Kelly Oubre

Southeast Notes: Oubre, Payne, Porter

The Wizards have benefited from third-year swingman Kelly Oubre‘s energy so far this season and the 21-year-old is earning a more substantial role with the squad, Chris Gehring of the team’s official site writes.

On a team built around core trio John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, Oubre has managed to average 11.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and almost a block per game since sliding into the starting lineup. That spot in the first unit may not last but the impact Oubre’s had on the team could.

He has the ability, and at times last year it went up and down. But he hasn’t had those dips yet this year, though it’s early,” head coach Scott Brooks said. “He’s definitely improved with all of the hard work he put in.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • After going 15th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, Adreian Payne‘s NBA opportunities have come few and far between. Now a member of the Magic, the Michigan State product is excited to earn another shot. “I haven’t really gotten a chance to play the whole time I’ve been in the NBA,” Payne told Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. “Being able to spend some time down in the G League, to work on my game, to get better, to just be able to become a better person and a better player, on the court and off the court. I think it is going to help me grow, and then when I get called up and be able to play with the Magic team, I’ll be that Adreian that I was when I was in college.”
  • Don’t expect the Hornets to make a play for somebody like Eric Bledsoe, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes. A lateral move to add another point guard to the mix alongside Kemba Walker wouldn’t be worth what the Suns would presumably want for him.
  • The Wizards paid big bucks to bring Otto Porter back and, to this point, LeBron James believes he’s earned his $107MM contract. “He’s worked on his game extremely well and he’s earned the big paycheck that he got,” James told Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

NBA Fines Beal, Green, Oubre; Suspends Two Wizards Players

The NBA announced on Sunday that Wizards players Carrick Felix and Markieff Morris have each been suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench during Friday’s on-court confrontation between Warriors forward Draymond Green and guard Bradley Beal.

Felix and Morris will serve their suspensions the next game each player is active and physically able to play.

Green ($25,000) and Beal ($50,000) were issued hefty fines for their roles in the skirmish. Beal’s fine is higher than Green’s because he initiated the fight. Green was issued a fine for failing to disengage from Beal, the league noted in the press release.

Wizards’ forward Kelly Oubre Jr. was also fined $15,000 for aggressively entering the confrontation.

It was a tumultuous week for the Warriors as Stephen Curry was fined $50,000 on Monday for throwing his mouthpiece at a referee in the fourth quarter of Golden State’s 111-101 loss to the Grizzlies last Saturday. Andre Iguodala was also fined $15,000 for abusive language toward a referee during the sequence.

Wizards Pick Up Kelly Oubre’s 2018/19 Option

The Wizards have picked up the fourth-year option on Kelly Oubre‘s rookie contract, according to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post.

The fourth-year team option is worth $3.2MM and keeps Oubre locked up through the 2018/19 season.

Oubre, 21, was the team’s first-round pick in 2015 and has emerged as a vital piece of the Wizards puzzle. He is currently the starting power power forward, due to injuries to Markieff Morris and Jason Smith. In two games this year, he is averaging 9.0 PPG and 7.5 RPG.

The Wizards face a similar decision with power forward Chris McCullough, whose fourth-year option is worth about $2.2MM and must be picked up by October 31.

Southeast Notes: Schroder, Oubre Jr., Carter-Williams

It wasn’t long ago when Hawks guard Dennis Schroder was regarded as an up-and-coming star. Lately, however, the market has soured on the German export. In a fan mailbag column, Chris Mannix of The Vertical writes that there’s a toxicity surrounding the 24-year-old that has limited his trade value.

Given that newly appointed Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk has been dead set on clearing cap room and maintaining financial flexibility, it seems logical that he would be looking to unload the final four years of Schroder’s contract. In reality, however, it may not be so simple.

While the idea of finding a buyer for Schroder a season or two seemed incredibly easy, concerns around the league about the guard’s maturity – especially after a recent assault charge – have limited what the Hawks could get for him.

In that case, Mannix writes, unless the Hawks want to give the 17.9-point-per-game guard away for next to nothing, they’d be better off sticking with him and hoping that he matures into a player they’re comfortable building around.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Point guard Michael Carter-Williams will have to wait to make his debut with the Hornets. Although the guard was recently cleared for contact, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that he suffered a setback on Monday that will bump back his timeline.
  • If Kelly Oubre can play as he did in Washington’s season opener, he may well find a bigger role than the one he saw with the Wizards last season. As Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes, Oubre thrived when he subbed in for Jason Smith, making a strong case to earn more minutes in a small ball version of the team’s lineup.
  • The Hawks have named Michelle Leftwich their new vice president of salary cap administration, Marc Stein of the New York Times writes.  She’ll work alongside general manager Travis Schlenk.

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Wizards, Jordan

The Hornets struggled to keep leads when their starters – particularly Kemba Walker and Cody Zeller – were on the bench last season. The question ahead of 2017/18 then, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer asks, is whether or not that will change this season.

