After an impressive 2022-23 NBA season with the Charlotte Hornets, Kelly Oubre Jr. will likely find himself fielding multiple calls in free agency. Of course, Mitch Kupchak will probably try and retain the talented wing, but given his production, Oubre Jr. may want to test the waters and see what other options are out there for him.
In what is a potential blow to the Hornets, this year’s free agent class doesn’t project to be a deep one, leaving cap space teams to enter a bidding war for the talent that is available. To preface this, it’s unlikely that Oubre Jr. accepts a mid-level exception offer unless it comes from a genuine contender with the promise of a significant role within the rotation.
Otherwise, we can expect the Louisiana native to pursue opportunities that help him maximize his earning potential in what could be the last big contract of his career. With that being said, here are five teams that are potential threats to steal away the three-level scorer during the offseason.
#5 The Memphis Grizzlies
Dillon Brooks will not be returning to the Memphis Grizzlies roster next season, thus, it’s likely they will be looking to add another wing to their rotation. As a contending team full of young, exciting talent, Kelly Oubre Jr. could be tempted to shun returning to the Charlotte Hornets in favor of teaming up with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr.
However, the Grizzlies don’t project to be a cap space team, so the best they could offer Oubre Jr. is the Non-Taxpayer Mid-Level Exception, worth $12.2 million. Still, it’s clear the Grizzlies are capable of making a deep postseason run when healthy, which could be tempting for the Hornets wing.
If Oubre Jr. is willing to take a reduced role on offense (he took 17.1 attempts this season) and has no qualms coming off the bench, he could be an ideal replacement for Brooks. After all, Oubre Jr. is a consummate professional, and right now, the Grizzlies need as many of those as they can get. Nevertheless, there will be other teams out there who can offer Oubre Jr. a larger contract, including the Charlotte Hornets.