Eastern Notes: Oubre, Watson, Sloan, Johnson

Kelly Oubre is off to a rough start in his first preseason action, but despite their status as an upper-tier Eastern Conference team, the Wizards view this year’s No. 15 overall pick as a long-term project, writes Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post.

“He’s a young kid, a rookie, first time out, and he’s learning,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. “And I love his attitude. He hasn’t put his head down. He hasn’t, I’m sure, got off to the start that he would want to get off, in terms of numbers and how he’s playing. But he’s out there fighting. He hasn’t put his head down or anything like that so that’s a good thing. And he’s in here every day. He’ll be in here tomorrow ready to get better.”

See more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Magic had tried multiple times years ago to try to acquire C.J. Watson, and while new coach Scott Skiles wasn’t around for those attempts, recommendations from two of his assistants have him excited about the backup point guard who signed with Orlando this summer, as John Denton of Magic.com chronicles. “We just felt like his ability to shoot the three and play behind Elfrid [Payton] would be good for us because he’s always been a solid, heady player,’’ Skiles said. “A couple of our coaches – Adrian Griffin has had him before and Mario Elie has been around him and they swore by the kind of person that he was. We were able to go and get him and we’re glad to have him.’’
  • Judging by their relative performances and playing time so far, Donald Sloan appears to have the edge on Ryan Boatright for the third point guard job on the Nets, observes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. Sloan’s partial guarantee is $50K and Boatright’s is $75K.
  • Four of the five rookies among those Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders singles out as the most impressive so far in the preseason hail from the Eastern Conference, including Stanley Johnson of the Pistons, who leads all rookies in preseason scoring even though he was a surprise pick at No. 8 overall.
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