year-old sure sounds like someone who is not only loving life with the Suns but wants to stay put.

Even so, he’s not keeping his impending restricted free agency in his headspace at the moment.

“One-hundred percent I would love to remain Phoenix,” Oubre said. “The money and all that stuff is above my head right now. I’m just trying to focus on these last 17 games so that I can prove myself and show that I’m worth every penny thrown at me.”

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