After a flurry of signings to open free agency, things have slowed to a crawl in the NBA as there are just a few significant names still on the market and cap space has mostly dried up around the league.
Among the few teams still with space on Thursday was the Charlotte Hornets, who were reportedly interested in two of the most interesting buy-low candidates remaining in Kelly Oubre and Lauri Markkanen. The latter is a restricted free agent, with an offer sheet not being able to be signed until Friday, but Oubre presented a young player who has yet to reach his full potential that fits snugly with the timeline in Charlotte.
Late Thursday night, word emerged from Shams Charania of The Athletic that a deal was done and Oubre would indeed be headed to North Carolina on a two-year, $26 million deal.
Free agent Kelly Oubre Jr. has agreed to a two-year, $26M-plus deal with the Charlotte Hornets, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 6, 2021
It’s a solid contract for Oubre, who averaged 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game last season with the Warriors, but struggled shooting the ball from distance at 31.6 percent, unable to back up a 35 percent season in Phoenix the year prior. The Hornets will hope Oubre can find that shooting form he showed with the Suns for a year, because it would unlock a whole new level of play for him on offense as not just a slasher but a spot-up threat and secondary creator.
Charlotte is a team that is in a position to take chances on young talents like Oubre that may not be fully formed, and they add him to a wing rotation alongside Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, and PJ Washington that now is a very deep, even if somewhat unproven group aside from Hayward.