Friday, June 26, 2015

Capital trade: Kelly Oubre picked 15th, dealt to Washington; Alexander fails to hear his name called

Kelly Oubre Jr., right, is greeted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected 15th overall by the Atlanta Hawks during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Kelly Oubre Jr., right, is greeted by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being selected 15th overall by the Atlanta Hawks during the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


Former Kansas University guard Kelly Oubre, Jr., whose silver-spiked smoking slippers and maroon suit and slacks were all the rage at the 2015 NBA Draft, takes his fashion statement to the nation’s capital next season.

The Atlanta Hawks on Thursday night made the colorful 6-foot-7, 19-year-old shooting guard the No. 15 overall pick — and in the process — gave KU a first-round selection for the sixth straight year. However Oubre was immediately traded by the Hawks to the Washington (D.C.) Wizards for Washington’s pick at No. 19 plus two future second-round picks.

“Whoever gets me is getting a jewel,” said Oubre, whose draft night outfit followed in the footsteps of last year’s No. 1 overall pick — Jayhawk sensation Andrew Wiggins — who in ‘14 chose a rose printed black and white jacket with shawl collar, satin black trousers and velvet slippers — as his show-stopping wardrobe of choice.

“I feel like I’m a steal in this draft,” Oubre added. “You know, my expectation was to go top 10. It doesn’t work out like that for everybody, but I still feel like I’m one of the best players in this draft. My confidence is through the roof but I’m humble, also. I know I have a lot to work on and I’m ready to work on those things to help my team be the best that it can be. I’ve been through some bumps and bruises in college. I’m going to go through some bumps and bruises in the NBA.

“I’m ready to win a championship. Whatever team gets me will win the championship. I’m ready to put the work in to do so,” he added.

Former KU forward Cliff Alexander was not selected thus will try to sign with a summer league team as a free agent.

As far as Oubre ... he goes to a winner. The team that selected him, Atlanta, went 60-22 a year ago. The team that acquired him, Washington, had a 46-36 mark. Former KU forward Paul Pierce plays for the Wizards, but he’s expected to move on as a free agent this offseason.

“I showed them I’m relentless,” Oubre said of his workouts for various teams. He did not work out for the Wizards. “A lot of teams passed on me, but that’s fine. They made great picks. (There are) a lot of great guys in this draft. I’ll give them 110 percent effort, pretty much show everybody what I can do, show that I can be great one day.”

As No. 15 pick, Oubre, who averaged 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds his freshman year at KU, will make $1,920,240 next season. He’ll earn $2,006,640 his second year, $2,093,040 in year three and $3,208,630 in his fourth season for a four-year total of $9,228,550.

KU coach Bill Self, who said he’s happy for Oubre, joked about his wild shoes/slippers.

“I noticed the shoes at the end. Everybody I guess needs something to stand out and be a little different. He did that,” Self said. “I actually liked ‘em. I thought they were pretty sharp, but I don’t know if they are anything I’d ever sport.

“I was hoping he’d go in the lottery,” Self added in a serious tone. “He went one pick out of the lottery, but gets a chance to play on a really good team. Hopefully Paul (Pierce) will still be there and some other guys who can help mentor him will be good for him.”

Self said he texted Alexander after the draft to address the 6-8 forward not being picked.

“I said, ‘Hey I know this is tough and everything, but not the worst thing that’s happened,’’’ Self said. “I’d rather for his chances (of making team) to not get drafted than drafted real late.

“Now he can play for multiple summer league teams in multiple summer leagues and pick which team has the least number of guarantee contracts. I don’t think this is a negative. From a pride and ego standpoint, we all wanted him to get drafted as early as possible. It just didn’t work out.”

Self spoke with Cliff, “two of the last four days asking him what he was hearing. He was pretty much in the dark on that too. It doesn’t shock me. Here’s the thing: Cliff didn’t have a chance to play at the end of the season (because of NCAA issues) and certainly that hurt him. I don’t know how he performed in workouts and interviews. The percentage play if you are not taken in the first half of the second round, you probably have a better percentage play in not being drafted,” he repeated. “He gets to pick any of 30 teams to go to now as opposed to being locked in that one team. I bet you right now he’s the most sought after guy not taken in the draft.”

