Kelly Oubre came to KU a five-star prospect out of Findlay Prep in Nevada, and was thought all along to be a strong candidate for a one-and-done season in college. Oubre was rated #11 in ESPN's Top 100, and #12 by Rivals coming out of high school, choosing KU over Kentucky and Florida.
Let's take a closer look at Oubre and see where he might be headed.
(Per DraftExpress.com, from the 2015 NBA Combine)
|Height w/ shoes||6'6 3/4"|
Stats (Per Sports-Reference.com)
Physical tools - The consensus among scouts is that Oubre has "protypical" tools and size for a wing in the NBA. He may not be the freakish athlete that Andrew Wiggins was, but he is one of the top athletes in this draft and is described as "an extremely smooth and fluid player."
Defense - He made huge strides in his defensive game while at KU and is expected to be able to contribute immediately in the NBA on the defensive end of the floor due to his length and quick reflexes. Oubre has the potential to be a terrific stopper on the wing.
Rebounding - He is an excellent and aggressive rebounder considering his position. Oubre is able to use his physical tools to get in good position for rebounds, and even take opponents by surprise while doings so.
Offense - It may be a bit of a stretch to call Kelly's offensive game a weakness, considering that his most NBA-ready quality may be his jump shot. A knock on his offense is that he's still too streaky due to shot selection issues, and that when rushed he tends to change release point which causes his shot to come out flat. His ball-handling skills are described as "rudimentary" due to the primary use of his strong left hand and his reluctance to finish right-handed.
Focus - Most scouts seem to take the time to mention that Oubre would have apparent lapses on defense that would see him pick up questionable fouls, and that in order for him to maximize his potential at the NBA level Oubre will have to stay "keyed in" and "put his mind to it." Scouts agree that his potential is extremely high and that if he can be consistent with his approach to the game he can reach that potential.
Oubre came to KU and heads off to the NBA with the "extremely high potential" tag placed on him despite never becoming the go-to guy for the Jayhawks. Early on during last season, Oubre struggled to even find playing time with the Jayhawks. However, according to all reports, he responded well to the challenge of being coached by the demanding Bill Self, and by the time conference play rolled around, he was in the starting lineup for the Jayhawks. As such, he's not necessarily considered "NBA-ready" but should still be able to contribute to a team in his first year in the league, which is why it is possible to see him go as a Lottery pick.
As of 6/20/15, here are the various predictions for Kelly Oubre in the 2015 draft:
|Bleacher Report||#14||Oklahoma City|
There are too many possibilities of how Draft night could actually unfold to know for sure where Oubre will go. That said, the official RCT prediction for Kelly Oubre, Jr. will be just outside the Lottery, at #15 to the Atlanta Hawks.
The draft is on Thursday evening, June 25, at 6 PM Jayhawk time.