Kelly Oubre: A Gambler?

  • Although Kelly has been listed as a late lottery selection in most recent mock drafts, I have a feeling that he will fall out of that category by the time this June’s NBA draft shakes out. In another post drgnslyr declared that Kelly’s decision to announce for the draft was “a monster gamble.” Regarding his quick decision to move on, I am left wondering about Kelly’s reasoning. A driving need for hopeful early dream fulfillment? Fear that staying at KU might turn his knees into the jeopardy of Wayne’s, Perry’s, Frank’s? His back, into Cliff’s? His playing minutes slipping somewhat to Svi or Brannen? The possibility of Self’s bringing in another talented guard, like Brown or Newman, instilling a backlog at the 1,2,3 positions? In essence, which might be the lesser of two gambles for a talented young player with the body and potential to adjust well, over time, to professional play? Going or staying? I certainly wish him well, and feel that he will land a first round berth. His growth and experience (and potential) will be dearly missed at KU, 2015-16. He appeared to be a good kid who always said the right stuff, strived to adjust to complicated system play.

  • @REHawk

    Kelly’s biggest weakness is his heavy emphasis on driving to the left. The NBA is going to challenge that immediately and he will be forced to learn how to go to his right and finish with his right hand.

    I believe he would have faced this same issue in the coming year at Kansas. Even though college ball doesn’t usually get to the level of teaching hedge defense, the scouting reports would put a heavy emphasis on overplaying Kelly to the left. At least in college ball, he wouldn’t be going up against the best and would have had time to develop his mechanics to the right. But instead, he has chosen to take the total gamble and hope he can learn it at the next level.

    Maybe Kelly just wants a fast payday and isn’t worried about raising his game. He doesn’t seem like that kind of kid, but who knows? He has been poisoned by the media telling him he is ready for the next level.

    I really like Kelly and hope he figures it out. Maybe it is the type of challenge that will push him over the top and he will earn his spot. I hope so.

    I feel positive that he’ll make it in the Top 30, guaranteeing him at least one paycheck. We’ll see if he can get his game to the level to earn a second check… the important one!

  • The question is really whether or not Kelly would have improved where he needed to improve by staying at KU.

    Would he have faced enough quality competition to make him develop his secondary skills, or would his superior primary ability have allowed him to ignore that need to develop?

    Kelly needs to learn to go right, but are there enough collegiate defenders that could have forced him to go right?

    Look at the way Andrew Wiggins has improved since leaving KU. Kelly isn’t Wiggins, obviously, but it is instructive. The better defense has forced Wiggins to add things to his game. The additional practice time has been to his benefit and he’s starting to unlock a lot of things that we only saw flashes of while he was in Lawrence.

    Kelly could be in a similar position. The improvement he needs to make may not be fostered in college because it won’t force him out of his comfort zone.

  • @REHawk

    If you are projected to be a lottery pick with guaranteed money like Kelly is, there is very little upside to staying and a lot of downside if you stay and something goes wrong. Kelly is projected as a solid Lottery pick (6-10) in just about every mock draft I have read. IMHO, his decision was really a no-brainer.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Calipari eluded to that fact recently. If you come back to school and get hurt, your insurance isn’t payed. The incentive for covering your risk is non-existent. If you want more kids to come back with the rules as is, give them the incentive to do so. Schools make millions on kids but can’t fork out a few penny’s to make it worth their while.

  • @BeddieKU23

    I am not sure about that. As long as you have a policy in place, it is up to date and covers the injury I just don’t see why it would not pay. I know for fact that senior such as Collison and Heinrich had policies in their senior seasons.

    The NCAA has program for exceptional athletes , defined as an student athlete that is projected to be selected in the first round (basketball), that provides financing to pay for the insurance and individuals with more means can get additional coverage with less restriction through private policies as well.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Maybe he was wrong then, I just listened to his press conference from the other day about getting kids to stay more than a year. Seemed to him the incentive wasn’t there or properly in place for kids to take advantage of in case something happened.

  • Kelly seems a lottery lock to me. How many kids are coming out with Kelly’s potential? Go go gadget arms!

