5 free agents the Pacers should poach from Eastern Conference rivals

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers
Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana pacers (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) /

Kelly Oubre Jr.

Kelly Oubre Jr. has to be one of the most underrated 20-PPG scorers ever. Famously known as “Tsunami Papi” by his fans, Oubre Jr. went way under the radar this season with a sublime 20.3 points per contest.

He also underwent surgery on his left hand in January. Combine his early end to the season with the small market Hornets team he plays for, and the southpaw’s lack of mainstream attention makes sense.

Unlike Kyle Kuzma and Cam Johnson, Oubre Jr. would likely cost no more than $15 million a year. Given his mid-season surgery, his annual price would probably hover around $12 million.

Oubre Jr.’s impact can stretch beyond his underrated scoring. In his early Washington days, the small forward played pesky defense on a nightly basis. As his offensive responsibility has increased in Charlotte, his defense has become less consistent. On a more offensively complete Indiana team, Oubre Jr.’s role would allow him to expend more defensive energy.

The former Kansas product possesses the build and physicality to get it done on both ends, which is exactly what the Pacers need at the small forward spot.