This is merely a formality for the Wizards and Kelly Oubre, but team has already decided to pick up third-year option on the 6-7 forward, league sources tell CSNmidatlantic.com, after he had a standout performance at Las Vegas summer league. They have until the end of October to make it official.
The first two years for a first-round pick are fully guaranteed. The last two years are team options.
Oubre, who they traded up to acquire in the first round in 2015, had a limited role as a rookie but most of that was attributed to then-coach Randy Wittman’s reluctance to trust younger players. The No. 15 pick will earn $2 million this season and $2.1 million for 2017-18.
Under new coach Scott Brooks, the 20-year-old is expected to flourish. While Otto Porter is expected to be the starting small forward, Oubre will push the incumbent for that honor, too.
During exit interviews after a 41-41 season that ended outside of the playoffs, majority owner Ted Leonsis sat in and said that every player told him Oubre should’ve played more.
He was more assertive at summer league as the Wizards advanced in tournament play. Oubre was named to 2nd-team All-Summer League with averages of 19.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.
Oubre’s three-point shooting fell off to 25%, similar to how he was inaccurate a year ago from deep in summer league, but he’s a solid catch-and-shoot option from long range. When Porter was hurt last season and Oubre started, he went 12-for-22 from deep during one stretch.
*Hayes is considered the best center prospect in this year's class. He is athletic, plays with energy and measured in at the combine at about 7-feet in shoes with a 7-foot-4 wingspan. He can run the floor and play above the rim.
*The skill that stands out most for Hayes is rim protection. He averaged 2.2 blocks in only 23.3 minutes per game. That extrapulates to 5.7 blocks over 100 possessions. He has long arms and appears to have good instincts tracking the ball in the lane. He is following in the footsteps of fellow Texas shot-blockers before him like Myles Turner and Jarrett Allen. The latter may be the best player comparison for Hayes in today's NBA.
*Hayes is not considered a very good rebounder. He averaged 5.0 per game and only once reached double figures. It could be that he just needs to add some weight, an issue that is correctable but would hurt him even more at the NBA level initially. The worst-case concern is that he is soft and won't do the necessary dirty work.
*At this point, Hayes offers nothing in the way of an outside shot. He didn't attempt a single three-pointer in college and didn't do much on offense outside of dunks and putbacks. In order to justify being taken with a high draft pick, he will either need to develop a post game, an outside shot or be extremely good on defense. His lack of an all-round game will certainly give some teams pause in evaluating him.
*Hayes comes from a family of impressive athletes. His father played 12 seasons in the NFL and recently served as the tight ends coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. His mother played basketball at Drake University and later coached in college, including a stint as an assistant at Oklahoma. Hayes followed his father's footsteps by playing wide receiver in high school before a growth spurt made it clear basketball was the path to go.
Fit with Wizards: Hayes is one of the best fits for the Wizards among the players who could be available with the ninth pick. He does what they arguably lack the most, which is play defense and more specifically protect the rim.
The Wizards allowed the most field goals within five feet of any team this past season and the third-highest field goal percentage in that range. They desperately need someone who can block and alter shots.
Hayes would likely be the Wizards' best shot-blocker Day 1. But whether he can help them in other ways is a question at this point.
Hayes would represent a bit of a project for the Wizards and may not have All-Star potential because of his offensive limitations. Still, he remains one of their best options in the first round. Long-term, he could transform their defense and form a strong pick-and-roll partner for John Wall.
*Little came to UNC as their top-ranked recruit and the sixth-ranked player in his class, but didn't live up to those expectations in his one year in Chapel Hill. There is a debate about whether he will be better suited for the NBA, given his athleticism and playing style. The team who drafts him could come away with a steal if the latter proves true.
*He is more known for his defense at this point. Little is an aggressive and physical perimeter defender who could develop into a Marcus Smart-like pest. Though he didn't force a ton of turnovers in college, Little clearly gave opposing teams problems with his energy and length.
*There are questions about whether Little will ever be more than a dunker on the offensive end. He is excellent in transition and cutting to the rim, but he didn't do much creating off the dribble in college and needs to work on his outside shooting. He shot just 26.9 percent from three at UNC.
*Little had a strong combine with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and a 38.5-inch vertical leap. Those numbers helped his reputation as one of the most athletic wings in this year's class.
*Both of Little's parents were in the U.S. military. He had a 4.2 GPA in high school and was named Academic All-ACC.
Fit with Wizards: Little fits with the Wizards given he is a small forward and they currently have an opening there. He would also give them something they need in terms of style as a physical wing defender. Little is the type of player who could help them improve their horrid three-point defense.
But Little's raw skillset suggests he may take some time to develop offensively and it brings into question how high his ceiling will ultimately prove to be. The Wizards may be able to find someone with the ninth pick who can both contribute sooner than Little and offer a clearer road to potential stardom.
That said, if Little's game is indeed more designed for the NBA than in college, he could impress in pre-draft workouts and end up rising up the board.