How much did wing Kelly Oubre Jr. mean to the Suns? It’s not a coincidence that the solid starter has missed four games since his knee injury and Phoenix is 0-4. With his injury, the Suns’ slim playoff hopes have faded.
“I think it did emotionally probably brought us down a couple notches,” Suns’ coach Monty Williams told the Associated Press. “It probably sounds a bit weak to admit it, but it’s just a reality. You finally get your team close to whole and then you lose Kelly. The guys have probably struggled with it more than they want to admit.”
Tuesday, Oubre underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. Officially he will be re-evaluated in four weeks, but in reality, with just six weeks left in the season, it’s unlikely the Suns bring Oubre back this season with nothing on the line in those final games.
The 6-foot-7 has averaged 18.7 points and 6.4 rebounds a game for Phoenix this season. He has one more year on the two-year, $30 million contract he signed last summer and will make $14.4 million next season.