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Jones: Suns ‘look forward’ to having Kelly Oubre Jr. for ‘long time’

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) celebrates the team's overtime win over the Orlando Magic in an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The Phoenix Suns didn’t acquire Kelly Oubre Jr. in the most traditional way.

After a three-way trade that involved Oubre being sent to Memphis broke down, the Suns and Washington Wizards were in a pickle regarding the players involved in the deal that fell apart. Oubre, Trevor Ariza and Austin Rivers were in that deal, along with Memphis’ MarShon Brooks and Wayne Selden.

The Suns and Wizards didn’t wait long, getting a deal done in less than 24 hours to send Oubre to Phoenix along with Rivers and Ariza to Washington.

Phoenix acquired an asset in the 23-year-old Oubre, but with the circumstances in which he arrived, is the team interested in keeping the restricted free agent and paying him this offseason?

Co-interim general manager and vice president of basketball operations James Jones made it sound like the team wants him around beyond this season.

“Whenever his number is called, whenever he gets the opportunity — he’s being himself,” Jones told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo Wednesday. “He’s all over the floor, he’s active, he brings emotion, he brings a confidence and a cockiness for a young team that we crave so we’re excited.

“He’s big for us and we’re looking forward to having him with us for a long time.”

98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro reports Oubre could cost up to $15 million per year or more. That brings on the question of how much the Suns want to make another wing a valuable part of their rebuild.

Devin Booker signed an extension that will see him paid $158 million the next five seasons, T.J. Warren makes at least $10.8 million until 2022 and the team recently drafted Josh Jackson No. 4 overall and traded for Mikal Bridges in the 2018 NBA Draft.

The Suns have $77 million in guaranteed contracts signed through next season, meaning they would have more than enough space to bring Oubre brack.

Oubre recently had his best game in a Suns uniform on Tuesday, scoring 26 points with five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block in a win over the Sacramento Kings.

“We’re pleased,” Jones said regarding Oubre. “We’re ecstatic with the way he is playing.”

In 11 games for the Suns, Oubre is averaging 11.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists on 44.2 percent shooting from the field and 37.2 percent from deep.


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