On the night of the 2013 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings thought they had received a gift from the heavens. With the way the top six picks played out so unexpectedly, the Kings were able to land one of the highest rated prospects in the draft in Ben McLemore with the seventh pick.
Now that the Kings are in Las Vegas for NBA Summer League, it’s the first look that the organization is getting at McLemore playing against a higher level of competition and playing in an NBA environment. To say McLemore has been unimpressive thus far would be putting it far too kindly.
In 28.8 minutes per game through four games, McLemore is averaging 13 points and four rebounds per game, but is shooting an atrocious 28.1 percent from the field and a horrible 17.9 percent from three-point range, as well as averaging 3.5 turnovers per game. It’s been tough to watch.
Part of McLemore’s issues this past week have been that his shot isn’t falling, which isn’t going to continue. McLemore displays good activity to get open on offense and has great form on his stroke. However, his other issues have been glaring.
Though McLemore was likely told to look to shoot first in Summer League, especially considering a knock on him was him being overly unselfish, he hasn’t registered an assist yet at Summer League. That’s a pretty big red flag. Moreover, he’s shown poor ball-handling skills and hasn’t displayed the greatest hands on the boards or even catching passes either.
As of right now, McLemore seems destined to be nothing more than a spot-up shooter. If he tries to dribble, NBA-caliber defenders are going to take the ball and be going the other way the majority of the time. He has to improve his ball-handling if he wants to be an impact player in this league. There’s no doubt the tools are in place, but there’s a lot of work left to be done.