Gone are all of Walker’s and Zeller’s backups, a veritable laundry list of players from Ramon Sessions, Brian Roberts and Briante Weber to Spencer Hawes, Roy Hibbert and Miles Plumlee. In their place are Michael Carter-Williams and Dwight Howard, both of whom were attained by the Hornets at relative bargains over the summer.

Of course the addition of Carter-Williams will provide size and defense to the Hornets’ second unit but the real draw is Howard, not because of what he’ll add off the bench but because of what his addition to the starting lineup entails.

As we’ve already written, head coach Steve Clifford has already committed to starting Howard when the season begins, that means Zeller himself will be able to work directly with the Hornets’ second unit to help do for them what he did for the starting five in 2016/17.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Wizards will have a number of players to replace Markieff Morris with when the season tips off. The forward is currently expected to miss six to eight weeks with a sports hernia. “We have versatility and we have depth. We can go in many different directions. We can go small. We can throw Kelly Oubre]in there. We can throw Jason Smith in there. Mike Scott we can put in there. There’s a lot of players that we can throw into the mix,” head coach Scott Brooks told Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic.
  • Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan will soon have a stake in another professional sports franchise. Jordan is part of Derek Jeter‘s group that has been approved to buy the Miami Marlins, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer writes.
  • Only time will tell how Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer and new general manager Travis Schlenk mesh over the next few years but the dynamic between the two could be worth watching as the organization’s priorities shift from winning ball games to developing for the future. Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that Budenholzer will embrace the rebuild, whether that’s his preference or not.

Southeast Notes: Howard, Richardson, Oubre, Spoelstra

Dwight Howard will suit up for his fifth team in seven seasons as he prepares for a new start with the Hornets. The 31-year-old has been an effective player, when healthy, but has regressed from the player that was an MVP candidate in Orlando.

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer writes Howard views his opportunity with the Hornets as a chance to reestablish himself. Under the guidance of his former and current coach Steve Clifford, Howard feels he can prove doubters wrong and prove to himself he can still be a productive player.

“This opportunity for myself to really get back everything that I would say has been taken away. I’m not too much worried about the naysayers, the rankings and stuff, but just the hearts of the people,” Howard said. “I’m in a much better place mentally, physically and spiritually than I have been in a couple of years.

Despite the downward trend in recent years, Howard posted 13.5 PPG and 12.7 RPG while scoring from the floor at a 63% clip last season in Atlanta. Charlotte has a need for defense and that is one part of Howard’s game that remains a threat.

Read more news around the Southeast Division below:
  • In a separate column, Bonnell writes that the Hornets did not have much financial flexibility to acquire a premier backup point guard after acquiring Howard. That led to the signings of Michael Carter-Williams and Julyan Stone; one player who has not done much since winning Rookie of the Year and the other hasn’t played in the NBA since 2014.
  • In his latest Ask Ira column, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes that Josh Richardsons four-year, $42MM contract extension is a worthwhile investment for the Heat. While he may not consistently crack the starting lineup, Richardson will be a key part of the team’s core going forward, Winderman adds.
  • Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni shared the honors of the new Michael H. Goldberg NBCA Coach of the Year Award, NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner writes.
  • Chase Hughes of CSN Mid Atlantic writes that Kelly Oubre, after a productive sophomore season in Washington, will be one of the team’s most vital players. Hughes notes that Oubre is the “most athletic player and best wing defender” on the Wizards‘ bench and will need to be consistent in that role to help the team.

Eastern Notes: Stone, Oubre, Celtics, Bucks

Julyan Stone‘s agent is hopeful of freeing his client from a European contract so that the point guard can sign with the Hornets, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Charlotte has offered Stone a two-year deal to be its third point guard behind Kemba Walker and Michael Carter-Williams but he first must be released from the contract he signed with Reyer Venezia in the Italian pro league. Stone’s agent, Giovanni Funiciello, told Bonnell that he’s hopeful a compromise can be worked out this week so that Stone can remain in the U.S. and be close to his ailing father.

In other news around the Eastern Conference:

  • Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis hopes that small forward Kelly Oubre develops to the point where he has to pay the 2015 first-round pick “a lot of money,” Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes. Leonsis indicated that Oubre was slowed by a knee injury last season and that coach Scott Brooks believes Oubre “can be a difference maker.” The Wizards are expected to pick up Oubre’s fourth-year option for 2018/19 prior to the start of the upcoming season, setting up Oubre for a potential big payday in the summer of 2019.
  • All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas is very pleased with the Celtics’ offseason, highlighted by the free agent signing of forward Gordon Hayward, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com tweets“We added Gordon Hayward, which is an All-Star-caliber player that’s going to help us get to the next level — and that’s the championship,” Thomas told Forsberg.
  • Jordan Brady has been named the first head coach of the Bucks’ G League team, the Wisconsin Herd, the Herd announced in a press release. Brady, 34, served as an assistant coach last season for the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s affiliate. He has also been an assistant coach with three other G League organizations.

Wizards Notes: Oubre Jr., Frontcourt, Draft

Second-year Wizards guard Kelly Oubre Jr. underwent platelet-rich plasma injections in his right knee today, Candace Bucker of the Washington Post reports. As a result, he won’t return to basketball activities until later this summer and even when he is cleared to play, he’s expected to sit out of July’s summer league.

