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Magic pitched Suns on Kelly Oubre Jr. trade, per report

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) runs into Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya (45) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The Orlando Magic are among the teams who pitched a trade for Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr., reports the New York Times’ Marc Stein.

As of Thursday morning — two hours before the 1 p.m. trade deadline — Phoenix has yet to receive an enticing offer that would lead it to trade the fan favorite, Stein adds.

The New York Times reporter on Wednesday said the Suns had fielded phone calls from multiple teams who were interested in Oubre.

Oubre is averaging 18.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He’s shooting 45% from the field and 35% from three-point range.

This offseason, the 24-year-old signed a two-year contract to remain in Phoenix. It pays $15.6 million this year and $14.4 million in 2020-21.

Phoenix acquired Oubre in December 2018 via a trade that shipped veteran forward Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards. Oubre impacted the 19-win Suns in a positive way with his energy and athleticism, and that led him to signing a well-paying contract that was relatively short — Oubre will reach free agency in 2021 when plenty of teams have cap space to spend.

As it stands, there’s little reason Phoenix would move Oubre. A postseason drought that could reach a decade and a roster that needs Oubre’s athleticism would require some significant exchange.

Regarding the Magic, Oubre could be dealt straight up for Aaron Gordon, who would fill a need for the Suns as a bigger forward. But Gordon’s poor shooting (30% from three) and propensity to act as an alpha scorer when he’s more of a versatile glue guy and top defender doesn’t fit Phoenix’s offense that under Monty Williams prefers ball-moving bigs. Gordon, like Oubre, is under contract through next season.

Guard Evan Fournier is another Orlando player who could be swapped one-for-one with Oubre. He would fit the Suns’ need for a third guard and at 18.7 points per game and 3.3 assists per game would fit a similar role to a player Phoenix has shown interest in, the Detroit Pistons’ Luke Kennard. Fournier, who is under contract for three more seasons, is 27 years old.

Neither of those swaps significantly move the needle for this year or would down the road.

In short, the Suns would need an overwhelming package of a young player like Gordon and picks to convince Suns fans that dealing the original Valley Boy is a good idea. There’s not a great reason for the Magic, who are in the playoff hunt, to do that just looking at a two-team trade.


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