The Sacramento Kings need to target this electric free agent

De'Aaron Fox (5), Sacramento Kings. Kelly Oubre Jr. (12), Charlotte Hornets.. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
De'Aaron Fox (5), Sacramento Kings. Kelly Oubre Jr. (12), Charlotte Hornets.. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sacramento Kings have three of their four most played forwards pending free agency, including starting small forward Harrison Barnes and backups Terence Davis and Trey Lyles. It is very likely for the Kings to bring back at least one of these guys if not two or all three. If even one of the three leave, it will be time to find their replacement.

The draft class is excellent this year, and the free agency class is solid, so finding a forward this offseason should not be difficult for Sacramento. The Kings need to bring in some defense without having their offense decline. Kings GM Monte McNair expressed this (via NBC Sports):

"“You always want to continue to sure up your deficiencies, but you don’t want to pull on one string and you lose another. So we’re going to have to do it in a way that we were able to put all the things we need on the floor for both offense and defense.”"

Getting two-way players is the best way to focus on both sides of the floor. This is why the Sacramento Kings need to target Kelly Oubre Jr.

Kelly Oubre Jr. is among the most underrated two-way players in the NBA.

Let’s start with his defensive presence. Oubre was top 10 in the league in deflections and averaged 1.4 steals per game. The 6’6″ forward has a 7’3″ wingspan and uses this length and speed to be among the peskiest of defenders. Oubre can guard the one through four while being able to lock down a big man here and there. His off-ball presence is terrific, as he anticipates passing lanes at an elite level.

On offense, Kelly Oubre Jr. is best when he gets to the basket. He is coming off a career-high scoring season with 20.3 points per game. While Oubre struggles to shoot from deep (31.9% this season), his athleticism, speed, and guard-like skill allow him to still create on offense. His best three-point shooting comes from the corner, which the Kings should be looking for.

Oubre’s hustle on both ends of the court makes him an impact player regardless of where he ends up. The 27-year-old would be a great addition to the Kings, even though he struggles shooting the ball. He is coming off a two-year contract worth $24.6 million, so expect him to seek a similar deal.

Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kings head coach Mike Brown also have history, as Brown was an assistant for the Warriors while Oubre played for them in the 2020-21 season. This history could influence Oubre’s free agency decision.