3 underrated free agents Cleveland Cavaliers can still sign

Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets. Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images
Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets. Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets. Photo by David Jensen/Getty Images /

Remaining free agent No. 3: Kelly Oubre, Jr.

How is Kelly Oubre, Jr. still on the market? The world may never know.

Before the start of free agency, Brian Windhorst named Oubre as a name to remember in Cleveland. In the end, the Cavaliers landed their top target in Max Strus instead. As free agency winds down, though, Oubre has been left behind with little money left for teams to offer him.

The 27-year-old forward is a streaky shooter, hitting only 33 percent of his three-point attempts over his career. Two seasons ago, Oubre hit 34.5 percent of his 7.3 three-point attempts. The following year, he only made 31.9 percent on a similar volume of attempts. The inconsistency in Oubre’s output is likely why the Cavaliers did not target him over Strus and Niang for their forward additions.

With the money drying up, though, why not take the chance on Oubre? Signing him on a veteran minimum is unlikely, even now. Oubre would at least command Cleveland’s remainder of their MLE or what was precisely the full $4.5 million BAE, and Cleveland no longer has that capability. This means the Cavaliers would either have to enter the luxury tax or make a trade to shed another salary.

In truth, Oubre would be worth the risk. Cleveland’s depth is filling up, meaning shedding salary in a trade is already a reasonable option for the Cavaliers. At 6-foot-7, Kelly Oubre Jr. would help the Cavaliers’ size at forward, and his offensive output is a useful asset.

When Oubre is off, the Cavaliers have the depth to respond. When Oubre is at his best, he can be Cleveland’s best bench scorer.

If the Cavaliers at one point were looking at Oubre as a potential starting forward, then adding him to the bench rotation only improves Cleveland’s chances this next season.

The biggest problem in signing Oubre is that he is too good not to play every night, and the Cavaliers already have a full rotation. Perhaps, then, that only adds more reason for every player in Cleveland to put their best effort into every game.

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Next season, Oubre will likely have to prove his worth again. Doing so in Cleveland on a true contender could be a resurgence for Oubre’s career next offseason. The deal could benefit both parties, both short-term and long-term if the pairing works.