Milwaukee Bucks Rumors: Team had interest in free agent Kelly Oubre Jr.

Apr 6, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA;: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 6, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA;: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

With little spending money to utilize, the Milwaukee Bucks were bound to strike out on some targets that were on their wishlist in 2021 NBA Free Agency.

While most of those targets will never come to the surface, SNY’s Ian Begley reported earlier that Kelly Oubre Jr. was among the names. Begley noted that the forward had garnered interest from Milwaukee and a handful of other contending teams across the league before eventually inking a two-year deal worth $25 million with the Charlotte Hornets.

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That deal certainly exceeded anything that the Bucks could have hypothetically gave the forward, meaning that if their interest was indeed genuine, they still likely never stood a legitimate shot of landing him.

Instead, Oubre will join an ascending Charlotte team that is poised to take a major leap next season led by reigning Rookie of the Year winner LaMelo Ball. Although he always seemed out of their reach, thinking about Oubre’s fit with the Bucks is a fun exercise.

Kelly Oubre Jr. would have given the Milwaukee Bucks another versatile defender

In addition to his solid scoring punch – 17.1 points per game over the past two seasons – Oubre is well-known for his defense. Standing at 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and weighing in at 203 pounds, the forward is a versatile defensive ace that can defend multiple positions. Ironically, Oubre cited Milwaukee guard Jrue Holiday as one of the players he keeps an eye on defensively because of his tenacious efforts on that side of the floor.

Oubre would have certainly been a seamless fit for the Bucks defensively in their lineups alongside Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the other players that help make this team constantly work like a well-oiled machine on that side of the floor. Having an extra defender of his skills would have been a massive boost on the wing for a team that prides itself so heavily for their efforts defensively.

Where the problems would have turned up with Oubre’s fit would have been on the offensive end. While he is unquestionably a solid scorer on the wing, the forward has a tough time spacing the floor, as evidenced by his lackluster 32.6 career percentage from behind the arc. That inability to hit the 3-pointer would have given the team trouble offensively, considering how much they embrace players shooting from 3-point territory.

Overall, the Bucks were never likely to get Oubre due to his hefty asking price, but their rumored interest is easy to justify nevertheless. The forward would have given them another reputable defender to round out a formidable unit full of specialists on that end of the floor, bolstering their defensive five even further, particularly with P.J. Tucker packing his things and heading to the Miami Heat on a two-year deal.

The Bucks are hoping that the newly signed Semi Ojeleye can help make up for some of that loss as he is most well-known for his defensive efforts. Grayson Allen, who they traded for Friday in a package that involved Sam Merrill and future draft picks, should also help bring more defense on the wing as he joins the reigning champs for their run next year.

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The Oubre interest is feasible, but even without him, the Bucks have put together a solid offseason thus far by retooling the roster.