With the 7th Pick, the Kings select Ben McLemore! #KingsAllDay http://instagram.com/p/bFQCoGyy3g/
6/27/13, 7:32 PM
Ben is relieved and happy. Family is feels so blessed. Proud to be here. Our man is so proud to represent Kansas and his teammates.
6/27/13, 7:34 PM
Me 2! “@Amareisreal: “@KingJames: They sleeping on Ben McLemore. Just watch” I agree Bron !!”
Ben McLemore still on the board?? Kid is gonna be a star in the league
The Sacramento Kings tonight (Thursday, June 27th) selected University of Kansas' Ben McLemore in the first round (7th overall) and University of Detroit Mercy's Ray McCallum in the second round (36th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft.
"We are very pleased to have just completed our first draft for the new-era Kings," said Kings Majority Owner Vivek Ranadivé. "Ben McLemore was our dream choice from the get-go. I did say that when we got the No. 7 pick that seven was my lucky number. So we felt seven was our lucky number and sure enough, we got the guy that we all were dreaming about."
"It was a special night – Ben is a gifted player," said Kings General Manager Pete D'Alessandro. "He is someone our staff spent hours watching, evaluating and debating. And with the second-round pick, Ray McCallum is just one of the classiest young men you'll ever meet and a heck of a player."
An early entry candidate, the 6-5, 195-pound McLemore averaged 15.9 points (.495 FG%, .420 3pt%, .870 FT%), 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 32.2 minutes per game in 37 appearances for the Jayhawks. McLemore set the KU freshman record in scoring (3rd in the Big 12) and free throw percentage. He was named to the Second Team All-America by the AP, NABC, and USBWA in 2013. A three-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week and one-time league player of the week, the standout guard became only the second Jayhawk in the 17-year history of the Big 12 to win both awards in the same season. He had 11 games of 20 points or more, including three 30-point performances. His 36 points against West Virginia broke the Kansas freshman single-game scoring record and his three 30-point efforts also set a KU freshman single-season mark.
McLemore becomes only the third player to be selected out of Kansas by the Kings in the Sacramento era, joining Ryan Robertson (second round, 45th overall, 1999) and Thomas Robinson (first round, 5th overall, 2012). In franchise history, McLemore is the fourth player from Kansas to ever be selected by the Kings (Carl Henry, 4th round, 1984).
6/27/13, 7:21 PM
Happy for Ben and the Kings fans. He's going to be a great asset
Congrats to my new teammate @BenMcLemore! Looking forward to meeting you man. #KingsAllDay
VIDEO: Sac fans react
"We’re very, very pleased with the results (of the Draft). Ben McLemore – he was our dream choice, right from the get-go" -- @Vivek
“We’re still in disbelief that we got (McLemore) at No. 7. It’s just pure joy.” -- @Vivek #KingsAllDay
Mike Malone and Chris Jent will be perfect for Ben McLemore. Love those 2 guys in Cleveland
USA Today Video: McLemore joins Kings with a chip on his shoulder
Q&A with new Sacramento King Ben McLemore
“Paul went into the draft with the chance to go 1 and he went 10,” KU coach Bill Self told the Journal-World at the draft. “And I think he used that to his advantage. I think Ben should do the same thing. But the best part about Ben is he’s not one bit upset about going seventh or anything like that. He just wants to go play ball.”
Although many, including McLemore, expected the 6-foot-5, smooth-shooting forward to be long gone by the time NBA Commissioner David Stern announced Sacramento’s selection Thursday, one McLemore supporter drew serious attention for voicing that opinion.
With McLemore slowly slipping down the board, his spirits were lifted by a quick message from his brother, Kevin, who told him about a tweet from reigning NBA MVP LeBron James.
At 7:04 p.m., the man many call the best player in the world, tweeted a hefty endorsement McLemore’s way.
“They sleeping on Ben McLemore,” @KingJames wrote to his nearly 9 million followers. “Just watch.”
Less than 15 minutes later, McLemore, who sported a replica of his No. 23 KU jersey sewn into the inside of his suit jacket, was wearing his new Kings hat and blissfully answering questions from the media about his new home.
Asked about the tweet from James and how well he knew him, McLemore tried to play it cool.
“I know him pretty well,” McLemore said. “(From) going to his camps my junior year and then just getting to meet him and stuff like that. He’s a great guy. I looked up to him a lot.”
The look on McLemore’s face while answering the question revealed that the unexpected tweet was a definite highlight.
“Seven is my lucky number,” new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said. “When I was at the Warriors we got (Stephen) Curry, (Harrison) Barnes at seven, my birthday is on the seventh, the Mayor (Kevin Johnson) was picked seventh, he wore the number seven and we got the best player in the (draft) at seven.”
…D’Alessandro had McLemore No. 1 on his draft board since he scouted him with Denver’s front office. Ranadive said they even contacted other teams to try to move up in the draft before McLemore was taken.
