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Why Kansas star Kelly Oubre fits for the Thunder at pick 14 in 2015 NBA Draft

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In spite of a less than stellar season, here are some reasons why Kelly Oubre makes sense for the Thunder at pick 14.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Prospect: Kelly Oubre

School: Kansas

DOB: 12/9/1995 (19 Years Old)

Kelly Oubre was hyped beyond belief as he headed to Lawrence, KS. The Henderson, Nevada product starred for Findlay Prep and was expected to step right into the void left by current budding NBA star and rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins. As the number 6 overall recruit in the class of 2014, Oubre was expected to take NCAA by storm.

The exact opposite was the case as Oubre's freshman season was an up and down roller coaster, filled with lackluster performance after performance. Despite the uneven freshman season, Oubre declared for the NBA draft on April 1st.

Here are Oubre's stats while at Kansas.













His adjusted per 40 stats look a little better.














1. Size

Oubre is 6-7/203lbs and has a 7'2 1/4" wingspan, which is one inch shorter than projected number one pick Karl-Anthony Towns. Further, he has a standing reach of 8' 6 1/2". For those of you wondering why this matters, these projections would lead one to believe that he can become (or might already be) a really good defender in the NBA.

2. Athleticism

Oubre is a plus athlete who can excel in transition. The Thunder are a team that likes to get out and run to produce easy baskets. Oubre would fit in this role as he shows the ability to not only get out and thrive in the fast break but also finish above the rim.

3. Defensive Potential

Oubre should because of his size and athleticism be a natural plus defender in the NBA. He has the lateral quickness to stay with point guards and the size to guard players on the wing.

4. Jump Shot

Oubre's jump shot will also be very difficult to block at the next level because of his high release point. He also possesses a nice follow through, although at times he fails to keep his mechanics the same, especially when rushed.


When you read the strengths of a player like Oubre, one wonders why he isn't frequently listed as a top 5 prospect. He has the size, athleticism, and an above average shot. A closer look leads one to find numerous faults and weaknesses with him.

1. Lack of Effort

Oubre's lack of effort was evident throughout his freshman season at Kansas. Oubre's only season at Kansas was characterized by tTaking plays off, failing to play within a system, and laziness.

2. Ball Handling

He is overly reliant on his left hand. Unless he learns to use his off hand, the NBA's defenders will eat him alive.

3. Maturity

Oubre didn't handle himself with the maturity one would expect playing in a high profile program like Kansas, and that maturity will be needed at the next level. Much of this, I feel, was because he automatically assumed that he would excel and take college basketball by storm. When this didn't happen, Oubre's frustration became evident and his game and composure took a hit.

4. On the Court Production

At some point, you would expect that Oubre's natural skills should translate onto the court. However, far too often he vanished on the court, made very little impact, and disappeared from the game. A player can have all the potential in the world, but at some point potential must translate into production. The Thunder are acutely aware of what this kind of player can become, as they have watched as an equally athletically gifted Perry Jones has failed to make his mark on the NBA because of similar disappearing acts.

5. Ball Stopper

Oubre failed to frequently involve his teammates (think Dion Waiters), which led to shots that were less than ideal. He will have to learn to play within an offense and involve his teammates at the next level.

Why He Would Fit with Thunder

1. Upside, Upside, Upside

Occasionally during his freshman season, we would catch a glimpse of the player that Oubre could become, even though he finished the year with less than stellar results. Despite the infrequency of Oubre's full talents being on display, there is no player in the 14 range that has the upside of Oubre (except maybe Sam Dekker and R.J. Hunter). While Oubre is far from a finished product, he has the ability to turn into something special, given time. He is the epitome of a boom or bust player.

2. He has a Cool Last Name

You can never go wrong adding a player to the roster with a last name like Oubre.

3. Final Thoughts

With a stacked roster, the Thunder can afford to role the dice on a player like Oubre. They won't need him to make an impact next year (although I do think he could carve out a niche as a defensive stopper and energy guy off the bench with the 2nd unit). Why not go all in with Oubre, giving yourself a chance to hit the jackpot? You might lose it all, but with this pick, the Thunder are playing with house money. With Oubre trending upward, there are doubts whether he will even be available at pick 14, although several mock have had him in the 14 range.

If Oubre were to hit his ceiling, we project him somewhere along the lines of a poor man's Paul George.