Alexander took to Twitter after the draft: "Started from the bottom before #motivation," he wrote.

More on Canada game: Self said he’s looking forward to tonight’s 7 p.m., exhibition vs. Canada in Sprint Center.

“I had as much fun in Tuesday’s game (KU victory) as any time last year,” Self said late Thursday night. “We were competing. At that date we’d spent maybe 45 minutes on how to guard certain actions and ball screens. I’m excited about tomorrow night. I think we’ll play better and Canada will play better. We had a scrimmage today and either team coulda won,” he added, not giving details of the scrimmage. “The crowd was unbelievable Tuesday and I’m sure will be Friday.”


Joe Ross 7 years ago

This is not the worst situation for Cliff Alexander. I could really see something similar happening to Cliff as with Tarik Black. You go undrafted on draft night, do summer league with some teams, and you find yourself getting picked up by a team where you fill a need. Cliff Alexander can play; and more than that, he is more than capable of playing in the NBA.

Nevertheless, incoming recruits should learn a lesson from the Alexander situation: focus on basketball when you get here (and have your family focus on the same) and the money will take care of itself. If youre considered a OAD talent by outsiders, keep your humility in tow and work from day one as if the trajectory of your life depends on your getting better. It does!

Best wishes to Cliff and still proud he is a member of the Jayhawk family. We lick our wounds together.

Micky Baker 7 years ago

Been awhile. I think that the situation with the loan from the agent put him in this bad position. This is a bad position for him that the agent and his parents put him in. Now they're not going to be able to pay back the loan. This is why agents should not be allowed to make contact with players or their families until after they declare for the draft.

Also, the Royals have passed 1 million in attendance already this year. Winning.

Clarence Haynes 7 years ago

Welcome to DC Kelly! You'll find out that there will be a lot of Jayhawks here rooting for you and the Wizards!

Tom Jones 7 years ago

If someone told me I could make five million dollars now or I could wait a year and possibly (if seriously injured) make nothing, I would choose the money.

Agreed that he would have been drafted higher next year, but...if you're projected in the lottery, or even close, you really have to go. Sad (for college bball fans, anyway) but true.

Micky Baker 7 years ago

Herein lies the problem with that. Earning five million dollars now, then getting hurt is worse than making 5 million over 10 years. The taxes man.

Eliott Reeder 7 years ago

And here's why you're wrong, Brett: what if he blows an ACL in the opening round of the tourney this year? What if he actually underperforms again throughout the season and ends up going in the second round? What if Svi has a truly breakout year and Kelly becomes our 6th man and is underwhelming in the tournament, etc. Sure, he could gamble and potentially dominate the Big XII this season and be Final Four MVP and all kinds of other wonderful things. Maybe. I like to gamble as much as the next guy, but I'm not gambling with $5 million... he made the right choice.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years ago

Is Embiid now a draft casualty? 76ers now have Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel.

Marius Rowlanski 7 years ago

Exactly my feelings. Either JoJo or Okafor will be traded at some point. Embiid needs to get on the court.

Mark Lindrud 7 years ago

I think Jo may become a casualty now. Reality is, he gets on the court as a backup this season, and plays a few games here and there impressing people then gets traded because people are wowed by a small body of work. My thoughts of Jo now are that he will be Greg Oden 2.0 because of injuries. I would like to be wrong, but with a back injury, a foot injury and now an issue with the foot injury I don't like how things are looking for him currently.

Brianna Zaleski 7 years ago

And they selected ANOTHER center in the 2nd rd.! makes no sense.

