Cheat Sheet: Wizards to Watch at 2016 NBA Summer League | Wizards Blog Truth About

Cheat Sheet: Wizards to Watch at 2016 NBA Summer League

Updated: July 9, 2016

The 2016 edition of Wizards summer leaguers make their debut at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:3o p.m. PT) today in Las Vegas versus the Utah Jazz. They will play again on Sunday and Tuesday before tournament play starts (all teams are guaranteed five games). Enjoy the fun basketball (that will nonetheless probably devolve quickly into a scourge on the game) while it lasts—the 2017 summer league could be cancelled because of a lockout/work-stoppage just like in 2011 (when poor boy Jan Vesely never got a chance to debut his skills). Keep reading for a few names to watch on Washington’s squad.


Kelly Oubre

Spider Kelly Oubre firmly holds the keys to the Wizards summer league bus, and is generally the only one people care about on the “least entertaining” team in Vegas (at least according to one writer). And that’s OK. Oubre has just about everything to prove. A promising start to his rookie campaign ended on a downslope—some combination of inattention to his development from the previous coaching regime to, when he did get glimpses of opportunity, anxiously pissing the bed in understandable manners. The smell of his rookie season in his nostrils is probably a little sour. Oubre also probably wants to show out for the locals, since he spent one season at Findlay Prep in nearby Henderson, NV. Expect Oubre to live at the free throw line in Vegas, but more telling of his progress will be displays of ball-handling, attempts to limit turnovers, and rebounding prowess. Wizards summer league coach Sidney Lowe says that they want to get Oubre handling the ball more in the pick-and-roll. Sin City provides the perfect opportunity—the mistakes that happen here generally stay here. Also, Oubre calls himself the “Wave Papi,” but you don’t necessarily have to.


Aaron White

Aaron White is the second Wizards draft pick on this team, taken 49th overall in 2015. White was an American draft-and-stash, who, after four years at the University of Iowa, was sent to hone his game over in Germany—not exactly a top league in the world but good enough. White, at 6-foot-9, is generally seen as a stretch-4 with “sneaky” athleticism—because all redheaded white guys are kind of sneaky, I guess. He shot 25-for-69 (36.2%) from 3 in Germany last season after shooting 61-for-217 (28.1%) from 3 over his college career (21-59, 35.6% in his senior season). From recently observing him at Wizards SummerFest, I expect that White needs to gain some more strength before the NBA really considers him, but I also imagine that he’ll be moving on to a better pro league than Germany next season. Also: White shot 0-for-9 on 3-pointers and just 8-for-26 from the field over 105 minutes (6 games) at the 2015 summer league. Lot’s of room for improvement, especially if he gives the Wizards coaches what they want: more aggressiveness.

Twitter: @Aaron_White30

Daniel Ochefu

The Wizards really like Daniel Ochefu, an undrafted 6-foot-11 big man out of Villanova, and it’s not that much of a secret. Because, yep, on Thursday they just signed him to a three-year minimum deal ($50K guaranteed)—this is sort of what forward-thinking franchises do in searching for the next gem. What’s also not a secret is that, in addition to Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris, the Wizards have seemingly made big men a free agent priority—see: Ian Manhimi, Andrew Nicholson, and Jason Smith. Plus, there are faint expectations that Otto Porter or Kelly Oubre can play up to the 4-spot in small lineups; we will see how Scott Brooks handles that. In any case, one once thought that opportunity was rife for the Wizards summers to earn an actual roster spot; perhaps not so much the case now. Still, though, Damn Daniel will get plenty of opportunity to show-out in Nevada.

Twitter: @DanielOchefu23

Sheldon McClellan

Sheldon McClellan is a sweet-shooting guard out of the University of Miami. Standing at 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-7 wingspan, some NBA teams apparently wanted to take him in the second round this year and stash him overseas. But that’s not the route McClellan wanted to take and instead found himself signing a partially guaranteed contract with the Wizards on draft night with hopes of earning an NBA roster spot with his summer league play. He started his college career at Texas, where he played 68 games, averaged 48 percent on 2-pointers and 29.1 percent on 3-pointers. But he and Texas coach Rick Barnes did not see eye-to-eye and McClellan moved on to Miami where in two seasons (73 games) he upped his shooting percentages to 56.4 percent from 2 and 38.1 percent from 3 (40.6% during his senior year). McClellan is athletic but some aren’t sure if he possesses NBA-level athleticism. If he can show in Vegas that he knows how to use his body to create space and get quality looks then some team will surely be looking back.

