After a frenzy of acquisitions to kick off free agency, the NBA has ground to a halt, with only a few notable players remaining on the market and cap space drying up across the league.
The Charlotte Hornets were one of the few teams with space on Thursday, and they were allegedly interested in two of the most intriguing buy-low candidates left in Kelly Oubre and Lauri Markkanen. The latter is a restricted free agent, with an offer sheet not being allowed to be signed until Friday, but Oubre presented himself as a youthful player who has yet to realize his full potential, which fits in nicely with Charlotte’s plan.
Late Thursday night, word emerged from Shams Charania of The Athletic that a deal was done and Oubre would indeed be headed to North Carolina on a two-year, $26 million deal.
It’s a good deal for Oubre, who averaged 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game with the Warriors last season, but struggled from distance, shooting 31.6 percent after a 35 percent season in Phoenix the year before. The Hornets will be hoping Oubre can rediscover his shooting form from a year ago with the Suns, because it would open up a whole new level of play for him on offense as a spot-up threat and secondary facilitator.
Charlotte is a team that can take risks on young players like Oubre who may not be fully developed, and they add him to a wing rotation that now includes Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, and PJ Washington, who, aside from Hayward, is a very deep, if somewhat unproven group.