Sacramento Kings first-round pick Ben McLemore had quite the up-and-down Las Vegas Summer League, mixing in some poor shooting and ball security issues with glimpses of why some considered him the best prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft.
McLemore made just four of his 23 shot attempts in his Summer League debut. His box score didn't get much better, either, as he ended up finishing the summer shooting 33.3 percent overall and 19.4 percent from beyond the arc, turning the ball over 18 times in five games. The Kansas product capped off his time in Vegas with a strong performance, though, scoring 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting in a 93-87 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Summer League was just part of the learning process for McLemore, and he explained to Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee some of the adjustments that must be made:
"You have so much more space than in college," McLemore said, referring to the farther three-point line in the NBA. "It's just more open for me, and I have to get used to it. I'm going to get used to it. It's summer league, and I'm here to get better each and every day."
McLemore is known most for his scoring, but to be a true star in the NBA, he must be able to impact the game in other ways than just putting the ball in the basket. For example, the rookie grabbed nine rebounds in Friday's win, which really stood out to new Kings coach Mike Malone:
"(Friday) showed Ben is not just a shooter - he's an all-around basketball player," Malone said. "If your jump shot's not going, you've got to find different ways to affect the game, and he did that (Friday)."
Malone is confident that McLemore, as well as second-round pick Ray McCallum, will both continue to get better thanks to their strong work ethics:
"Both of those guys are willing to work and do whatever it takes to improve," Malone said. "That's the exciting thing. They're ready, willing and able."
McLemore and McCallum now have just over a month to watch film and make more improvements before training camp opens on Oct. 2.