Kelly Oubre Jr. should enhance at taking pictures so as to be rotation mainstay


The Philadelphia 76ers have wanted wing depth all offseason and waited till there have been just some weeks left till coaching camp to make veteran additions in that place. Kelly Oubre Jr. is the Sixers’ newest addition after they introduced again Danny Inexperienced.

Oubre agreed to a one-year, minimum deal with the Sixers, giving him a safer spot on the crew than Inexperienced, whose deal is non-guaranteed. It is extraordinarily telling {that a} 27-year-old, 6-foot-7 wing coming off of a season the place he averaged 20.3 factors per recreation went unsigned for therefore lengthy. Whereas Oubre is flashy and athletic, he has not been a significant factor on a playoff crew since 2017 and 2018, the place he was a bench participant for the John Wall-Bradley Beal Washington Wizards groups that capped out within the second spherical.

James Harden’s dissatisfaction with the Sixers may lead him to avoid the crew till he will get his commerce. Oubre no less than gives slightly little bit of shot-creation juice in his place, possible off the bench, that may alleviate Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey of some strain. His shot chart is perfect, that includes virtually all photographs inside 10 toes or from past the arc, however there aren’t many points of his recreation for a playoff-contending crew to be impressed by.

The Sixers didn’t run any main danger by signing Oubre however the likelihood that the transfer pays off considerably is minimal. The most important approach he can earn an enormous position is by enhancing as a three-point shooter.

Kelly Oubre Jr. should change into a greater perimeter shooter for Sixers

In eight NBA seasons, Kelly Oubre Jr. has by no means posted an above-average three-point proportion. He hovered slightly below the league common just a few instances, together with in 2022-22. But he has been nicely above common in his fee of three-point makes an attempt in yearly of his profession moreover one. That 12 months was his most effective, changing 35.2 % of his downtown shot makes an attempt.

Oubre isn’t somebody that gamers will completely ignore on the perimeter a la Ben Simmons or Giannis Antetokounmpo, so no less than he gives some kind of spacing. However, particularly in playoff settings, he is not somebody the Sixers will usually play in crunch time, when Embiid will get double-teamed extra. Of the 67 gamers who took 250 catch-and-shoot three-point tries final season, Oubre’s 32.3 % is tied for the second-worst of the group with RJ Barrett. Solely rookie Jabari Smith Jr., at 29.4 %, was worse.

The quantity is there but when the effectivity doesn’t catch up, it is arduous to think about Oubre getting vital taking part in time on the common. The excellent news is that the latest Sixers addition can get it achieved contained in the arc in a wide range of methods. Oubre shot over 63 % on photographs on the rim within the two seasons previous to 2022-23 — which is nicely above common — and one may argue that, with a roster a lot, a lot better than final 12 months’s Charlotte Hornets, he can get that determine again up. This can particularly be useful in transition alternatives.

With a path to the basket, Oubre may be powerful to cease. He is sure to have just a few dunks that energize the house crowd and find yourself on spotlight reels. He has additionally been fairly good at drawing fouls for his entire profession (although his free-throw percentages are hardly ever good for a participant in his place). The Sixers may use Oubre as a harmful off-ball cutter who will let an open three fly or make a beeline for the rim and problem whoever stands in his approach.

However being a strong inside scorer most likely isn’t going to chop it on a crew with Embiid and Maxey — versatile scorers who can dish it and get buckets from quite a few places with regularity, thus getting essentially the most touches. They are often weaponized with out the ball however Oubre severely lacks playmaking abilities to make use of them proper. He’ll command the rock solely when two of Embiid, Harden and Maxey sit. Even then, Tobias Harris is arguably simply as versatile with the ball due to his environment friendly taking pictures and superior (albeit not by a complete lot) playmaking.

Defensively, Oubre has the seems to be of a flexible wing defender however not the chops, although his 3.2 deflections from final season ranked within the high 10. The Sixers aren’t anticipating him to be a linchpin on their protection anyway however it’s nonetheless an space to enhance. Maybe Nick Nurse can put him in optimum spots to assist out and perhaps uncover some defensive fireplace that makes him ok to play 15-to-20 minutes each night time.

Talking of Nurse, the brand new head coach is able to set up an offense with extra movement and check out a bunch of recent issues. In Oubre, he’ll have an athletic wing with a nostril for the basket. If Nurse and his stars can create sufficient construction for Oubre, there is a path the place he may very well be a fairly intriguing bench possibility. However all of the creativity on this planet will not save him when he must sink a triple.

Oubre lacks the complementary abilities that nice groups wish to get from their position gamers, therefore why it took so lengthy for him to discover a new crew. The power to shoot is essentially the most commonplace one within the trendy NBA. Oubre has the boldness to shoot it — a refreshing change of tempo from a number of the Sixers’ different key gamers, who lack the let-it-fly gene  — however he has performed with too many stars to proceed taking pictures the ball with such appalling inefficiency.

The Sixers ought to have stocked their wing room with as many 3-and-D choices as potential. Inexperienced matches that mould, as does holdover Danuel Home Jr. Furkan Korkmaz isn’t a lot of a defender however has been an excellent shooter over his profession. Oubre’s recreation stands out from the remainder of Philly’s wings, an argument that may both justify or deny his {qualifications} for a constant rotation spot and may swing between each instructions at a second’s discover. He is a low-risk, moderate-reward addition — a wonderfully nice September signing.

On the outset, there isn’t a lot cause to consider that Kelly Oubre Jr. will elevate the Sixers’ depth to a stage that makes them extra fearsome within the postseason. The first step to instilling perception is discovering a approach to enhance his three-point shot.


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