Twitter: Doesn’t really have an account, unless you count this.

Jarell Eddie

Jarell Eddie is technically on the Wizards’ salary cap books for next season at the non-guaranteed amount of around $980K. This is generally because he was signed by the Wizards in late-December (as a replacement for the injured and waived Martell Webster) and hung around the team for the rest of the season, appearing in 26 games. Eddie had the distinction of hitting his first four NBA 3-point attempts, which were key in a day-after-Christmas win over the lowly Brooklyn Nets. Who am I kidding? That game didn’t matter. Nevertheless, Eddie missed his fifth and final attempt with the game in hand and 25 seconds left. Still, 4-for-5! He wound up shooting just under 32 percent on 3s with the Wizards. Chalk it up to gunning during garbage opportunity in a wasted season; we’ve all been there. But, Eddie’s shooting stroke is tooth-rot sweet, and if anyone on this summer league team not named Kelly Oubre is threatening to secure a roster spot, it’s probably him.

Twitter: @J_Ed31

Bonus: Eddie proposed to his fiancee on July 4th; she accepted.

Tywain McKee

The guy with the ‘old man game’ always stands out. That was Tywain McKee at the Wizards SummerFest this past Wednesday. My mans was born all the way back in 1986, so he’s basically the Andre Miller of Summer League. McKee, a 6-foot-2 point guard, was born in Philly and has played in France, Germany, Russia, Israel, Belarus, and Australia. I don’t exactly remember him playing a few games at the 2009 Vegas Summer League with the Wizards—eons ago before John Wall entered the league—but the name does ring a bell. Looks like McKee will be a ‘veteran’ point option to get the kids in line, something Washington’s 2015 summer team severely lacked due to various last-minute circumstances. McKee played locally at Coppin State where he achieved fifth-year senior status and left the school its all-time leader in points.

Twitter: Like Andre Miller, it doesn’t seem to be happening … but you can read this good feature piece on McKee via the Baltimore Sun from March 2009.

Kaleb Tarczewski

Kaleb Tarczewski was apparently ranked the No. 4 prospect overall by in 2012 when he came out of high school. He then spent four-years at the University of Arizona before being signed by the Wizards as an undrafted free agent on draft night 2016. The seven-footer’s wingspan barely matches his height (not ideal), he didn’t attempt a 3-pointer over 135 games in college (OK), and is apparently one of those big men who sets good screens and does things by the book. Fittingly, Tarczewski grew up in a New Hampshire log cabin that was built by hand by his mom, a construction worker.

Twitter: @tkalebckn (not very active)

Bonus: Here’s a fun Vine of Tarczewski getting dog-cussed by his college coach, Sean Miller:

Shawn Dawson

Shawn Dawson has already been dubbed by others as one of the more intriguing members of Washington’s summer squad. His father, Joe, is from the States and played college basketball at Southern Mississippi. Joe went on to have a decorated international career, including playing in Israel (for over 20 years), where he met and married a local and had Shawn, who was born, raised, and has since played in the Israeli basketball system. Dawson has been on the radar of those scouting basketball over there for a couple seasons. In 2015, he was named a Top 5 European prospect by, and earlier that year, called him an “athletic freak who has erupted over the last two seasons.” Earlier in his development, the 6-foot-6 Dawson was pigeonholed into being a more of a post player, but as he got older he turned into an athletic slasher (who really needs to work on his 3-point shot). This past season, he led his team, Rishon Le-Zion, to its first league national championship with an upset of Israeli powerhouse, Maccabi Tel Aviv, in the semi-finals. Amongst these Wizards summers, after Kelly Oubre, Dawson is probably most likely to yam on someone (i.e., posterize).

Twitter: @ShawnDawson8


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.