After a rookie season in which Kelly Oubre proved he was more than capable of being a contributor but didn’t always get the chance, the super-confident forward will get a do-over.
The NBA announced that Las Vegas Summer League, which the Wizards will be one of 24 teams competing at Cox Pavilion and Thomas and Mack Center, is from July 8-18.
Oubre will be the best player on the team again and hopes to convince the Wizards that he’s ready to take on a bigger role under Scott Brooks. Oubre appeared in 63 games, averaging 3.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and shooting 42.7%.
According to majority owner Ted Leonsis, during exit interviews every player on the roster suggested Oubre should’ve played more under Randy Wittman who was fired after a 41-41 season and had a tendency to chew out younger players.
Throughout training camp last season, Oubre stood out. Even in his first summer league action, though he didn’t shoot well, he was head and shoulders above everyone he played against with his wiry 6-7 frame, 7-2 wingspan and athleticism.
Whether or not Oubre can beat out Otto Porter for the starting job at small forward, pending their offseason activity with 9-10 roster spots opening come July 1, is another matter but it appears to be a possibility.
The Wizards will hold mini-camp during the week leading up to summer league play and after that’s done reconvene for training camp in September. In between, Oubre likely will work out on his own and possibly get to D.C. early to get acclimated with Brooks.
Oubre’s best stretch of basketball came during a two-week run in December when Porter was dealing with injuries, making two three-pointers in six consecutive games. He was 12 of 21 overall from long range, or 57%.
Of all the parts of Oubre’s game that was expected to take time to develop after one year of college, it was his three-point shot but the lefty’s form was smooth from the longer range. He was better at catch-and-shoot than Porter who is clearly more comfortable as a mid-range shooter.
The Wizards traded up from 19th to get Oubre, who was taken 15th by the Atlanta Hawks last year, and shipped their second-round pick this year to make the deal happen.
Oubre is expected to be joined by 2015 second-round pick Aaron White at summer league and free agent center Jaleel Roberts who played for the Wizards last year, too.
The schedule has yet to be determined by the league. Each team, including a D-League select squad, will play at least five games in the tournament-style format.