Second in a series previewing the NBA draft on June 27. Today: Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore; Sunday: Kentucky forward/center Nerlens Noel. It blows Ben McLemore's mind he's even being considered for the No. 1 pick. "I came from nowhere," the Kansas shooting guard said. "From nothing. Just the idea I could end up the No. 1 pick is such a blessing. "I worked so hard to get to this point. Now that I'm here, I've just got to keep working." The Cavaliers hosted McLemore during a workout on Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic Courts. The 6-foot-4 3/4, 189-pounder was a second-team All-American, as well as a first-team all-Big 12 selection. However, it's rare that a team drafts a shooting guard with its top pick on back-to-back years. Obviously, teams need quality depth, and drafting McLemore would give the Cavs perhaps the league's top backcourt in the very near future. All-Star Kyrie Irving is entrenched at point guard and Dion Waiters — for now — is the starter at shooting guard. If McLemore is added, Waiters might be shifted to the sixth-man role. Drafting McLemore might be inviting problems with Waiters, who sees himself as a starter in the NBA. The Cavs have so many needs. Can they afford to add depth to a position in which they are already relatively strong? The 20-year-old McLemore is one of the draft's top shooters. Some observers compare him to future Hall of Famer Ray Allen of the world champion Miami Heat. "I definitely compare myself to Ray Allen, especially with the shooting ability," he said. "I don't know about the athleticism anymore (with Allen), but I definitely compare myself to him as far as getting myself open, coming off screens. Little things like that. I think that's a great comparison." McLemore averaged 15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists as a redshirt freshman with the Jayhawks. He shot 49.5 percent from the field and 42 percent from the 3-point line. "I think my skills will be perfect for the NBA, with my upside, my size, shooting ability and athleticism," he said. "(I'm) just being a humble person and going out there and playing the game I love." A shooting guard hasn't gone first in the draft since David "Skywalker" Thompson in 1975 by Atlanta. McLemore wasn't born until 1993, but he said he was well aware of the impressive feat. "I actually looked that up and did some research on it and (saw) that," he said. "I realized I can make history again." The 2013 draft gets a bad rap that it lacks superstar players. Not many knowledgeable scouts say that about McLemore.
Kansas' Ben McLemore draws Ray Allen comparisons
The News-Herald | Jun 22