Why Kelly Oubre Jr. to the Atlanta Hawks is a Fire Move

Looking at a player the Atlanta Hawks could trade for with their 2020 draft pick.

Looking at this group of prospects for the 2020 NBA Draft, the more I like trading this No. 6 Pick for a surefire hit and fit for the Atlanta Hawks – Kelly Oubre!

Kelly Oubre is exactly what this doctor has ordered.  I’ve mulled over nearly 35 deep dives written by many basketball experts during this COVID-19 hiatus and, while many draftees move the needle in some way – no one really pops off the page that, in my opinion, will push the Atlanta Hawks to a playoff series in this upcoming season.

For myself, Kelly Oubre is beginning to emerge as the perfect player to join the Hawks organization this upcoming season.  If you were in a lab and designing a prototype player to match what the Hawks need?  Don’t be surprised if Kelly Oubre is your Sleeping Beauty!


Kelly Oubre checks all the boxes for Dribble, Pass, and Shoot. However, the most intriguing aspects of his game are the intangibles that don’t appear in basketball analytics.  Motor, Tenacity,  and, Goon-li-ness are what fuels his defense.  Imagine Marcus Smart with more size, playmaking, and shooting?

While Kelly Oubre has only four years experience playing with the Washington Wizards and now, the Phoenix Suns, you can see how his age and overall performance progressions are relative to the Atlanta Hawks timeline for this current organizational rebuild in the Basketball-Reference tables here.

In the advanced reference tables, you can see that Kelly Oubre is on a trajectory to improve, and perhaps, the best is yet to come.  Why not land where it all began?  As an Atlanta Hawks 2015 (they promptly traded him to Washington) NBA Draft pick at No. 15, maybe the Hawks got it right the first time.

Here’s a 2020 NBA Draft night trade that my favorite online commenter, Najeh Davenpoop has floated out that I like a lot:

“I would love Oubre here. Both the player and the contract are ideal for where the Hawks are at
Hawks could send out #6 to OKC and take Phoenix’s #10 as the 3rd team in a CP3 trade while absorbing Oubre’s salary (to throw one idea out there). That’s exactly the kind of trade I would love to see the Hawks make.”

I realize Jrue Holiday may be on the Atlanta Hawks radar right now, but  I really like Kelly Oubre for the T.K.O.  Jrue Holiday would also be a great fit; however, his age and money against the Hawks salary-cap gives me … pause.

With the Wolves, Celtics, and Pelicans in hot pursuit of the No. 6 pick, I hope the Suns can hop on the Georgia Train and choo-choo the Atlanta Hawks back into the playoff bubble.

FIT – What makes Oubre such a great fit for Atlanta is his intensity, toughness and mad-dog style of play. The Hawks arguably can carry the label for being soft.  I didn’t see much help flying off the bench when, Trevor Ariza “snatched” Trae Young for, doing the Nutmeg-Funnies at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.  Were it not for Bruno Fernando, Trae Young was on his own – remember this?

Compare Trae Young’s similar circumstances to Kelly Oubre’s and, you decide who’s soft and who’s not?

The Atlanta Hawks need that fire that Oubre has in his game, to gain that competitive edge needed to play with force.  To impose their will onto the opponent, and contend for a playoff spot and eventually, a championship.  We already have enough nice guys on this team, we need a goon now.

A player that can either play on the wings with Trae Young or, come off the bench and keep this team afloat offensively and defensively. Oubre sort of reminds me of Kent Bazemore in some kind of way, in that they can both play out of control at times.  I’ll give the edge to Oubre in regards to playmaking, though.

So what say you, should the Atlanta Hawks consider trading the No. 6 pick for – Kelly Oubre?