Houston Rockets 2015 NBA Draft: What if… Kelly Oubre Jr.?
By Trey Oursler
Houston Rockets 2015 NBA Draft Prospect: Kelly Oubre Jr.
What if the Rockets decided to figure out their needs at Point Guard and Center via trades/free agency and decided to draft Kelly Oubre Jr. from Kansas to bolster the Small Forward position?
Mar 20, 2015; Omaha, NE, USA; Kansas Jayhawks players including Landen Lucas (33) , Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) and Wayne Selden Jr. (1) celebrate from the bench against the New Mexico State Aggies during the first half in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Although we are still months away from this year’s NBA Draft, we here at Space City Scoop decided to get a head start and are looking at some of the Rockets possible prospects once a week until June 25th(Draft Day). Point Guard Kris Dunn from Providence seem to be a fan favorite last week as the position will definitely need help in the off-season. Justise Winslow and Zhou Qi have also been highlighted in past weeks, but check and see why Kelly Oubre Jr. could be the Rockets best option.
After playing his senior season in HS at Findlay Prep in Nevada, Oubre Jr. took his talents to Lawrence, Kansas to play for Bill Self and the Jayhawks. Most knew he was going to be a one-and-done due to his size, athleticism and rank. He plays Small Forward at 6’7, 205 lbs. and averaged 9 points, 5 rebounds and a steal per game in his freshman season. He was also given the task of replacing #1 Draft pick from 2014, Andrew Wiggins.
Although ‘Rock Chalk Jayhawk’ didn’t have as hot a tournament as expected, Oubre Jr.’s season still finished nicely after a horrendous start. In fact, he thought it ended well enough and posted this video to show love to his school of choice to let them know of his future plans:
I love you all , even the Haters #KUCMB4L http://t.co/qyXwz0M80X
— Kelly Paul Oubre Jr. (@K_Ctmd22) April 1, 2015
- Gets to the foul line whenever he pleases
- Great size for his position
- Quick hands on defense, 41 steals this season
- Does his job on the boards
- Finishes around the rim, could be looking at a NBA Dunk Contest participant
He will need to work on a few areas of his game including his three-point percentage, if he plans to shoot 4-5 attempts per game and primarily his shot selection in general. He can finish at the basket and as long as he doesn’t get lazy on defense, steals should lead to some easy buckets for the young star.
The Rockets do have two Small Forward’s on the roster and they both have had outstanding years, but one thing is for certain, neither of them are getting any younger. Trevor Ariza and Corey Brewer have been huge additions for Houston this season but why not bring in a kid to learn from the veterans?
Who knows what the Rockets roster will look like closer to the draft, GM Daryl Morey has made some emphatic moves in the last few off-seasons and he is aware of his woes at the PG spot. One of the SF’s may get shipped out to upgrade at the PG spot, leaving a perfect spot for Oubre Jr. to slide into the Rockets second lineup.
Kelly Oubre Jr. is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, but in 2005 Hurricane Katrina forced Oubre Jr. and his father to move to nearby Houston where a lot of the victims funneled towards. The Houston-area district of Fort Bend gained there fair share of students from the neighboring state including Oubre Jr. who would attend George Bush High School in Richmond, TX.
It wasn’t easy for a lot of the Louisiana-natives to fit in, but Oubre Jr. found himself in a nice spot at Bush playing with and against talented players. After three years at Bush, Oubre Jr. was given the opportunity to play at Findlay Prep, a top school for recruits, in Henderson, Nevada.
Kelly Oubre Jr. is a battle tested young man that has the drive and passion for the game. Katrina taking everything from him has left him with a chip on his shoulder and he has tattoo’s to prove it. Bleacher Report’s interview with him shows the kind of person he is and why he has all the personal qualities of a true NBA player.
Jan 19, 2015; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self talks with guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) in a timeout during the second half against the Oklahoma Sooners at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 85-78. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Oubre Jr. is use to seeing his name affiliated with high-projections. He was a top-10 recruit coming out of HS and participated in the McDonald’s All-American Game and Dunk Contest.
Now that he has decided to join the NBA, the kid from New Orleans will be compared to other SF’s such as Sam Dekker from Wisconsin and Stanley Johnson from Arizona, if they commit to this year’s draft. Right now NBADraft.Net has Oubre Jr. going 11th to the Indiana Pacers, and they have the Rockets picking up PF/SF Kevon Looney from UCLA three picks later.
The Rockets will be switching picks with the New Orleans Pelicans, giving them a potential, more-than-likely lottery selection. Indiana may very well draft a SF with their early pick to add some depth behind returning star Paul George. Between picks 8-14 however, NBADraft.net has 5 different SF’s being selected and that’s with Justise Winslow going at #5 to Orlando. The Rocket’s may very well get their chance to snag the kid who played most of his HS ball down the road in Richmond.
Feb 16, 2015; Morgantown, WV, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) handles the ball against West Virginia Mountaineers forward BillyDee Williams (L) during the second half at the WVU Coliseum. West Virginia won 62-61. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oubre Jr. could add some solid depth and size to a team that would love to keep a gem from their own backyard. Now that he has spent time beating up on Texas school’s in the Big 12, it’s time to come back to the Lone Star State and help the Houston Rockets win many future championships.
Next: Draft Prospect Kris Dunn
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