The Philadelphia 76ers bench rotation has been upended in Kelly Oubre Jr.’s absence. The 6’7″ versatile wing appeared to be the steal of NBA free agency through the first few weeks of the NBA season. Oubre was averaging 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game on 50% shooting from the field and 38% from three-point range. Two weeks ago, the Sixers’ forward was reportedly struck by a car in Philadelphia and suffered fractured ribs.
First and foremost, the immediate thought is that Oubre is alright and he is healing both physically and mentally following this incident. Next, when we do discuss his play on the basketball court, it must be noted that his offensive game was not necessarily the question coming into the season. He is a bucket and can create his own shot on the offensive end of the floor, an extremely valuable skill in today’s NBA.
Oubre has been surprisingly impressive in his defensive efforts.
Not someone who is known for his effort or consistency on the defensive end of the floor, Oubre has been a revelation for this Sixers’ team and has been one of the best perimeter defenders on the roster alongside De’Anthony Melton. With the skillset Oubre possesses on both ends of the floor, it should come as no surprise that his absence is being felt and seen by the Sixers.
This week, the Sixers and Oubre received some good news regarding his potential return to play. On Monday, he was working out with the Sixers for the first time since his accident at the team’s practice. That leads to the natural follow-up question.
When will Oubre be back on the floor for the Sixers?
Let’s hear Nick Nurse’s answer to that question.
Well, there you have it! In what would be a remarkable recovery timeline, it is possible that Kelly Oubre Jr. could suit up for the Sixers as early as next week. As Nurse outlines, there are still hurdles, most notably how he responds to contract drills, but there should be optimism in Philadelphia with this news. We will have to wait until next week to know for certain, but the Sixers could have their full roster reunited very soon.
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