Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is slated to hit restricted free agency later this summer, but he prefers to stay in Phoenix for the long-term, hopeful that a long-term deal can be worked out.
Oubre was acquired from the Washington Wizards earlier this season as part of the Trevor Ariza trade.
“Why would I go anywhere else?” Oubre said, according to Kellan Olson of Arizona Sports.
“I’m here, I’m getting established and I’m not a guy that really wants to be on a million teams in my tenure in the league and I just want to create a dynasty and a legacy here in Phoenix with [Deandre Ayton], [Devin Booker], [Mikal Bridges], all the guys in the locker room. It’s beautiful.”
The Suns continue to struggle and are lottery-bound, yet again, but Oubre sees improvement from the team.
“We’re learning from our mistakes that we’ve made in previous games and throughout the season and we’re starting to realize that we are definitely capable of competing with the best so we have to continue to go out there and prove that,” Oubre said.
“We’re just trying to get some momentum going into next year.”
“I’m just so happy that Phoenix, (Suns general manager James Jones) made the call and traded for me to come to Phoenix man because that was the biggest blessing of my career so far,” Oubre said.
“One-hundred percent I would love to remain Phoenix.”
Pistons’ Dwane Casey Planning Flexibility with Blake Griffin, Thon Maker
Detroit Pistons’ head coach Dwane Casey has a creative approach in mind when he utilizes Blake Griffin and Thon Maker this upcoming season.
While the Pistons don’t have a true center outside of Andre Drummond, Casey sees opportunities to get creative with his lineups, depending on the situation at hand.
“I see it being very situational,” Casey said, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
“The other guy we haven’t mentioned, we have played Blake at the five. Not good numbers off of that, so I don’t anticipate that but there are scenarios in the game, last two minutes of the game, where Blake could play the five. Looking for really a bump out of Thon, playing him at four/five, whatever it is, but a lot of nights if you look at the league, the rosters have gotten smaller and the traditional five has kind of gone the way of the dinosaur. The flexibility we have with Thon, with Markieff having the possibility of playing there, is really important.”
With Drummond focusing on developing his offense this offseason, the Pistons may lack some defense at the rim, and in the paint.
Heat’s Bam Adebayo Discusses Team Picking Up Option
Adebayo, the Heat’s starter at center, will make $3.5 million this season, and is now guaranteed $5.1 million in the 2020-2021 season.
“It’s definitely a confidence builder,” Adebayo said, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It’s one of those things that a lot of guys don’t get to see, but I’m glad it happened to me. So we’re going to keep this thing going and see if we can win some more games.”
Adebayo collected 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season for Miami.
Knicks’ Dennis Smith Jr. Out to Prove Something this Season
While the New York Knicks made headlines as they whiffed on several big name free agents this summer, one of their promising young players believes that a big year is on the horizon.
Knicks’ guard Dennis Smith Jr., who was acquired from the Dallas Mavericks via trade, is looking to make a splash in his first full season with the Knicks.
“It’s just been relentless work. I feel like I’ve got something to prove,” Smith Jr. said, according to The New York Daily News’ Kristian Wingfield.
“I’ve got a chip on my shoulder still, but I’ve just been working. I try to attack each day and look at it as if I didn’t leave anything on the table. I got the most out of my day. … I’m gonna come in, bring that into training camp and be a leader, lead by example, earn my respect from these guys and then carry that into the season.”
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