Kings sign First-rounder guard Ben McLemore to rookie contract
The 6-foot-5 Ben McLemore was selected with the team’s No. 7th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Ben McLemore entered the draft as a freshman out of Kansas City University. He was initially redshirted during the 2011-12 season after being declared a partial academic qualifier by the NCAA. But Ben McLemore was declared eligible to participate in team activities during his second semester of school year and made the most of the opportunity to play for the Jayhawks for just one season at Kansas.
Ben McLemore averaged 15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 32.2 minutes per game in 37 appearances, as he helped the Jayhawks to their ninth straight Big 12 title last season. He broke Danny Mannings’ freshman scoring record (to rank third in the Big 12) and set highest freshman free-thrown percentage at Kansas University as well. Ben McLemore also earned second-team All-America honors by the AP, NABC, and USB last season.
The-20-year-old Ben McLemore had at least 11 games last season in which he scored 20 points or more, including 30-point performances that helped him set a KU freshman single-season mark.
Even though Ben McLemore shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and 42 percent from the 3-point range at Kansas last season, he struggled during his Summer League debut on Saturday. Ben McLemore finished with 11 points on a 4-23 shooting overall, and 1-11 on attempts from the 3-point range, during the Sacramento Kings’ 76-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
However, it was just one game, for when Ben McLemore and the rest of the league’s rookies have plenty to absorb during their first year in the NBA. But, Ben McLemore did a good job of creating open shots for himself, coming off of screens in the game. Despite his poor outing with regards to his shooting performance, Ben McLemore’s five rebounds show that he still remain engaged in other aspects of the game as well.
That persistence towards remaining involved in the game and his volume of shots indicate two aspects of Ben McLemore’s game. As Ben McLemore does not possess natural ball-handling abilities, he can sometimes take himself out for stretches, especially when the Sacramento Kings’ offense starts to fall apart.
Nevertheless, the Sacramento Kings seem insistent on getting the ball to Ben McLemore, to keep him aggressively involved in the game. Moreover, Ben McLemore’s poor shooting performance in his Summer League debut should not be all that alarming considering fellow rookie Ray McCallum also struggled on shooting. But Ray McCallum tried to cover those shortages as best as he could on the defense with four assists and eight rebounds while serving as the Sacramento Kings’ primarily ball handler on Saturday.