Trending Hornets: Kelly Oubre Jr. is holding issues actually common – At The Hive


The Trending Hornets sequence evaluates the profession trajectories of Charlotte’s gamers based mostly on two superior stats – Participant Effectivity Score (PER) and Worth Over Substitute Participant (VORP) – as supplied by Basketball Reference.

PER measures per-minute manufacturing standardized such because the league common is 15. A PER above 15 means a participant contributed above league common. As a body of reference, amongst last season’s PER leaders, the High 20 gamers had been 21.8 and better whereas Nos. 21-40 ranged from 18.9 to 21.6.

VORP is a field rating estimate of the factors per 100 staff possessions {that a} participant contributed above a alternative degree participant. A VORP of 1.2 means the staff was 1.2 factors higher off per 100 possessions with this participant on the ground versus a league common participant. Amongst last season’s VORP leaders, the High 20 had been 3.5 and better and Nos. 21-40 ranged from 2.2 to three.4.

This week we’ll have a look at the trajectory of Kelly Oubre Jr.

Mick Smiley, On the Hive

2021-22 outcomes and league ranks

PER: 14.9; ranked T-94th general

VORP: 0.3; ranked T-208th general

Profession development overview

Oubre was drafted by the Washington Wizards No. 15 general in 2015, one spot forward of teammate Terry Rozier. Like many gamers taken within the mid-first spherical it took him a few seasons to seek out his groove within the NBA. Over his first two years each his PER and his VORP had been nicely under league averages and he actually struggled together with his 3-point shot. However to Kelly’s credit score, in his third season he earned constant minutes (27.5 MPG), began hitting a good proportion of his 3s (34.1%), and noticed his superior stats begin to rise.

In 2018-19, his fourth NBA season, Kelly took a serious step ahead and posted a career-high 15.2 PER and an above league alternative VORP of 0.4. It was throughout that season he was traded from Washington to the Phoenix Suns after which blossomed as a scorer. In 40 video games with the Suns that season he averaged 16.9 factors per sport, then bumped that as much as a career-high 18.7 factors per sport in 2019-20. That yr he posted the most effective VORP of his profession at 0.7.

After spending the 2020-21 season with the Golden State Warriors and registering about league-average superior stats he then signed a two-year, $24.6 million cope with the Hornets. In his first season in Charlotte he as soon as once more posted superior stats that hovered round league common.

What this implies for the Hornets

Oubre’s efficiency final season means the Hornets bought precisely what they paid for – a succesful, streaky participant who clearly contributes however doesn’t actually transfer the needle. In his first season in Charlotte he performed a key reserve position averaging 26.3 minutes and producing 15.0 factors on a ho-hum 44/35/67 capturing cut up (and the 67% free throw capturing is a matter), however that’s what the Hornets anticipated to get once they signed him.

Kelly might be the streakiest shooter on the Hornets roster. At his finest he can rating 39 factors on 10-of-15 3-point capturing like he did in opposition to the Pacers. Different nights he might virtually shoot the Hornets out of the sport like he did together with his 1-of-10 3-point capturing in opposition to the Pistons.

Whereas he’s a succesful although considerably inefficient scorer, the superior stats actually didn’t like Oubre’s protection final yr. His Defensive Box Plus/Minus of -1.6 was the worst among the many Hornets common gamers. ESPN calculates a separate defensive metric referred to as Defensive Actual Plus/Minus and his rating of -3.22 left loads to be desired.

When the Hornets signed Kelly Oubre Jr. to a two-year deal there was a normal understanding he could be a stopgap participant who may also help the staff win now however he most likely isn’t a part of the long-term plan. He’s a superb insurance coverage coverage within the (seemingly) occasion Gordon Hayward misses time and he gives priceless scoring off the bench. He’ll seemingly reprise the identical position this yr as he had final yr.

One other consideration is with only one yr left on his contract and a wage of $12.6 million, he is also utilized in a commerce to assist match salaries for a big-money star like Donovan Mitchell and his $30 million wage.

The Hornets don’t have a lot scoring off the bench so Kelly Oubre Jr. will proceed to have a well-defined position in 2022-23. If he can rating just a bit extra effectively and enhance his protection only a bit, Oubre may also help push the Hornets into the playoffs.


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