NBA Draft 2013: Sacramento Kings select Ben McLemore at No. 7

Ed Zurga

Ben McLemore fell to the Sacramento Kings, and they seized on the opportunity to draft the Kansas guard. There had been talk of the team trading up for McLemore, but there turned out to be no need as he was available at No. 7.

Ben McLemore is going to the Sacramento Kings, as the Kansas freshman guard was selected No. 7 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.

McLemore was talked about as a top five pick for most of the run-up to the draft, but he slipped, saving the Kings some trouble: there was talk of Sacramento trading up to get McLemore, since new GM Pete D'Alessandro coveted him.


McLemore played one season at Kansas before declaring for the draft. In that one year, all he did was average 16.4 points per game, be named a Wooden Award finalist and earn a spot on the AP All-American second team. McLemore scored 30 or more points three times last season, including a 36-point outburst against West Virginia on March 2.

He's an excellent shooter whose athleticism will impress teammates and opponents alike. McLemore is small and not the best ballhandler, but those concerns are far outweighed by his immense potential. He did have to sit out a year after being ruled academically ineligible by the NCAA and was also dismissed from Oak Hill Academy for violating team rules. However, his prior transgressions seem to be a thing of the past.

McLemore becomes a great fit in Sacramento if the Kings are done with the Tyreke Evans era. Either way, he brings a new face into the fray as the Kings sift through which players will be part of their future and which will need to go. The shooting guard situation isn't incredibly stable with John Salmons acting as an oddball veteran and Marcus Thornton occupying minutes, but having options isn't the worst thing.

McLemore will likely get plenty of opportunities to prove his worth and develop the finer points of his game during his rookie season in Sacramento. Will he seize the moment and make a run at the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year award?

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