The Sacramento Kings were expecting big things from rookie Ben McLemore in the 2013-14 NBA season after using the seventh pick in the 2013 Draft to select him. His potential is clearly still high and he has all of the tools to succeed in this league, but he hasn’t fully realized any of that potential in what has been a disappointing season.
However, McLemore wasn’t the only rookie for the Kings that some people were high on coming into the year. There were quite a few people throughout the league excited about the prospects of second-round pick Ray McCallum. After not seeing the floor much in Sacramento and bouncing in and out of the D-League, McCallum is finally starting to get some run.
In the Kings’ 116-102 victory over the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, McCallum played 31 minutes off of the bench and really gave the reserves a huge lift with his offense. He finished the night with 15 points, four rebounds and one assist while shooting 7-10 from the floor and 1-2 from long-range.
McCallum has played in just 23 games over the entire season, seeing the floor for only 8.7 minutes per game. In that limited role he’s struggled to stand out, putting up only 2.4 points, 1.1 assists and 1.1 rebounds per game while shooting just 31.8 percent from the floor, though he has hit 42.9 percent of his threes.
Over the last eight games, though, McCallum has seen his workload steadily increase. Over the last five games, he’s actually played a big role off of the Kings’ bench. In those five games, the rookie is putting up nine points, 3.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game while shooting 41.9 percent from the floor and 5-9 from beyond-the-arc.
McCallum is a talented scorer, something he displayed while playing his college ball at Detroit. He’s quick off of the dribble and has shown solid development with his jumper. As the Kings continue in what is pretty clearly a transition phase, the rookie is a player worth keeping an eye on to see if he can carve out a role for himself beyond getting minutes off of the bench at the end of this lost season for Sacramento.