Following one of the best games of his career in the Suns’ stunning victory over the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks, Kelly Oubre Jr. appeared on the Burns & Gambo show on 98.7 FM to discuss their recent turnaround.
Oubre Jr. logged 27 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks on Monday, but the man they call Tsunami Papi has been balling throughout his Suns tenure. Over his last seven games, Oubre Jr. is averaging 20.1 points and 1.7 steals while providing multiple highlight plays each night.
The Suns are 3-1 in their last four games, which is the best stretch of basketball played since mid-December. Oubre Jr., who is spreading his wings in Phoenix, openly admitted he wants to stay on this team for the long haul.
“Why would I go anywhere else?” Oubre Jr. said. “I’m here getting established and I’m not a guy that really wants to be on a million teams in my tenure in the league and I just want to create a legacy here in Phoenix with Deandre (Ayton), Devin (Booker), Mikal (Bridges), all the guys in the locker room. It’s beautiful.”
Beautiful indeed, because this is probably music to Suns’ fans ears right now. In short order, Oubre Jr.’s energetic personality has won over Phoenix’s fanbase where he’s receiving huge ovations during pre-game introductions and even MVP chants.
Kelly Oubre Jr. on the MVP chants he received late in the game:— Evan Sidery (@esidery) March 5, 2019
“Just Phoenix, man. Showing love to the kid.” pic.twitter.com/HBcg9oW9Sl
Since the All-Star break, Oubre Jr. has been inserted in the Suns’ starting lineup and fared well thus far meshing well alongside Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. The former Washington Wizard has the best 3-man NetRtg including Booker and Ayton since his Suns debut on Dec. 19.
“Here I can kind of solidify myself and just show the world that I’m a player; I’m not just a pretty face,” Oubre Jr. said. “I’m just so happy that Phoenix, James (Jones) made the call and traded for me to come to Phoenix man because that was the biggest blessing of my career so far.”
This offseason, Oubre Jr. will be a restricted free agent. This means the Suns will have the right to match any offer thrown his way if they don’t agree upon an extension beforehand. Oubre Jr.’s cap hold is $9.6 million, and all indications are his next contract will exceed that figure annually.
If I had to guess, Oubre Jr. is likely in line for a contract paying him $12-16 million per year depending on how aggressive teams are around the Association. With the way he’s playing lately, Oubre Jr. is showing on both sides of the floor exactly why Phoenix needs to pay up to continue building newfound winning habits here.
“One-hundred percent I would love to remain in Phoenix,” Oubre Jr. said. “The money and all that stuff is above my head right now. I’m just trying to focus on these last 17 games so that I can prove myself and show that I’m worth every penny thrown at me.”