Kelly Oubre put himself in Andrew Wiggins’ shadow the moment he committed to Kansas.
An athletic wing with obvious NBA potential, Oubre followed Wiggins in having an up-and-down season with the Jayhawks. Now, he’s following Wiggins to the NBA after only one year.
Oubre, via Kansas release:
“I’m leaving the University of Kansas for the upcoming NBA Draft,” Oubre said. “It’s always been a dream to play in the NBA. This is an opportunity to play against the best in the world and expand my game in hopes of someday becoming one of those great players. It’s been a great year. I’ve been blessed to be here at the University of Kansas. I was blessed to go through the things that I went through and I was blessed to play for coach (Bill Self). He taught me a lot this year, the little things that will help out my game a lot.”
“I talked with guys who have been in this situation before me and they told me different things,” Oubre said. “JoJo (Joel Embiid) said he knows what I am going through and he told me his process and some of the things he went through. It’s definitely been a hard and tough decision and I’ve come to this conclusion.”
Oubre was neither as highly touted nor as productive at Kansas as Wiggins. So, don’t expect Oubre to follow Wiggins as the No. 1 pick.
More realistically, Oubre projects as a late lottery pick.
Whoever drafts him will get someone with ideal height, length and athleticism for an NBA wing. But Oubre is still a project who needs considerable development on both sides of the ball. At 19, that’ll happen, but how much and how soon?
The same questions, to lesser degrees, lingered over Wiggins – and he has answered them with excellent results as a rookie. If people continue to compare the two – how Kansas integrates athletic freshman wings, how their arcs continue in the NBA – that should help Oubre.
It won’t make him the No. 1 pick, but it should give him a little more benefit of the doubt than he’d receive otherwise, fair or not.