Pistons would consider McLemore at No. 1
by Vince Ellis, USA TODAY Sports
Most analysts and pundits say Kentucky center Nerlens Noel is the top prospect for the NBA draft.
He retains that status despite a knee injury that probably will force him to miss some games next season and concerns over whether he has enough bulk to battle with NBA big men.
But when looking at the 14 teams relegated to the draft lottery, which will take place tonight in New York and will be televised on ESPN, you will find several teams that aren’t exactly in the market for a big man — including the Pistons.
The Pistons are content with their young big men — third-year power forward Greg Monroe and rookie center Andre Drummond, who will represent the Pistons on stage tonight when the TV lights pop on at Times Square Studios.
So whom would the Pistons select if Drummond provides the luck needed to parlay a 3.6% chance into the No. 1 pick when the draft is held June 27?
Teams looking for perimeter help — like the Pistons — might turn to Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore.
McLemore, 20, who spoke to reporters at the NBA predraft combine last week, knows he is close to realizing a lifelong dream.
“I definitely think about it a lot,” McLemore said at the Attack Athletics gym just a short distance away from the United Center, where the Chicago Bulls play. “At this point, right now I’m just trying to get through it and try to get to that day … special day and walk across that stage and I say to myself, ‘I made it.’
“How my career goes and down the road, I’m going to continue to work hard each and every day.”
A lot to like
The comparison you hear the most associated with McLemore is Heat shooting guard Ray Allen.
He weighed 190 pounds and measured nearly 6-feet-5 in shoes when tested last week in Chicago, and he impressed athletically with a 42-inch maximum vertical leap.
But what makes him an elite prospect is a pure jump shot with an easy three-point range. He shot 42% from the three-point line during his only season at Kansas.