WASHINGTON — Officially, the Wizards selected local product Jerian Grant with the 19th overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft, a legacy of his father, Harvey Grant, a former Bullets first-round pick.
Of course by that point in the draft, the cat was out of the bag that much earlier, the Wizards had traded the 19th pick — as well as two future second-round picks (2016, 2019) — to move up and acquire the 15th overall selection, Kelly Oubre Jr. (Kansas), from Atlanta.
Oubre, upon being informed of the trade, told ESPN’s Shannon Spake, “Whichever team drafts me is gonna win the championship.”
Here’s more reaction from Oubre, via Dan Steinberg:
“Whoever gets me is getting a jewel, you know what I mean?” Oubre told ESPN immediately after he was selected. “I feel like I’m a steal in this draft. I’m ready to win a championship. And whatever team gets me, we’re winning a championship, and I’m ready to put the work in to do so.”
“I’m relentless,” he went on. “A lot of teams passed on me, but that’s fine. You know, they made great picks. A lot of great guys in this draft. But whoever winds up getting me, I’m definitely going to give them 110 percent effort, to pretty much show everybody what I can do, and show that I can be great one day.”
Not lacking confidence, Oubre (6-7, 200) averaged 9.3 points, 5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game as a (mostly) 19-year-old freshman, while shooting .448 from the field and .360 from three-point range.
Here’s the analysis ESPN NBA writer Tom Haberstroh had on Oubre:
The Wizards entered draft night with a need to freshen up the creaky frontcourt core, but Oubre, 19, is a loooong-term project not ready to replace Paul Pierce if the vet leaves. With a late first-round pick, it’s unrealistic to expect someone to step in right away and help the Wizards contend for the Eastern Conference crown (see: last three No. 19s were Andrew Nicholson, Sergey Karasev and Gary Harris).
Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld said, “Kelly is a very talented and athletic young player who can play and defend both the shooting guard and small forward positions. He has terrific upside and can come into a situation where he can take his time and learn from our veterans.”
Jalen Rose, in reaction to the Hawks’ selection, drew a comparison Wizards fans will appreciate.
“I really like the pick,” he said. “As [Rece Davis] mentioned, he’s a really good defender. He reminds me a lot of Trevor Ariza. Second most efficient isolation defender in the Big 12.”
Oh, and Wizards fans, don’t freak out, but guess who gave Oubre a shout out on Instagram days before the draft:
Oubre’s shoes are pretty great, too.
"I would tell you, but then I'd have to kill you," -- Kelly Oubre Jr. on where he bought his ridiculous spiky shoes. http://t.co/VZd0Ywjq0Y—
Scott Chasen (@SChasenKU) June 26, 2015
As for Grant, the former DeMatha Stag was traded again after being acquired by Atlanta, ultimately landing with the Knicks. Oof.