The Philadelphia 76ers may be an F on most offseason report cards, but one of the better, yet understated moves of the offseason cam when the team finagled free agent forward Kelly Oubre Jr. from the market for the minimum — a big steal considering the fact that he’s coming off arguably his most productive season yet.
Despite the question marks on his game, the 76ers did well to snag him for damage control amid the uncertainty surrounding James Harden. But now, it seems like those question marks are starting to surface right from the get-go with training camp having barely started.
Did Kelly Oubre Jr. just drop a dangerous take on his expected role with the 76ers?
Oubre Jr. may be a hot commodity for big minutes right away, but it appears that he’s wasting no time to claim them for himself. Asked about how he thinks he can fit in with his new team, he dished out a comment that could set the tone for something dangerous down the road.
While Oubre may have dropped this one out in good faith especially after heaping praise on the team’s culture to some exaggeration, past precedent does not bode well for the 76ers on this front. The incoming nine-year veteran has been more than serviceable for the most part in his career, but has yet to show that he can buy into team-oriented concepts with his often self-serving play style and disposition, which were part and parcel of what made prospective buyers veer off from inking him despite a career-year.
For a team that houses the reigning Most Valuable Player in Joel Embiid and hellbent on giving Tyrese Maxey the keys to the offense post-Harden (in view of his figurative absence), trying to stand out will ultimately do more harm than good. After all, if veterans with pedigree like Tobias Harris and PJ Tucker are more than willing to take a step back and adjust their games accordingly for the benefit of the group, anyone can. He can.
Hopefully, we’re just reading into this too much and Kelly Oubre Jr. realizes later on that he can be much more impactful than just scoring 20 points on 25 shots, giving the Philadelphia 76ers another weapon they can trot out against their tougher competition.