Kelly Oubre Jr To Replace PJ Tucker in Starting Lineup For The Short Term
Trading James Harden didn’t have much impact on the current Sixers rotation, because he was not playing. But one of the guys thrown into the deal, PJ Tucker, left a spot open in the starting lineup. Replacing Tucker’s production is not that difficult, because he was not scoring much. But someone needs to step in and play the minutes he was playing, and it looks like we have an answer, at least for now, from Nick Nurse. Kelly Oubre Jr will get the first shot replacing Tucker in the starting lineup.
Tucker and Oubre are very different players. As we mentioned, Tucker brought very little on-court production. But what he did add was toughness and defense. Oubre does not bring all that much in terms of defense. Instead, he adds a lot as a scorer. Oubre is averaging 19 points over the first 3 games and is coming off a season where he scored 20 per game.
As Paul Hudrick mentioned though, that does not seem like the ideal long-term fit. Kelly Oubre has been the lone source of offense off the bench. Adding him to the starting lineup, and replacing Tucker, may help improve the offense when the starters are on the court. But it makes the bench offense a bit weaker. And with Embiid, Harris, and Maxey, you may want someone more defensive-focused with the starters, and save Oubre to bring some scoring off the bench.
The new guys, like Robert Covington, Nic Batum, Marcus Morris, and KJ Martin may take a few games to get acclimated into the Sixers system. One of them could maybe eventually start, putting Oubre back on the bench. Or the 5th starter could come when they eventually flip the picks they got back for Harden, as many assume they will do. But for now, it will be Kelly Oubre getting the first shot at starting alongside Embiid, Maxey, Harris, and Melton.
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