Nick Nurse hints at Kelly Oubre’s future with the Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers are a long shot to retain Kelly Oubre Jr., but Nick Nurse’s recently hinted at his future with the franchise.
76ers, Kelly Oubre Jr.
76ers, Kelly Oubre Jr. / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Easily the biggest steal in last year’s free agency, Kelly Oubre Jr. quickly proved himself as one of the most productive players for the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite constantly changing roles, the veteran is thriving as one of the team’s designated scorers, which became an even more pressing need in the aftermath of Joel Embiid’s injury.

However, Oubre has definitely played himself into a nice payday this summer, meaning that it would be impossible for the 76ers to retain him for the veteran’s minimum. More teams will have spending power in free agency, and barring any setback injury-wise, Oubre will most likely be donning new threads next season.

Nick Nurse could be hinting at Kelly Oubre Jr.’s future with the 76ers

As good as Oubre has been, it’s not a guarantee that the 76ers will want him back, especially since the front office has long been doing the prepwrok needed to have the legroom for a big swing in free agency.

Nevertheless, Nick Nurse recently praised Oubre’s across-the-board improvement this season, particularly on defense, possibly signaling that a return for the 28-year-old next season could still be in the cards.

Philadelphia is handcuffed with regard to Oubre, as the team can only offer him 120 percent of what he's currently earning as the starting salary of his new deal as the 76ers only have non-Bird rights on him. To keep him, the front office will have to shell out a chunk of their cap space or exhaust their cap exception.

Still, there’s a chance that the 76ers go to such lengths for Oubre. He’s been able to shed his reputation as a one-dimensional cog thanks to his renewed defensive acuity, all while remaining potent as a shot creator, even though hsi three-point shot has dwindled.

Ultimately, this could all boil down to Oubre’s willingness to remain with a potential contender for less money. One thing’s fore sure though — the Philadelphia 76ers will most likely exhaust all their options to keep him for the foreseeable future.

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