  • Maybe I am a skeptic, but now that the collegiate season has ended, I look to see Kelly fall out of the lottery. Marcus Morris came within a breath of losing out on that 3 year guaranteed money. Simien fell way back after his splendid career. Arthur faced a nightmare on draft night. Chalmers and Collins took big hits. TRob was stunned. For a player who is not considered a lock for the top half dozen lottery slots, that June draft night can easily turn into a real downer. Maybe our coaching staff nudged him to make a quick decision? Customarily, it seems that Self spends considerable time in counsel after weighing his players’ NBA futures before the decision is reached.

  • @REHawk Maybe he will blow them away at the NBA combine. I hope he does. Id like to see him get into the lotto.

  • @Lulufulu I’d like to see him as a lottery pick, too. But i just read one updated report which listed him at 16. He has been in the 8-12 category for several weeks.

  • @REHawk

    “Customarily, it seems that Self spends considerable time in counsel after weighing his players’ NBA futures before the decision is reached.”

    He reads newspapers, too. Maybe he has bought in to the hype. As much as I like (hate) the media, they have never done us any favors and why would it be a favor to over-hype these kids? How long before we can’t even recruit top players because our track record (beyond Wiggins) isn’t very impressive with OADs?

    And this isn’t all about OADs… just guys leaving early at Kansas.

    What is the status of our guys that left early the last several years? I know Wigs is on planet 9, and I think the Morris twins are doing fine. What about Cole, TRob, Josh (playing in South America maybe?), Xavier…? Seems like this bunch is hanging on by a thread or not even a thread.

    So which layer will Kelly join? His game is a long ways from being NBA ready.

    How many players get hurt in college today to the point of being knocked out of basketball? Is there that much risk? I know @jaybate-1.0 is our scout who measures up all our guys for knee skirts.

  • @REHawk

    There is a big difference between Oubre and the players you mentioned.

    Oubre is really a SG/Sf that can play both position in the NBA, Marcus, Simien and TRob were considered “tweeners” which is the kiss of death for a player since tweeners are those in-between players that are not big enough to play Pf and not skilled enough to play SF; Ellis will be in the same situation next year, and even when he is a great college player his future in the NBA is limited. Simien did not last long in the League and TRob has had problems getting enough playing time; Marcus has found good spot as a 6th man playing SF and hitting 3s, something he did not do at KU.

    Collins problem was his lack of control particularly in relation to his weight. he even missed a tryout because he could not get himself to the airport in time. Shady was hurt big time by a draft day rumor of a serious health issue that turned out to be untrue; he has stayed in the League but has not risen to the level of a consistent starter and he plays primarily off the bench. Mario’s problem was that he was expected to play PG in the NBA but at KU he was primarily a SG with RussRob playing PG and there were questions on whether he could make the transition; obviously it worked well for him not being a player the team relied on and he had a chance to develop into very serviceable PG, although this season he is also playing off the bench.

    Oubre, on the other hand, does not seem to have these issues and if he improves his movement to the right, he will do well in the NBA.

  • @drgnslayr

    While Kelly’s game might not quite be NBA ready…yet, his build, athleticism and skill set are definitely NBA capable.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Well, it is one day since I posted my concerns that Kelly might have taken a huge gamble if he hopes to become a lottery pick. I just checked 4 mock draft sites, found him listed 10, 12, 13, 26. With new names committing daily, I continue to think he is at risk to fall out of the lottery. Great body and athleticism, but polished skills? Cole and TRob and the Morii are pocketing bundles of dollars. That 3 year lottery money is gigantic, comparitively. Mario, an exception…whom Pat Riley viewed as a steal when he fell to the second round of the draft. The Shady Arthur thing illustrates just how capricious draft night can be. If Kelly shows up well in the combines (team tryouts), perhaps he will seal a top spot…

  • The more this goes on the more I am for the straight jump and freedom to jump any other time too, until college pays salaries.

    The straight jump will take care of 90% of the problem. It won’t be good for the kids, but it’s time to stop trying to save people that don’t want to be saved.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Selden certainly could have bankrolled some big bucks from a straight jump. As is, just imagine what these two years of college have cost him!

  • Why do I feel for Perry Ellis? Why do I believe he’s getting screwed by the NBA? Oh yea, they don’t give ratso asso about student athletes. Whew, I’m glad I remembered that. Why do I still feel that Perry’s career is beyond salvation regardless of what he does? It’s because the NBA dictates to these kids what they must do their first year of college.

