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Ben McLemore the next Ray Allen? Victor Oladipo the next Dwyane Wade? How they answer could be telling

Jun 22, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore and Victor Oladipo are the consensus top two shooting guards in the 2013 NBA Draft, but for very different reasons.

McLemore is seen as a potential superstar who needs more on-court aggressiveness to really shine. Oladipo is seen as a great role player who maximizes his talent.

Even a couple seemingly benign quotes about player comparisons, an issue every NBA draft prospect is asked to address at some point, feed into that perception.

McLemore, via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

“I definitely can compare myself to Ray Allen, especially with the shooting ability,” McLemore said. “I don’t know about the athleticism anymore. But I definitely can say I compare myself with him a lot as far as getting myself open, coming off screens and little things like that.”

Oladipo, via J. Michael of CSN Washington:

“I hear a lot of things, whether I can’t create my own shot. I need to work on this. I need to work on that, I’ll be a great role player. They compare me to players like Tony Allen. I’ll never be an All-Star, and things like that,” Oladipo said. “Tony Allen ain’t a bad player: He’s a great player. Don’t get me wrong. He plays tremendous defense. I feel like I don’t want to limit myself. Even when I’m compared me to other players like Dwyane Wade or Russell Westbrook, I want to take all their games and mold them into one so I can be the best basketball player I can be.”

Neither answer is necessarily wrong, but this really showcases the perceived differences between McLemore and Oladipo.McLemore seems content. Oladipo seems hungry.Is that fair? Probably not. McLemore didn’t reach this level by resting on his laurels. He’s clearly put a lot of work into his game over the years, and that happens only with a passion to succeed, a passion to get better.But on this level, where every player is competitive, the slightest differences can make all the difference between career arcs and millions of dollars.

  1. hehateme2 - Jun 22, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Wade is no role player.
    His 2006 playoff was MVP worthy and if he can get healthy… watch out.

    • raidmagic - Jun 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      At what point did anyone compare Wade to a roll player?

    • cmehustle - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      Dude, you just made 2006 seem like a long time ago right there…

    • cmehustle - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      And yes, in the 2006 NBA finals Dwayne Wade did win the MVP.

    • ss3walkman - Jun 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      Last year they said Bradley Beal was the next Ray Allen. Please just stop

  2. raidmagic - Jun 22, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    OR, and I’m not saying this is the case, MeLemore is a humble kid that isn’t going to brag about what he or his skills are compared to another’s skill set.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    You know what’s funny. LeBron is a 4 time MVP with 2 championships in a row, back to back MVPs back to back Finals MVP and is universally agreed to be the best player in the world. But if you compare him to Michael Jordan, you’re going to get 100 comments on how such a comparison is blasphemy (I happen to think James is better than Jordan ever was-calm down Junior…I’m not saying James has had a more successful career. Obviously Jordan has the more successful career. But James does waaaaaay more things than Jordan could do and he does them all at the elitist of elite levels…but this is a different argument for a different time)

    But if you write a column that Ben MacLem…what’s his name? McLemore? Okay, Ben McLemore. You write a column that McLemore and Olidipo who have never done anything….ANYTHING. You write that they could be the next Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, and you get absolutely no comments at all about the ridiculousness of that statement.

    • moseskkim - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      Gonna make another account and thumbs down again, brb. Lebron is a freak of nature and best player in the world right now. If its even fair to compare to jordan, Jordan was a straight assassin. Cold blooded. Played so well he didn’t need to have too many haters on his back. He silenced them. Lebron has silenced a little but boy did he come close to blowin that 2nd championship. Kawhi Leonard, great defender but second year in the league. He slowed lebron down big time . Lebron was averaging 18 thru 3 games or so. Jordan would average 38 and that with no hand check, whole defense focused on him. Killer instinct, assassin mentality gives it to jordan for me.

      Totally off subject btw haha

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        How many assists? How many rebounds? Did he cover the best pt guard in the league AND the best power forward ever?

    • cmehustle - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      Yea, lol you know whats funny. No one thought Dwayne Wade would be that great coming out of Marquette. In that draft it went Lebron, Darko, Melo, Bosh, and then Wade. People thought he was injury prone and short for a two guard. The comparisons are being made to people at the time they were drafted. Dont shoot down these players yet, because here’s a news flash for you; at one time or another every single player that has every played in the NBA was either drafted or signed as a free agent from college. Lebron didnt start out as good as he is today. I remember when he was drafted and people in the know were saying hes the next big thing, and people like just like were you were like meh. A GM and a scouts job is to PROJECT how these players will be in their primes. If you can say right now that Oladipo and Mclemore wont turn out any good right now, then dude you should be in someones front office and not posting what facts you have on a website.

  4. itsonlyaspeedbump - Jun 22, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Dan, I noticed you specifically did NOT do this, but I have to say its unfair to make judgments about a persons drive our desire based on those comments.

    Shoot, if he says ‘I’ll be better than Ray Allen’ fans and media will say ‘ Oh, you think youre better than one of the best shooters of all time?’ Then they’ll denounce him as an arrogant jerk.

    He gives the answer he gave and its more “proof” that he doesn’t want to be great.

    I’d love to see coverage of basketball players that wasnt cynical or driven only by intangibles.

  5. jturbo1402003 - Jun 22, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    I’m an Orlando Magic fan & I would rather have McLemore all day. Not only cause w his scoring & 3pt shot he fills a need but because he has a higher ceiling. Thomas Robinson also plays 100% & had his breakout year during Jr campaign. U have to trust your front office CIA yes & veteran leaders that you can take a young talented kid & get the most outta him. Its not that Ben is a bad dude or gets in trouble its that sometimes he isn’t as aggressive offensively as some would like. If the other player is maxed out in college & only had 1 great year ill take kid whose a Freshman who had the same stats and if pushed correctly could do even better. And as I started he fits a need with the Magic. We have some young athletic defensive players and we definitely could use some offense and a player to stretch the floor & knock down the 3.

    • sportsfan18 - Jun 22, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      It depends on the current makeup of your team. Do you need offense or defense? If you’re starting a team from scratch, that’s one thing, but each NBA teams isn’t starting from scratch. They have players already on their team.

      If a team is in need of shooting, then take Ben. I know he won’t be there when the Bulls draft, but my point is that a team like the Bulls, who already play great team defense, wouldn’t need to take Victor. They’d take Ben if they had a choice between the two.

      Other teams, many other teams, have problems on the defensive end. So many of the young players just want to score, to dunk, to make the highlight reels and they aren’t really that good on the defensive side of the ball.

      A team that needs defense would take Victor…

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