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Kelly Oubre, Jr. plans to workout with Wizards star Bradley Beal this summer, hopes to do same with John Wall

Kelly Oubre, Jr. plans to workout with Wizards star Bradley Beal this summer, hopes to do same with John Wall

Once Kelly Oubre, Jr. heals from the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment he was prescribed for his right knee following the Wizards' second round playoff exit, he will return to the basketball court to prepare for the 2017-18 season, his third in the NBA. Not one to take vacations, Oubre is anxious to get started with a long to-do list this summer that may include some guitar practice, but definitely a lot of hoops.

Oubre, in fact, plans to follow in the footsteps of one of his teammates, another former first round pick who this past year enjoyed a breakout season. That would be Bradley Beal, who as a five-year NBA veteran is three years ahead of Oubre in his career.

Oubre said he will work out with Beal this summer under the tutelage of trainer Drew Hanlen.

"He's definitely a role model, somebody you can look up to and take bits and pieces from," Oubre said of Beal. "How he moves, how he handles himself; he faces a lot of adversity and people don't see that, even though he's one of the best on the team. He handles it really well. You just gotta respect him."

[RELATED: Areas for Wizards to address after 49-33 season]

Oubre's relationship with Beal this summer will go beyond working out with him. He said he will study film of the Wizards' guard.

"Seeing how his game transformed this year, it's something that is incredible. He showed a lot of people that he's one of the top scorers in the NBA. He's an All-Star caliber player. I'm going to be fortunate enough to work out with him," Oubre said. "I want to work out with [Beal], but John [Wall], too. His handles are crazy. He's got the best handles in the league. So, definitely get in the gym with everybody, man. Just trying to get better."

Oubre, 21, played in 79 games for the Wizards this season with averages of 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds. His shooting percentages dipped slightly from his rookie year, but Oubre emerged as a more trusted option for head coach Scott Brooks than he was under Randy Wittman in the 2015-16 season. Oubre's minutes essentially doubled from 10.7 per game as a rookie to 20.3 as a sophomore.

Defense was a big reason why Oubre played his way into Brooks' rotation. His 7-foot-2 wingspan and quickness allowed him to at times wreak havoc on other teams. At his best, he could competently switch on defense from point guards to power forwards.

This summer, Oubre has a good idea on what he will work on specifically.

"I just want to work on my ballhandling, coming off pick-and-rolls and being able to create shots for others. I need to create my own shots," Oubre said.

The potential is there. Offensively, Oubre remains raw but Beal is certainly a strong example to follow.

[RELATED: Bogdanovic has specific goals for free agency this summer]

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Wizards pick up Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s contract option with bright future ahead


Wizards pick up Kelly Oubre, Jr.'s contract option with bright future ahead

The play of Kelly Oubre, Jr. over the past calendar year had made the Wizards picking up his contract option an increasingly easy decision. On Saturday, they opted to keep him for the fourth year of his rookie contract, the 2018-19 season, and did so with a week to spare before the deadline.

Oubre, 21, has emerged as a key contributor for a Wizards team with expectations of a deep playoff run. He is still finding his trule role in the NBA, but with his youth and potential, and the fact he's still on a rookie deal, Oubre has a unique place on their roster.

John Wall and Bradley Beal have already emerged as stars. Otto Porter still has room to get much better, but has already arrived and earned a max contract. Oubre, though already established in their rotation, has plenty of room to grow.

Oubre, the 15th overall pick in 2015, doubled his minutes last season to 20.3 per game under head coach Scott Brooks with averages of 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game. He earned Brooks' trust mainly on the defensive end with his versatility and high motor.

Consistency is where Oubre needs to improve, but through two games this season he appears to have taken another step. Oubre added two inches to his vertical leap over the summer despite rehabbing from platelet-rich plasma treatment on his right knee. He also gained some muscle, allowing him to make strides as a rebounder. Oubre has 15 rebounds through two games and said it's specific focus of his.


The Wizards are a good enough offensive team currently to where Oubre can focus on defense and rebounding. But his growing confidence on offense has been evident so far this year and especially in the preseason. He has worked on dribbling with his right hand and the result is more aggression attacking the rim. Though still not a polished product, Oubre is taking small steps to emerge as a more dangerous scoring threat.

The Wizards will have another decision to make on Oubre this time next year. One day before the 2018-19 regular season begins, they will have to choose whether to hand Oubre a rookie scale contract extension. They weren't able to beat that deadline with Porter and the next summer he received a $106.5 million max deal after hitting the market as a restricted free agent. 

Oubre at this very moment wouldn't command that type of money in free agency, but the same was said about Porter at this point in his career. Porter was able to improve significantly in his fourth season.

Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis said this summer that he would love to have Oubre force the issue with his performance on the court.

"He's going to come back and work really, really hard and challenge us to pay him a lot of money, too, which I'm glad to do," Leonsis said. 

It's early in the season, but Oubre may be on his way towards making the Wizards ponder his long-term future.

The Washington Post first reported Oubre's contract option getting picked up.



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John Wall doesn't hold LaVar Ball's talking against Lonzo, but knows 'he'll be targeted'

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John Wall doesn't hold LaVar Ball's talking against Lonzo, but knows 'he'll be targeted'

Clippers guard Patrick Beverley made a point to embarrass Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball in the latter's NBA debut. After dominating him on the court, Beverley said he had to "set the tone." 

On Wednesday, Wizards point guard John Wall will get a crack at Ball when Washington plays the Lakers at the Staples Center. Wall knows why Beverley went after Ball like that, but says he doesn't blame Ball himself.

"I think his dad put him in a situation where guys are going to target him," Wall said on the Wizards Tipoff podcast, referencing LaVar Ball. "Lonzo is one of those kids that is very talented. He's been a good player for years, he just don't say much. I think his dad does all the talking for him."

Ball, 19, was the second overall pick in this June's NBA Draft. He had just three points on 1-of-6 shooting against the Clippers on Wednesday, but bounced back for 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists against the Suns on Friday. 

Wall thinks Ball will be fine as long as he can keep up his production on the court to back up his dad's trash-talking.

"He's a great kid from what I've seen on the outside looking in," Wall said. "A lot of people in this league are going to take it personally. It's not the son's fault. He went back and had a better game [vs. the Suns]. That's all he's gotta do is go out there and play. He's not gonna do any talking anyways. If he gets killed or don't get killed or kills somebody, he's not going to be the guy talking."

Wall is as competitive as they come and will give Ball a tough challenge on Wednesday night, but it doesn't sound like he plans to pull a Beverley and overtly embarrass him.

Listen to Wall's full 1-on-1 interview on the Wizards Tipoff podcast: