Wizards forward Kelly Oubre, Jr. doesn't need to look far to find a blueprint for success this season, the final year of his rookie scale contract. Both Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, Jr. were in the exact same situation, and while they were teammates with Oubre. Each of them knocked the test of a contract year out of the park.
Both Beal and Porter earned max deals from the Wizards after breakout seasons in contract years. Oubre, of course, would like to make a lot of money for himself. When asked to share advice for Oubre, Beal and Porter spoke their piece in different ways, but the message ultimately was much the same.
Beal spoke in-depth and with his trademark even-keel approach. Porter was characteristically brief.
"Don't worry about it. It will take care of itself," Beal told NBC Sports Washington. "I'm not gonna sit here and say that it's easy to do because it's your brand, it's your life, it's your money... but I always say that with your money you are going to get rewarded and taken care of at the end of the day."
"Just continue to work hard and everything else will take care of itself," Porter said.
Beal sees some similarities in Oubre and Porter and not just because they play the same position as small forwards. Oubre, like Porter in the 2016-17 season, has to operate in a secondary role. Beal was a central focus of the offense in 2015-16, his contract year.
"It will be tough to do because you've gotta think [Oubre] is coming off the bench," Beal explained.
"I always use Otto as an example. Otto did everything he was supposed to do, everything coach asked him to, everything the organization asked him to and he got rewarded for it. It's plain and simple. His game is simple, honestly. I feel like Kelly can be the exact same way... It's just a matter of him staying level-headed and just not worrying about it too much."
If Oubre has any questions, Beal seems like the guy to go to. It's clear in talking about Oubre that Beal genuinely cares for him and his future.
Beal also cares for the future of the Wizards and would like Oubre to remain in Washington.
"Kelly is super-athletic. The sky is the ultimate limit for him," Beal said. "He is somebody who has star potential, somebody who we are crazy to think that other teams aren't going to try to go after him. We've gotta realize that."
Beal said he will do his part to help Oubre, if the fourth-year forward needs it. Having been there before, he feels like he can be a resource.
"He's like my little brother, so as much as I can I will try to keep him level-headed and try to not keep him focused on it. It's definitely easier said than done," Beal said.
Technically, Oubre could sign a new deal with the Wizards before the Oct. 15 deadline for rookie scale contract extensions, but those types of deals are relatively rare. Only a handful of players sign them each year. And for the Wizards, their salary situation beyond this season is bloated with $116.4 million committed to six players. That includes the raise John Wall will receive in the first year of his max contract extension.
Oubre also may be better served by waiting it out. Beal and Porter bet on themselves and won out. As long as Oubre can stay healthy and continue to develop this season, he should follow suit.
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