Humpy Helsel 7 years ago

With the ridiculous numbers being paid to a 15th pick, you can see where families like Cliff's have AAU coaches, hucksters, family and friends telling you all kinds of stuff. Things start going on under the table and you get sideways with someone who isn't going to get their beak wet and the phone is picked up, and the trouble starts. For the sake of these families and young kids something has to be done to protect them better and to address the current OAD system. Think of how thin the line was between Kelly who started very slow and came on strong toward end of season, and Cliff who could have finished strong, also, but had to sit over there in street clothes because a poor family were tempted to get into the cookie jar early. Both players really needed another year and could have been in the Top 10 coming into the league much better prepared from a skill set and maturity standpoint. But who can turn down that kind of money? It was a thin line and $9 million bucks and "undrafted" of difference between two players who were pretty close. We need some real research of a period of years to track these kids from AAU ball to age 35 to see what really happens. How many are financially secured, with our without a real education behind them. How many, like Cliff, may are may not experience any financial security and right now, and has no education as a back up. I challenge the L J-W to track these two over time to follow their paths which could turn into a telling story over time. The system, really, is shameful with poor kids and families being exploited and a whole bunch of people with power and influence getting rich off of them.

Good luck,Cliff. It was nice knowing ya. Good luck, Kelly. The world is your oyster. Today.

Jonathan Allison 7 years ago

I graduated from college with the degree that was touted as having on average the highest starting salary among bachelor's degrees and have worked for 8 years and haven't made $1,000,000. I am by no means, struggling to get by. I live quite comfortably.

Kelly Oubre went to college for one year, didn't graduate, and will make over $9,000,000 by his 24th birthday. I assume that he would move up a few spots had he stayed in school another year and potentially earned $5MM more over his first 4 years, but he'd most likely be essentially breaking even by age 24. He could get injured, could slip in the draft, could end up undrafted like Cliff (thin line...), or he could be set for life financially at age 19.

People talk about the second contract being the one when you can make lots of money. That is if you are an all-star caliber player or at least a solid starter. But players like Aldrich, Robinson, Marcus Morris, X. Henry, Rush, Arthur, Julian Wright, etc. got their big paydays for being lottery picks. They may never get the mega-millions, multi-year contracts that we hear about all the time in sports. You better believe that they're glad that they made a lot of money on their guaranteed rookie contracts.

Yolanda Gay 7 years ago

Can someone explain to me the difference between being a lottery pick and being picked in the first round? Is it just the money? Thanks

Jonathan Allison 7 years ago

Lottery picks are picks #1-14. This is because of the 30 teams in the NBA 16 teams play in the playoffs, while the other 14 teams are entered into a lottery when they have a chance to win a top 3 pick in the draft.

The team with the worst record in the NBA gets the highest probability of winning the lottery while the teams that just barely missed the playoffs have the lowest probability of winning the lottery.

Jonathan Allison 7 years ago

In May they hold the NBA Draft Lottery, when the 14 teams in the lottery gather and they draw ping pong balls to determine which teams will get picks #1, #2, and #3. After the three teams have been selected then spots #4 through #14 are assigned based on the remaining teams records.

David Friend 7 years ago

Here is the link with a breakdown for the rookie salaries for the coming NBA season

Ross Hartley 7 years ago

Kelly gets $3,926,880 guaranteed over 2 years and his 4 yr contract is $9,228,550. This is from Forbes. Ive already seen 3 different numbers

Micky Baker 7 years ago

That's a pretty good deal for a guy that isn't even 20 yet.

David Friend 7 years ago

Ross that is correct in terms of what Oubre's contract is worth. What none of these articles say is the 4th year is an option year

Ross Hartley 7 years ago

Forbes: The primary reasons why rookie hold-outs are essentially non-existent in the National Basketball Association is because all rookie salaries are predetermined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), as negotiated between the league and players union. While rookie NBA players have some flexibility within their first contracts, they have next to no leverage and are limited to the allotted scale set by the CBA. All first-round rookie contracts are guaranteed for two seasons, with an additional team option in years three and four of the deal. Rookies can sign for as little as 80% or as much as 120% of the scale amount within a year, although it is rare that they sign for significantly less than the full 120%. The scale amount is determined by draft position and is set for the first three years of the agreement, with the fourth year based on a percentage of the third year amount. It is also important to note that only 1st round picks are eligible for scale contracts and in the likely event a rookie signs the full 120% deal, any overage does not count against the teams salary cap status.

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