October 20, 2019

Washington Wizards 2015 NBA Draft Recap: Kelly Oubre to DC in Surprise Trade

The Washington Wizards went into the 2015 NBA Draft holding the 19th and 49th overall picks looking to draft the best players available according to General Manager Ernie Grunfeld. In a sudden change of events, the Wizards acquired Kelly Oubre Jr. out of Kansas, originally drafted by the Atlanta Hawks at the 15th overall pick. Washington will lose the 19th overall pick as well as two future second round picks in 2016 and 2019.

The night started with the fireworks of the highly anticipated lottery picks, in which Karl Anthony Towns went to the Minnesota Timberwolves, DeAngelo Russell to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Jahlil Okafor to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Although the Wizards selected Jerian Grant out of Notre Dame, and formerly of DeMatha here in the DMV, at their original 19th overall pick, he will be sent to the New York Knicks on behalf of the Atlanta Hawks who will receive former Michigan standout Tim Hardaway. These trades were officially announced by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver prior to the announcement of the 24th overall pick.

Kelly Oubre did NOT come into a pre-draft workout with the Wizards because the front office did not expect the exciting freshmen to fall out of the lottery picks (1-14). The 6-foot-7 200 pound 19 year old can play shooting guard and small forward. With a whopping 7-2 wingspan, Oubre could be developed into a power forward after bulking up in the upcoming years.

This length to go along with superb athleticism will let him be an impressive two way player that can excel in transition with John Wall, like we have already seen out of Otto Porter. According to J. Michael of CSN Washington, a Wizard decision maker said athleticism was too much to pass up when he was available at #15. Oubre turned into a lock down defender as his season progressed. If you extend the former Jayhawks game to 40 minutes, he snags nearly 10 rebounds and force north of two steals.

The offense is not settled, but a work in progress. However, Oubre is improving on all facets of his offensive game already and will continue to do so as a Wizard. Oubre was a 35.8 percent shooter from behind the arc on a bit of a limited sample size (34 of 95). Advance stats tell us that he is a 41 percent shooter on jump shots inside the arc. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Grunfeld loves Oubre’s upside and ability to run the floor all stemming from his athleticism.

In his post-draft interview with ESPN, Oubre had the confident statement that “whoever gets me is getting a jewel”. The one and done player went on to make a promise that will certainly make him a fan favorite, “I’m ready to win a championship. And whatever team gets me, we’re winning a championship”. The former Jayhawk could take over for a Hall of Famer, also a former Jayhawk, in Paul Pierce who was loved in DC. Oubre is confident that the city will definitely love him as he spoke to CSN Washington’s Chris Miller.

I would not start jumping ship on the bleak possibility that Paul Pierce does not return to DC. He has been reported to decline his player option with the Wizards and is being lured to return to his hometown in LA and a reunion with his former head coach Doc Rivers. Pierce’s former team in the Boston Celtics were also rumored to trying to make a play in retrieving The Truth back to the team he was the 2008 NBA championship with. In the post-first round selection meeting with reporters, Randy Wittman said he expects Pierce to opt-in contrary to reports.

Oubre will likely not start over Otto Porter but can provide a lift to a Wizards bench that at times lacked impact last year. Do not expect too much next year, but if he can hit the occasional three, produce in transition, and become a shutdown defender, he will be worth the two second round draft picks the Wizards gave up.  Oubre will most likely take part in Wizards mini-camp as well as take part in the Las Vegas summer league in July, former Wizards Glenn Rice Jr. was last years summer league MVP. Additionally, the wing will be working out with Bradley Beal and Andrew Wiggins this summer.

For what its worth, Bobby Portis who was linked by many to the Wizards at #19 was selected by the Chicago Bulls at the 22nd overall pick. With the slipping of both sharp shooter RJ Hunter out of Georgia State and Kevon Looney from UCLA, both who came in for pre-draft workouts the Wizards might have been looking to move up. However, Hunter and Looney went 28th and 30th overall to the Celtics and Warriors, respectively.

In the second round with the 49th overall pick, the Wizards selected Aaron White a 6-9 228 pound stretch four out of Iowa. White did come in for a pre-draft workout with the Wizards and is said to be one of the four best players Washington saw out of their 36 invitees according to J. Michael. White was a poor three point shooter for much of his first three years in school but upped his average to 35.6 percent on 21 of 59 shooting from beyond the arc. Like Oubre, White has a prowess on the glass as he could average more than nine rebounds during a fourty minute span. Throughout the playoffs, Wittman preached about the important of winning the rebounding battle, which can explain why they had both Oubre and White ranked so highly. According to GM Grunfeld, it will be up to White to decide whether he wants to play oversees, possibly after taking part in summer league action; however, J. Michael is reporting that the big man will “definitely” be oversees. That strategy did not work out for recent Wizards second round pick Tomas Satoransky who signed a two year deal with FC Barcelona in Spain last summer.

Although the Wizards only made these two selection, they will be bringing in local favorite and former Terp Dez Wells and Roddy Beaubois, a well traveled former first round pick of the Thunder in 2009 to play on their summer league team. Wells went undrafted as most might have expected but as I have already discussed in my draft preview, he has a unique skill set that can turn him into a productive asset. Wells is clearly ready to take advantage of his opportunity. If the Maryland slasher impresses during mini-camp, summer league, and/or training camp, it is likely you can secure a spot on the 15 man roster, which J. Michael is reporting already secured.

For Beaubois, he has already had one go around in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks after playing three years of ball in the French League with Cholet Basket. While the French native showed signs of being a serviceable backup point guard in the NBA, a broken hand in 2013 ended his first stint in the NBA. Beaubois went on to play in the Belgian League and is currently back in the French League as a part of Le Mans Sarthe Basket.

To read about an evaluation of the Wizards draft night selections and acquisitions check back to DistrictSportsPage to see the front office’s report card.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

Trackbacks

  1. […] center; nonetheless however, measures were taken to improve this team now and in the future. For a full recap and evaluation of the Wizards activities see my in-depth post from last […]

  2. […] moments after his team’s season ended in a post game presser and also on draft night after selecting Kelly Oubre. It is clear that the former Kansas star, Pierce not Oubre who also went to Kansas, was […]

  3. […] Jared Dudley. The Wizards have already parted ways with their 2016 and 2019 second round picks in a draft day trade to acquire Kelly Oubre Jr. It is possible Grunfeld did not want to be outdone by his Capitals counterpart who made an […]

%d bloggers like this: