Kelly Oubre Jr. trade reports came from external sources, says Suns GM

Feb 7, 2020, 12:09 PM | Updated: 12:51 pm
Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) reacts after scoring a basket against the San Antonio Spur...
Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) reacts after scoring a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Kelly Oubre Jr. didn’t expect that he’d see his name pop up heading into the NBA trade deadline. Just before the 1 p.m. deadline on Thursday, Oubre ended a nearly three-week long Twitter hiatus with a tease.

Then the deadline passed without the Phoenix Suns forward swapping jerseys.

On Friday, Oubre shrugged off reports from the New York Times’ Marc Stein, who said before Thursday that the Suns fielded calls regarding Oubre. The Suns did not entertain multiple offers for Oubre, including one from the Orlando Magic, Stein added hours before the deadline.

“It’s part of the business. Didn’t really expect to see my name,” Oubre told reporters after shootaround for the Suns’ Friday game against the Houston Rockets. “We move on. Today’s a new day. I’m trying to get a win.”

Phoenix general manager James Jones believes health issues that depleted the bench cut into some of the good vibes that helped Phoenix start 7-4 this year. Center Deandre Ayton’s 25-game suspension for diuretics didn’t help the continuity, and the GM believes the upcoming All-Star break should help get the team healthy.

Jones and head coach Monty Williams believes Phoenix is close to piling up wins.

Shots just haven’t gone in despite the data and the scouting showing there are open looks. The defense has improved, ranking 13th in the NBA since the start of the 2020 calendar year.

All that went into Jones’ decision to forego any trades of Oubre or his teammates.

“We love Kelly and at this point in time, names are thrown (out) all the time,” Jones told reporters. “I do know and our guys know that we don’t talk about our players so anything that people put out, that’s external. So we can’t control what happens externally, but I do know, if you look at what we’ve done, this team is together. That means we believe in this team.”

The general manager said the Suns will remain diligent, disciplined and intentional in any moves on the horizon.

“I get it,” Jones added. “The fans always want you to make a move.

“You have to think about the long-term effects of a short-term decision and whether it disrupts what you’re trying to build. We’re trying to build something here that takes time. It didn’t happen overnight. We didn’t get to the point where we are right now in a matter of six months and we’re not going to dig out of it in six months.”

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