It has been a rough start to a once top NBA draft prospect’s career. That prospect, Ben McLemore, endured a draft day fall back in 2013 that led to him falling in what one could call the worst place for young talent in the NBA, Sacramento. McLemore on the eve of the draft had been projected by some to go as high as the second overall pick. It didn’t end up working that way as McLemore fell all the way down to the seventh pick in the draft to the Sacramento Kings. Ever since McLemore has been looking to find and carve out his niche in the NBA.
The 24-year old shooting guard will not be brought back in the 2017 season after the Kings organization announced that they have decided to decline McLemore’s option according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. During his time in Sacramento, McLemore has averaged 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists in 25.5 minutes per game. Although, when factoring in McLemore’s per 36 minutes he averages 13.2 points per game and clearly with the Kings he didn’t get to play those type of minutes.
McLemore during his time with the organization went through multiple coaches, regimes, injuries and even competition. He knew the writing was on the wall when the Kings acquired rookie shooting guard Buddy Hield in the trade that dealt away superstar center DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans. Even though McLemore recorded his lowest minutes per game in his NBA career, he was able to show that he could improve as a three-point shooter moving his average from 32 percent in his rookie year up to 38 percent.
This summer McLemore is likely to receive some serious consideration. He is only 24 years old as previously stated, he does bring the three point strength to the table and has plenty of untapped potential. As far as teams that could take a chance on him, you would have to look at the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs among other teams as possible fits. McLemore likely will have to re-earn his starting reputation, but in a system like Luke Walton’s in L.A. he could fit well as the Lakers still need a two-guard with the trading of D’Angelo Russell and draft pick of Lonzo Ball. McLemore could opt for fit, money, location or even coaching.
Luckily for all the Jayhawk faithful that had to watch the Kings waste McLemore’s talent, that nightmare is over as he will move onto the next chapter in his young career. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Frank Mason who many just have their fingers crossed that he gets a chance in Sacramento.