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In surprise to nobody, Kansas’ Ben McLemore declares for draft

Apr 9, 2013, 4:17 PM EDT

Kansas Jayhawks McLemore reacts after a dunk against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half in their South Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Arlington Reuters

Maybe there were a few Kansas Jayhawk diehards holding out hope, but this was a given.

Ben McLemore announced Tuesday he is leaving Kansas for the NBA Draft, reports the Kansas City Star.

There he will likely be a top 3 pick, which means he is making the right call. In a draft where there are no future franchise anchor guys (such as Derrick Rose types), guys who can be a valuable rotation guy in a few years will go high in the lottery. CollegeBasketballTalk’s Rob Dauster told PBT a couple times he sees McLemore’s NBA ceiling in the Ray Allen with the Celtics years level — not the key guy, not a guy that creates his own shot, but a guy who can get you points and makes a great third option.

He’s a starting two guard, but not a star.

McLemore is unquestionably athletic and has the prettiest jump shot in college, a silky-smooth release that leads to the Allen comparisons (and got him 15.9 points per game last season on average, a Kansas record). He’s not all the way there yet, but you can see the upside.

But he also has a reputation for disappearing in big games, in part because he struggles to create his own shot. We certainly saw that in the NCAA Tournament, but it really didn’t hurt McLemore’s cause much because he really just confirmed what scouts and teams about him.

Still, he needs to come out. He’s going to make Top 3 money this year, guys that go back tend to slip down the draft board and next year’s draft is expected to be much, much better.

  1. gpatrick15 - Apr 9, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Can we stop with the “no future stars” thing until at least they enter the league? Sure, it’s not a loaded draft. I get that. But there’s a good possibility that someone from this draft ends up being a franchise cornerstone. You never know until they step on the court. Not comparing the 2, as they play 2 different positions, but they said the same thing about Kyrie Irving and everyone else in his draft class. Sure, he may be the only star from that class, but prior to the draft everyone said there would be no franchise guys, just valuable rotation players. They said Kyrie Irving wouldn’t be as good as some of the top pg’s in the league, and all indications show that he’s definitely on the right track. Not saying McLemore, Burke, Oladipo, and others from this class will be stars, but the potential is definitely there if they land in a favorable situation.

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      The Kyrie point is valid, save that he missed most of that season with a foot injury so we didn’t really have a sense of how good he was.

  2. saint1997 - Apr 9, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    I don’t like that late Ray Allen comparison. Yeh he couldn’t take over but to say he won’t be even be star is joke. He’s got crazy athleticism so to say he’ll essentially be nothing but a spot shooter is a joke. As cool as it would have been to see this lad competing with Kentucky next year (especially if Wiggins goes there) but he can be an all star with great skills in a weak SG class

  3. doubledown44 - Apr 9, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    In addition to the reasons you listed, his family really needs the money. There was a one in a million chance of him going back and no real reason for him to do so.

  4. djjackson81 - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Phoenix Suns

  5. libertynchurch - Apr 9, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I wish the oung man nothing but the best, but his 15.9 PPG was not the record, as stated here. I remember a young player from Philly, Wilt Chamberlain, who also played for Kansas.

    Dont really mind you hyping the young players, but not at the expense of my man Wilt. You must have meant a Freshman record. But even that is misleading, as Wilt was not allowed to play varsity ball as a freshman.

  6. anhdazman - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    Not entirely sure if this comparison is accurate, but how about Joe Johnson of Nets?

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