The Phoenix Suns took a huge hit when forward Kelly Oubre tore his meniscus and will most likely miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Oubre, in his fifth season out of Kansas, averages 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Oubre tweaked his knee in a 131-111 victory over the Utah Jazz. After an MRI, he was diagnosed with a tear in his meniscus. Oubre will seek a second opinion, but it does not look good. According to the Phoenix front office, Oubre will most likely miss the remainder the season with the knee injury considering the Suns have only 23 games remaining on the schedule.
“Tough injury for Kelly Oubre,” said Suns teammate Devin Booker. “He’s been getting better every game.”
The Suns (24-35) have been bottom feeders in the Western Conference the last two seasons. If it were not for the banged-up Golden State Warriors and the pathetic Minnesota Timberwolves, the Suns would be the worst team in the Western Conference. They’re a young team with a young coach and have one of the best scorers in the NBA with Devin Booker.
Behind top-scorer Booker, Oubre developed into the Suns second-best scoring option. Oubre stepped up for the Suns when Deandre Ayton was suspended for 25 games for violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy.
Oubre, 24, started in 55 out of 56 games this season with the Suns before the torn meniscus injury. He hit 45.2% of his shots this season, including a career-high 35.2% from 3-point range.
From DC to PHX
Kelly Oubre grew up in New Orleans, but his family relocated to Houston after they were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He spent a season at a prep school in Las Vegas before heading to the Big 12 as a coveted recruit at Kansas.The 6-foot-7 small forward played a one-and-done season with the Kansas Jayhawks before declaring himself eligible for the NBA.
The Washington Wizards acquired Oubre on a draft-day trade with the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks initially selected Oubre with the #15 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
In his first 3.5 seasons with the Wizards, Oubre came off the bench. He was averaging a career-high 12.9 ppg with the Wiz before they shipped him out West.
In late 2018, the Phoenix Suns acquired Oubre and Austin Rivers in a trade with the Washington Wizards.
Oubre adjusted to the trade and started in 12 out of 40 games with the Suns. He saw his scoring output increase to 16.9 ppg.
Sunny Days in Phoenix
In his first full season with the Suns, Oubre moved into a starting role by new head coach Monty Williams. He quickly flourished in his expanded role and saw his scoring increase to 18.7 ppg.
Oubre had his best game of the season shortly before the All-Star Break when he lit up the Houston Rockets for a career-high 39 points. Oubre could not miss that night when he drained 14-of-19 shots including seven 3-pointers.
“My teammates were passing me the ball,” said Oubre. “I was just playing within the coach’s system, being in attack mode, staying aggressive. I’m honored, but we’ve got another one tomorrow.”
He also was relieved that he did not get traded despite seeing his name mentioned in numerous trade rumors on social media.
“The first thing we said when we saw each was ‘We made it!'” Oubre joked.