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Kelly Oubre, Jr. plans to workout with Wizards star Bradley Beal this summer, hopes to do same with John Wall

Kelly Oubre, Jr. plans to workout with Wizards star Bradley Beal this summer, hopes to do same with John Wall

Once Kelly Oubre, Jr. heals from the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment he was prescribed for his right knee following the Wizards' second round playoff exit, he will return to the basketball court to prepare for the 2017-18 season, his third in the NBA. Not one to take vacations, Oubre is anxious to get started with a long to-do list this summer that may include some guitar practice, but definitely a lot of hoops.

Oubre, in fact, plans to follow in the footsteps of one of his teammates, another former first round pick who this past year enjoyed a breakout season. That would be Bradley Beal, who as a five-year NBA veteran is three years ahead of Oubre in his career.

Oubre said he will work out with Beal this summer under the tutelage of trainer Drew Hanlen.

"He's definitely a role model, somebody you can look up to and take bits and pieces from," Oubre said of Beal. "How he moves, how he handles himself; he faces a lot of adversity and people don't see that, even though he's one of the best on the team. He handles it really well. You just gotta respect him."

[RELATED: Areas for Wizards to address after 49-33 season]

Oubre's relationship with Beal this summer will go beyond working out with him. He said he will study film of the Wizards' guard.

"Seeing how his game transformed this year, it's something that is incredible. He showed a lot of people that he's one of the top scorers in the NBA. He's an All-Star caliber player. I'm going to be fortunate enough to work out with him," Oubre said. "I want to work out with [Beal], but John [Wall], too. His handles are crazy. He's got the best handles in the league. So, definitely get in the gym with everybody, man. Just trying to get better."

Oubre, 21, played in 79 games for the Wizards this season with averages of 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds. His shooting percentages dipped slightly from his rookie year, but Oubre emerged as a more trusted option for head coach Scott Brooks than he was under Randy Wittman in the 2015-16 season. Oubre's minutes essentially doubled from 10.7 per game as a rookie to 20.3 as a sophomore.

Defense was a big reason why Oubre played his way into Brooks' rotation. His 7-foot-2 wingspan and quickness allowed him to at times wreak havoc on other teams. At his best, he could competently switch on defense from point guards to power forwards.

This summer, Oubre has a good idea on what he will work on specifically.

"I just want to work on my ballhandling, coming off pick-and-rolls and being able to create shots for others. I need to create my own shots," Oubre said.

The potential is there. Offensively, Oubre remains raw but Beal is certainly a strong example to follow.

[RELATED: Bogdanovic has specific goals for free agency this summer]

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Will the Cavs-Celtics trade involving Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas affect the Wizards' chances at all?

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Will the Cavs-Celtics trade involving Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas affect the Wizards' chances at all?

The Cavaliers and Celtics pulled off one of the biggest NBA trades in years, if not decades, on Tuesday night, one that features two All-Star point guards in Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, a very good player in Jae Crowder, a 2016 first round pick in Ante Zizic and an unprotected 2019 Nets first round pick that could be the key to Cleveland's dreaded life after LeBron James.

Boston and Cleveland entered this offseason as the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, so naturally this should affect the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference a great deal, right? Maybe not.

In fact, this could have little effect on the rest of the East whatsoever, at least in the short-term. That's because both teams got good value back for 2017-18, but neither made a significant leap when it comes to their chances of winning the title next June.


Yes, All-Star point guards in Irving and Thomas switched sides, and in Crowder the Cavs now have a physical defender who gives opponents fits on the perimeter. That could help the Cavs in the East and if they match up with the Warriors in the NBA Finals once again.

But the Cavs were already going to be very good and before this trade remained the odds-on favorites to win the East. They now remain the favorites and may have taken a slight step forward, as long as Thomas recovers well from the hip injury that ended his 2016-17 season.

In Irving, the Celtics get a guy with an extra year on his contract. He's four years younger than Thomas and isn't currently dealing with an injury. They have to feel good about that, plus they don't lose much in Crowder, given he plays small forward. Even without Crowder, they could have the most depth at that position in the NBA when you factor in Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jalen Brown and Marcus Morris. As good as Crowder is, he could have been fighting for minutes in that group.

If the Wizards are to take a step forward or backward in the East, it will likely have nothing to do with this trade. They are counting on improving from within with a core of young players now signed to long-term contracts.

[RELATED: Ranking the top point guards in the NBA]

Overall, the Wizards' odds against the Cavs and Celtics will probably be determined by other things unrelated to this trade, like if LeBron James truly begins his decline or if the Celtics losing Avery Bradley in a previous deal will hurt their ability to stop John Wall and Bradley Beal. 

That last point could be the determining factor in whether the Wizards can leapfrog either the Cavs or Celtics. Boston lost their best answer to what is arguably the best backcourt in the East. 

This trade could, if anything, just make things more interesting for Washington fans. Now the Wizards-Celtics rivalry can center around the debate about which All-Star point guard and former No. 1 pick is better: Wall or Irving? And with the Cavs, the Wizards now have a guy in Crowder who has been a true enemy for years. That matchup just got more intriguing.

The East could be more fun next year due to this trade, but don't expect the odds in Vegas to change much at all because of it.




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Cavs trade Kyrie Irving to Celtics for Isaiah Thomas and others in blockbuster deal

Cavs trade Kyrie Irving to Celtics for Isaiah Thomas and others in blockbuster deal

The Cavs and Celtics have pulled off one of the biggest trades the NBA has seen in years, a blockbuster deal that will send Kyrie Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first round pick. The final deal was reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Whew, where do we start? First of all, this is the top two teams in the East, teams that met in the conference finals this spring, trading All-Star point guards for each other. It's not often you see that.

For the Celtics, they will have Irving for at least the next two seasons under his current contract. Considering Thomas' deal runs up after this year, that's good news for them.


That said, this is an unbelievable haul for the Cavs. Not only do they remain very good in the short-term with Thomas stepping in to fill the same role Irving did, but they get deeper with Crowder and set themselves up extremely well long-term with the Nets' pick. The Nets were the worst team in basketball this past season, the odds of them still being very bad two years from now seem good. The Cavs are in good position now even if LeBron James leaves next summer, knowing they have an extra first round pick that could be a top selection.

The first game of the NBA season, by the way, is Celtics at Cavs on Oct. 17. That should be a good one.

For the rest of the Eastern Conference, teams like the Wizards, it's hard to draw major conclusions from this deal. The Cavs were the best team in the East and have a good chance of remaining the top dogs. The Celtics gave up a lot, but they also added other pieces this offseason with Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum. Only time will tell if either got signifincatly better or worse.

Cleveland, however, does look much better off in the long run. That could affect how some view James' future, as many have speculated about whether this will be his final season with the Cavs. Now they appear to have a very sound long-term plan.

This trade will send shockwaves throughout the NBA, but may not affect the standings in the Eastern Conference very much. Still, it's a big one.