2013 NBA Draft – #7: Ben McLemore
With the seventh pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings selected Ben McLemore, a 20-year-old freshman shooting guard out of Kansas.
“Right now, I’m feeling great,” McLemore said. “This is a great opportunity for me. I’m blessed to be here to get drafted, and I’m happy. I’m very excited and my family is excited. Just the start of my journey. … I definitely can say I come in with a chip on my shoulder. That’s what I want to do. I want to come in and show everybody what I can do, because I know on the court I know what I can do. I can be an alpha dog and take over games and help my teams win games. Like I said, I definitely think coming in I definitely got a chip on my shoulder, but I know I can handle it right. I know I’m going to go in there and work.”
The situation with restricted free agent Tyreke Evans just got a little bit more confusing since McLemore at 6’5 and 185 lbs. gives Sacramento more perimeter scoring. Their outside shooting has been lacking in recent years, even though they have an abundance of guards. McLemore should, however, bring immediate offense to a team that struggles to score outside of the paint.
Sacramento was looking to add to their backcourt, and with the possibility of Evans signing a contract that the Kings don’t feel they can match, McLemore should provide more stability offensively for a squad struggling to find itself.
McLemore averaged 15.9 points on 49.5% from the field, 42% from the three-point line, and 87% from the charity stripe while also providing 5.2 rebounds and 2 assists per game in his lone year at Kansas University. Going as high as the third pick overall in some mock drafts, Sacramento gladly called out his name after McLemore dropped out of the top three and straight into their lap at seven. The shooting guard out of Kansas will likely find himself behind Evans and Marcus Thornton in the Kings’ scoring guard rotation, provided Evans doesn’t leave the Kings for a more lucrative deal.
New owner Vivek Ranadive, along with new head coach Michael Malone and freshly instated general manager Pete D’Alessandro, looks to change the Kings’ losing ways and start fresh this season with a whole new regime.
“He was our No. 1 choice,” Ranadive said. “And we were frantically in the war room trying to trade up to the number two, three, four slot. We were willing to pay a lot of money to get Ben and we got him at seven. As I’ve said before, seven is my lucky number. When I was with the Warriors we got (Stephen) Curry and (Harrison) Barnes at seven. My birthday is on the seventh, the Mayor (Kevin Johnson) was picked seventh, he wore number seven and we got the best player in the (draft) at seven.”
The future is full of exciting and hopeful opportunities for the Kings, and McLemore should fit right in.