At Vegas Summer League, the ice breaking conversation points are usually pretty similar. They range anywhere from where and how long are you staying for to the inability to hold down solid foods anymore. There's the topic of weather, where people love to tell you it's not that bad because it's a "dry heat" but who the hell cares, it's still 116 goddamn degrees, and I'm currently melting into a puddle.
But there was one talking point I unexpectedly ran into a ton of: how good Kelly Oubre looked. Oubre was partaking in the LeBron James Skills Academy down the road with many other top college players and was tearing the place down. People around the league were genuinely geeked out when they spoke about his domination of the summer circuit; one went as far as to name Oubre the top player in the 2014 freshman class.
The Sixers are still left without a true wing player, and will likely look to address that position with their first round pick in next year's draft. There's a ton of talented small forwards expected to be high pick next year: Arizona's Stanley Johnson and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Duke's Justise Winslow, to name a few. But if Oubre dominates at Kansas like he has this summer (and there is no doubt he's capable), he should trump them all.
Most players their freshman year come into school built like twigs, and adding on extra weight becomes a task equivalent to adding a solid jump shot. Oubre weighed in at the LBJ Academy right at 200 lbs, a decently large frame that he clearly loves to throw around. He has no problem getting to the rim, and finishes really well through contact. He's still got room to add some muscle, but getting pushed around won't be an issue with him. Not to mention he's the proud owner of a 7'2" wingspan, and with his blend of length and athleticism, he has the ability to be a top notch defender at the next level.
His shot is the biggest thing that needs work, although Oubre needs some more adjustments than most, the type of adjustments where you just knock something down and start from scratch. He seemingly shoots the ball right off his left shoulder with little arc. It's neither efficient nor consistent, and Kansas is not necessarily the best place to hone your skills if you are a wing player. Yet if their draft rends over the past two years has proved anything, it's that the Sixers feel shooting is an acquirable trait, while size, passing ability and defensive potential are not.
It's hard to see Oubre not fitting Philadelphia's mold, an off-ball slasher who can run the floor and play tough defense in multiple positions (three or as a small ball four) while learning to hone his catch-and-shoot abilities.
Oubre has been a hot name in basketball circles lately, and if he can continue to put it all together as he has in the summer circuit, there's no reason to say he can't ride that momentum straight into the 2015 draft.