    If your Perry Ellis or any other top recruit, and you come into a program like KU with a high draft stock, say top 10. You then play your second year because you think an education is important. Unfortunately, the NBA sees it differently. The NBA will demand you leave after the first year while the iron is hot, while you have guaranteed money. But, if you don’t, well…sux to be you. Oh and you decide to stay a third year? We’ll just make sure that IF you come to the NBA you’ll be a guaranteed D leaguer. A player like Ellis inadvertently proves the NBA to be wrong. The NBA doesn’t want players, they want products. These players are nothing but assets, products, investments, and $$$$$$$. BTW- $$$$$$$ is equal to $1,000,000. So, Ellis works hard in college and will now have to pay the high price of a poor draft stock simply because he stayed 3-4 years.

    Do you see what the NBA is doing to these players, especially Ellis. They are not the typical NBA player. So, the NBA will discard them like a bad investment. Sorry Perry, you did the right thing for you. Too bad the stupid NBA doesn’t appreciate you and reward you by increasing your draft stock. You will be fine and will make money. You’ll have to do it the old fashioned way, unlike many of your peers. Your education is the most important investment you’ll ever have. An NBA career ends, but an education keeps on giving. You are respected and admired more than you know for your dedication, hard work, and sacrifice to the game. You make this bball fan proud to be a fan of the game.


    Funny quote - DALLAS – The “horrible” state of college basketball is hurting the NBA, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declared.

    link text

  • @REHawk

    Exactly. My thinking is that when you are poor, getting a big check to help you get started in this world, is more important than risking injury for a huge check, especially when the scholies are for one year only.

    I even think it would be good for the NCAA to make it so a player can jump and try to play professionally, then drop out and come back, if it doesn’t work out, and play as an amateur, so long as he is under the age of, say, 25.

    I would like to get these guys that flop like Josh Selby back in college, so they can use their athleticism to get themselves a degree.

    I want players treated like other students.

    If I want to quit school and work for a couple of years, there is nothing keeping me from coming back to school to get a degree. I have never understood the logic of a player playing for pay, and then not being virginal enough to go back and play as an amateur.

    Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and made $54 Billion. Harvard would not keep him out, if he wanted to come back and finish his degree. They wouldn’t say, no Bill, you have made too much money to keep learning at our school.

  • @truehawk93 said:

    Funny quote - DALLAS – The “horrible” state of college basketball is hurting the NBA, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declared.


  • @truehawk93

    With all due respect, I am not sure I follow your logic. The NBA is just like any other business and will pick the players that it feels will do the best job and they really do not “owe” anything to a student/athlete just because he stayed an extra year or two in school, wouldn’t you agree? The NBA is in business to make money and this implies putting out a good product that will sell and normally this means winning games; like any other business, they will select the players, or assets as you call them, that will help them win games. It really is that simple, every for profit business in America operates this way.

    Like any other job out there, a place in the NBA is something you earn and not something you are entitled to and the employer has an expectation that you will perform and just like any other employer out there, if you are not up to the task, you will lose your job or you will not get one in the first place.

    Again, I mean no disrespect, but as a business owner perhaps I have a different view on the subject and I have no tolerance for the ever growing number of people in today’s society that have a sense of entitlement and feel a job is owned to them and they don’t have to earn it. I would venture to say that every person that has ever owned a business and has hired employees feels the same way.

  • I just noticed an April 6 BLEACHER REPORT mock draft. Oubre listed 19th.

  • @REHawk That’s Bleacher Report. I’ve found they are normally less accurate than a dart board. Not saying they are wrong, but most of the time, they’re wrong!!

  • @REHawk ESPN had him at 12 the other day

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    “While Kelly’s game might not quite be NBA ready…yet, his build, athleticism and skill set are definitely NBA capable.”

    That is true… but so is the rest of the guys in D-league.

    In today’s market, it is flooded with athletic, tall guys with long reaches. That seems to be more of the bare minimum now, not something that makes a guy stick out.

    I don’t want to be negative about Kelly’s chances, just want to be realistic. I hope he makes it. Even though he was here just one year I really took a liking to him and hope he keeps his word to come back to Lawrence and always be a Jayhawk. There is something special about that kid, and hopefully he will get the right opportunity to make it at the next level!

  • @drgnslayr

    Yes…but not all of them have the skill set that Kelly has. He can shoot, he can defend and he can penetrate…now, he still needs lo learn to be ambidextrous and not just a leftie, but other than that, he has the rest of the tools; most of the D-Leaguers do not have the same skill set, in my opinion, of course.

Log in to reply