Wizards, Hawks make trade based around Oubre

Kelly Oubre Jr. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

WASHINGTON — The Washington Wizards moved up four spots in the first round of the NBA draft to get Kansas freshman Kelly Oubre in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, who selected the small forward with the 15th overall pick Thursday night.

The Wizards agreed to send the 19th overall choice, along with two future second-round picks, to Atlanta in the deal.

The 6-foot-7, 203-pound Oubre averaged 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds, while shooting 35.8 per cent on 3-pointers, during his only college season.

He is 19 years old.

With a young core of point guard John Wall, shooting guard Bradley Beal and small forward Otto Porter — all taken among the top three overall picks — the Wizards have made it to the Eastern Conference semifinals the past two seasons.

Washington was eliminated by Atlanta this season.

The Wizards know they might need to replace forward Paul Pierce, the 17-year veteran who has a contract option to stay with the club next season but could decline so he can become a free agent.

Washington also entered Thursday with the draft’s 49th overall pick.

This is the first time since 2009 that the Wizards had a first-round pick that was not in the lottery, a sign of the team’s recent progress.

Wall, a starter in this season’s All-Star game, was the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, Beal was taken No. 3 in 2012, and Porter went No. 3 in 2013. The Wizards had the No. 6 pick in 2011, but whiffed with their choice of Jan Vesely, who is no longer in the league.

A year ago, Washington did not wind up with any players from the draft. It didn’t have a pick in the first round — that was part of a trade that brought centre Marcin Gortat over from the Phoenix Suns — and Washington sold its second-round spot to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Led by Wall, Beal and Pierce, the Wizards went 46-36 this season, the franchise’s most victories since 1978-79, then swept the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before losing to the Hawks in six games.

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