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Past, Present, Future: Travis Outlaw

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Past, Present, Future: Travis Outlaw

Past: Travis Outlaw, one of the last players to jump straight from high school to the pros, has averaged 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game over eight seasons and blossomed into one of the NBA’s best scorers off the bench. The active and energetic forward can score in a variety of ways, spotting up for perimeter jumpers, moving well without the ball and cutting to the basket, and getting put-backs on offensive rebounds. Consistent and highly efficient from the field, he has averaged 37.7 percent or higher from downtown in three of his last four seasons, and has notched four three-pointers in a game nine times.

Outlaw registered career-highs in points (13.3 per game), rebounds (4.6) and three-point accuracy (39.6 percent) with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007-08, ranking second in the NBA in points off the bench (12.9) among all players who appeared in at least 60 games in a reserve role. The 6-foot-9 forward poured in a career-best 36 points (10-18 FG) – the most by a Portland back-up since Terry Porter in 1994 – to go along with 10 rebounds and two steals on April 14, 2007. Outlaw blocked six shots, one shy of the team record for swats by a forward, to go with 16 points (6-9 FG), six rebounds and two steals on Nov. 10, 2006.

Present: Motivated after a down year with the N.J. Nets in 2010-11, in which he still put up 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds per contest and ranked fourth on the team in three-point makes (76), Outlaw worked with a conditioning coach as part of his offseason training regimen to get into the best shape of his career, focusing on cardiovascular fitness and partaking in numerous local basketball tournaments.

“I know I’m way better than what I showed last season,” he told the New York Daily News. “I just have to come in there to prove a point and make my team better.”

The hard-working forward fractured his right wrist while punching a heavy bag in a gym during a rigorous boxing workout, but has since returned to action.

Taking an active role in the community, he hosted the sixth-annual Travis Outlaw Day in his hometown of Starkville, Miss., in August, which included multiple events and generous prizes for both children and adults, and donated over $20,000 to the Boys & Girls Club.

Future: A proven shooter who can stretch the floor with a solid mid-range game and terrific outside touch, Outlaw bolsters Sacramento’s high-powered offense and provides the team with added depth at two frontcourt positions. The energetic and versatile addition is capable of playing both small and power forward, creating mismatches on the floor and providing further lineup flexibility in a key back-up role.

The 27-year-old has the physical tools and work ethic to develop into a standout two-way player, possessing the length, quickness and athleticism to make highlight reel plays on offense, as well as contest shots and close out perimeter shooters on the defensive end. An intelligent and productive team player, Outlaw’s veteran presence and penchant for delivering in crunch-time, will help speed up Sacramento’s development and provide leadership for a rising young Kings team.

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