This isn’t the ending that Kelly Oubre was hoping for as he set his sights on winning the Las Vegas summer league tournament. It ended in the quarterfinals with an 88-85 loss to the Chicago Bulls and a 3-2 record for the Wizards, who performed much better than they had in his rookie season.
Summer league, however, isn’t about wins or statistics. The Sacramento Kings won it all here a few years ago. Exactly what did that translate into when the games actually counted? Nothing. So it’s important to not get caught up in that minutiae.
Most of the players who competed in Las Vegas won’t be on NBA rosters for the 2016-17 season. Most will land in the D-League or overseas. A lot of those who do make it, not counting the high first-round picks who'll get their chances quicker because of their draft status if nothing else, will be buried at the end of benches hoping for a chance to prove themselves.
The Wizards have 2-3 roster spots in play going into training camp which will begin in late September. From now until then, there will be a lot of down time – and likely another move by the front office – to get everything in order.
Kelly Oubre: The ending wasn’t as good as the first four games, but Oubre played hard throughout. Even when his shot wasn’t falling he did all of the other small things to keep the Wizards alive. There were times in the early going when Oubre was off the floor that there was no offensive flow. But he was the linchpin on both ends of the court. Oubre got away from attacking the rim vs the Bulls and settled for a lot of long jumpers but overall he's likely solidified himself as a rotation player under new coach Scott Brooks.
Aaron White: The forward was hit or miss, especially on the offensive end, and wasn’t always able to hit the three-point shot – his primary objective as stretch four. It’s not clear if he’ll even attend camp at this point, but he appears to be a long shot to beat out the competition. If he's on the floor with better players, he's expected to play better as he's a classic role player.
Jarell Eddie: Though he agreed to push the guarantee date on his contract to the start of the regular season, the 6-7 shooter is a lock to make the roster. He did this as a favor to the organization to give them more salary cap flexibility to make other moves but he’ll get his $980,000. Guaranteed.
Micheal Eric: After starting the first three games, he took a lesser role to give Kaleb Tarczewski more burn. Eric was the Wizards’ best big on both ends as he was a rim protector and good finisher. He doesn’t need the ball to be effective. The Wizards have offered him an invite for training camp but he hasn’t accepted. He’s mulling his options.
Nate Wolters: He missed the first game because he wasn’t with the Wizards in mini-camp and another game because of a sore ankle. Wolters started the last two games and showed extremely well. He created for others by keeping his dribble alive, getting to the rim and even finishing through contact. The Wizards, however, have three point guards under contract entering camp and it’s “unlikely,” CSNmidatlantic.com was told Saturday, that he’d attend camp. It would make better sense for Wolters to go where he can find a roster spot.
Danuel House: The 6-7 guard/forward played his way into a training camp invite and earned a small guarantee in the process. Even when House’s three-point shot isn’t falling, he can put the ball on the floor, drive to the basket and finish. He gets to the foul line. He runs the break. His passing needs improvement but he has an NBA body and the skill set that suggests he’s ready. Very good chance he makes the cut.
Daniel Ochefu: The undrafted center received $75,000 to attend training camp but there’s no guarantee he has a roster spot. Though he’s younger than Eric and in theory has a higher ceiling, he’s not better than him now. Ochefu is raw and limited offensively though defense is the strength of his game. Given where the Wizards stand with bigs under contract, it’s difficult to see how he makes the regular season roster. He played sparingly compared to his counterparts.
Sheldon McClellan: Despite his guaranteed money to attend training camp, exactly where he stands isn’t clear. The Wizards are high on him even though he had marginal impact during summer league. He played well with House on the second unit. McClellan’s shooting touch is still a question but he has the tools to make him a possibility though House appears to have nudged ahead of him.
Shawn Dawson: The 6-6 guard played 10-15 minutes off the bench, and briefly showed promise. Dawson has been offered a spot in training camp but hasn’t accepted it yet. He’s determined to make the cut even if it means sitting on the bench. He makes his living driving to the basket. His jump shot and the range on it never was on display. The assumption is he’s not there yet and he needs more seasoning.
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