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."
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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.
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