Oubre Jr. was plagued by lingering knee issues for a number of weeks but didn’t miss any games due to the injury during the regular season or postseason.

PRP injections have gained in popularity around the league of late with Isaiah Thomas, D’Angelo Russell and Reggie Jackson all undergoing the procedure with mixed results in 2016/17 alone. Per Buckner, the goal of the procedure is to promote healing by injecting the patient’s blood into the injured area.

There’s more from the Wizards:

  • There are a number of eligible frontcourt alternatives that the Wizards could pursue should they decide to part ways with Marcin Gortat and Ian Mahinmi, including a pair of bigs who plied their trade for playoff contenders in 2016/17. J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic discusses what players like Dewayne Dedmon and Kelly Olynyk could bring to the table.
  • Expect the implementation of two-way contracts to impact how teams like the Wizards draft players, J. Michael of CSN Mid-Atlantic writes in a separate feature. With the new collective bargaining agreement, teams will be able to sign two players in addition to the usual 15 and those players will be able to bounce back and forth between their big league clubs and their Gatorade League affiliates.
  • The Wizards are actively seeking a reliable backup point guard for John Wall, Candace Buckner of the Washington Post writes in a separate article, after trialing a number of options in a carousal of options in 2016/17. The club has been busy auditioning shooters ahead of this month’s draft.

Wizards Notes: Bogdanovic, Oubre, Burke, Mac

Playing time will be the priority for Bojan Bogdanovic when he enters free agency this summer, relays Chase Hughes of CSNMidAtlantic. Bogdanovic was averaging about 27 minutes per game with the Nets before a midseason trade to Washington cut that number to about 23. Bogdanovic may have to look elsewhere if he wants a larger role, particularly if the Wizards are able to re-sign fellow small forward Otto Porter, who has the starting job locked down. Washington used a three-man rotation at the position after the deal, Hughes notes, with Porter, Bogdanovic and Kelly Oubre all contributing. Oubre is expected to have an expanded role next season. “I want to try to find a team where I can play heavy minutes,” Bogdanovic said. “I hope that I will play here maybe, but we will see. It’s a long summer in front of us before free agency. We’ll see.” Bogdanovic, who will represent Croatia in the European Championship this summer, added that he would like to remain on the same team with John Wall or find a point guard with similar skills.

There’s more news out of D.C.:

  • A platelet-rich plasma treatment has been prescribed for Oubre’s right knee, Hughes notes in a separate story. Oubre plans offseason workouts with teammate Bradley Beal, and possibly Wall, in hopes of becoming a better ballhandler.
  • The minutes totals for the starters in the Game 7 loss to the Celtics emphasizes the need to build a stronger bench, writes Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Wall and Beal barely came out of Monday’s game, while Markieff Morris played nearly 42 minutes and Porter was close to 40. Buckner cites point guard as an area where important decisions must be made, with backups Trey Burke and Brandon Jennings both headed toward free agency. Burke fell behind rookie Tomas Satoransky in the rotation, then dropped out completely once Jennings was signed. Burke expressed frustration with the way things worked out and sounded ready to move on. “I don’t plan on my role being the same next year,” he said. “My agency is working very hard for me right now. I know what type of player I can be and I know what type of player I want to be. That’s not my plan. This summer, it’ll be great. I’m looking forward to the summer.”
  • The Wizards will take a closer look at three young prospects this offseason, Buckner adds in the same piece. Shooting guard Sheldon Mac and big men Daniel Ochefu and Chris McCullough will all be part of Washington’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League. Mac, who changed his name from McClellan at midseason, has the best chance of the three to crack the rotation next year, according to Buckner, but his $1.3MM contract for 2017/18 in non-guaranteed.

Wizards’ Kelly Oubre Jr. Suspended For Game 4

11:44am: The NBA officially confirmed that Oubre has been suspended without pay for Game 4, announcing in a press release that he received the one-game penalty for “charging and making forceful and unwarranted contact” with Olynyk (Twitter link via Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com).

11:07am: Kelly Oubre Jr. will be suspended for Sunday’s Game 4 of the Wizards-Celtics series, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The suspension comes on the heels of the Wizards small forward’s Game 3 altercation with Kelly Olynyk.

In a Game 3 that included eight technical fouls, Oubre’s ejection was most striking. After Olynyk was called for an offensive foul for setting an illegal screen that knocked Oubre to the ground, the Wizards’ second-year player rose up and proceeded to shove Olynyk, while shouting at him. Oubre was charged a flagrant 2 and ejected from the game.

Oubre scored 12 points in each of the first two games of the series and ranks second among bench players on the team in both points and minutes per game these playoffs. Bojan Bogdanovic, who scored 19 points in 29 minutes in Game 3, figures to benefit from the extra available minutes in Oubre’s absence. During the regular season, the Wizards’ bench ranked 29th in scoring with a mere 26.9 points per game.

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