Lakers Nation Draft Prospect Watch: Kelly Oubre

Lakers Nation Draft Prospect Watch: Kelly Oubre

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Kelly Oubre Jr.
Position: Shooting Guard/Small Forward
School: University of Kansas
Height: 6’7″
Weight: 199
Wingspan: 7’2″
Current Prospect Rank: No. 9 (Chad Ford), No. 10 (DraftExpress), No. 21 (NBADraft.net)
Projected Draft Position: Top-15
Player Comparison: Gerald Green
Feature Game: Saturday, January 24 vs. Texas Longhorns

Strengths:

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Kelly Oubre Jr. is a lanky wing who has a high ceiling, thanks to his athleticism and scoring abilities. He’s an above average athlete who can finish in transition, drain jump shots, and play passing lanes for steals.

A streaky scorer, Oubre Jr. can put up points in a number of ways. He’s a good finisher around the rim thanks to his leaping ability, and can make contested mid-to-long range shots due to his quick release. In the two games in which Oubre Jr. has scored 20 or more points for Kansas this season, he’s shot 17-27 from the field and 8-14 from three.

Oubre Jr. has the length and athleticism to be able to stay in front of multiple positions to stop entry to the paint. He also has the ability to jump passing lanes and turn steals into quick points. Oubre Jr. hasn’t put up great numbers in 18 games with the Jayhawks, but has turned it up recently, averaging over 14 points and six rebounds over the Jayhawks’ last four games.

Weaknesses:

Still developing the mental aspect of the game, Oubre Jr. will have to show consistency and progression to be thought of as an elite wingman. He must learn to finish with his off hand, create in the half-court on offense, stay in the game mentally and add a few more pounds to reach his potential.

Oubre Jr. isn’t an elite ball handler, which makes it difficult for him to get his shots. His technique fluctuates sometimes and he has an awkward release to his jumper as well.

Oubre Jr. needs to be able to finish with both hands if he’s going want to be known as a great finisher. Although he can jump out of the building for dunks, putbacks and blocks, Oubre Jr. has had trouble with being able to finish with his right hand.

While Oubre Jr. has the physical tools to be a good defender, he has to keep his head in the game. There are times where he’s caught watching when defending off the ball and loses focus. He has also had problems with rebounding. Oubre Jr. needs to be able to box out and hustle for loose balls on a more consistent basis to help with his rebounding numbers.

Fit With Lakers:

With talks of an early retirement for Kobe Bryant looming over the the Los Angeles Lakers, the realization that they will need to fill the small forward and shooting guard positions with players who will be effective on both ends of the floor has already set in.

The issue with Oubre Jr. and many young athletes is consistency. He’s highly touted for his athleticism and scoring ability, but Oubre Jr. will need to be able to string everything together and stay focused. He has the athleticism and scoring ability to make some great plays, but will need to round out his game to be thought of as a potential cornerstone.

The Lakers’ need help on the wing as Wesley Johnson isn’t the greatest small forward and Kobe will only be around for another year. Oubre would greatly benefit from witnessing the work ethic of someone like Kobe.

The Jayhawks will travel to Austin, Texas to take on the 17th ranked Longhorns. Oubre will share the floor with fellow elite prospect Myles Turner and scouts will surely be watching closely.

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