When Cleveland surprisingly chose UNLV’s Anthony Bennett first overall, D’Alessandro turned to new coach Mike Malone and said, “I think we have a chance to get our guy.”
Ben. Way back when.
6/27/13, 10:22 PM
Portland takes Jeff Withey at #39. Kind of surprising he fell this far. Best big man defender in college basketball?
Surrounded by family and friends in San Diego, Kansas University center Jeff Withey needed something to break the tension of a stressful draft night, finally deciding to play pool with some of his old high school coaches during the second round.
He was still at the table when the Portland Trail Blazers made him the 39th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
“When it was finally called, it was just kind of a relief,” Withey said. “I felt very happy, being able to go to a cool place like Portland.”
Withey, who was projected by some analysts to be a first-rounder, ended up falling to the ninth pick of the second round.
“I know that Jeff is excited,” KU coach Bill Self said. “I know he’s more motivated now than ever.”
For the entire first round, Withey huddled with family and friends around the TV in anticipation of getting taken.
“Watching the draft is a very stressful thing on the TV, because it goes by so slow,” Withey said. “You’re watching it, and you see commercials and everything. My whole thought process was, ‘Maybe the next one. Maybe the next one.’”
Withey said he hadn’t worked out or even been contacted by the Trail Blazers before Thursday.
“The biggest thing is just he’s got to work,” Self said. “He’s got to do a good job in the summer league and probably get a little bit stronger and keep honing his skills.
“I heard he had some really good workouts with several teams. I don’t think he has to change anything. He just has to get a little bit better at everything he does.”
Looks as though Travis Releford and Christian Watford will both go to Indiana Pacers camp.
6/27/13, 7:23 PM
Bennett said he was proud to be a Canadian player. Said he expects Andrew Wiggins to go No. 1 next year too
6/27/13, 10:10 PM
Next year would be a good year for the Celtics to be bad. #wigginssweepstakes
6/27/13, 10:22 PM
Paul Pierce is 2nd all-time in Celtics history in points (24,021) and PPG (21.8).
Reconstruction is no longer in the “This Old House” phase. Think Egypt before the Pyramids, or the day they tore down the old Boston Garden.
Think about a Celtics team wiped clean of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — two players who will surely have their jerseys retired before long, but who will not retire in a green uniform.
Ainge, who has been itching to start a new era for the last two years, finally tore his team down to the floorboards yesterday before settling in to trade up to the 13th pick and take Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk.
When the NBA’s contract moratorium ends on July 10, Ainge will announce that he has traded the soul of the franchise — Pierce and Garnett — in addition to Jason Terry to Brooklyn for first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, in addition to Gerald Wallace, former Celtic Kris Joseph, Tornike Shengelia, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans and the expiring contract of Kris Humphries.
The hard pill for the Celtics is Wallace, who has three years and $30 million left on his contract. But they were able to shed the contract of Terry, who has two years and almost $12 million remaining on his deal.
Ainge and Brooklyn general manager Billy King both declined comment last night, but sources from both teams confirmed the trade had been completed.
The Grizzlies traded forward Darrell Arthur and the rights to Joffrey Lauvergne, the No. 55 pick in the 2013 draft, to the Nuggets in exchange for center Kosta Koufos.
Big 12/College News
I left a message anyway. It was the last chance I had.
For two weeks, I'd been playing a basketball version of "Where's Waldo?" Only instead of trying to find a goofy kid in a striped shirt, I was trying to find an overhyped, once-famous basketball player who should have been impossible to misplace.
Where in the world is Renardo Sidney?
Today seems like a good day to ponder that question. The day after the NBA draft is for the leftovers, the guys who spent the night waiting on a phone call that never came and who now face a life of work without the aide of the draft's Easy Street. The guys like C.J. Leslie and Phil Pressey and B.J. Young.
Bill Raftery is switching networks to stick with the Big East.
The popular college basketball commentator will call the reshaped conference's games for new cable network Fox Sports 1. Raftery had worked for ESPN since 1982. He will continue to also call games for CBS.
Fox said Thursday that the former Seton Hall coach will team with play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson for Big East games on FS1, which debuts Aug. 17. Raftery and Johnson previously worked together for CBS.
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
On a night when former No. 1 draft picks Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis were in the gym at Kean University for the Nike Skills Academy, the biggest story of the evening revolved around a 6-foot-11 high school player who was barely on the national radar just a couple of weeks ago.
In a room full of NBA scouts, college stars, media representatives and his own high school peers, Myles Turner of Euless (Texas) Trinity put on a show.
The 2014 big man stepped out on the perimeter and smoothly drained long-range jump shots. He ran the floor like a gazelle and flashed his chiseled frame. And he matched up on the perimeter with 6-11 Kentucky-bound big man Karl Towns Jr.
“It was fun, the best word I can describe it is fun,” Turner told SNY.tv following the performance. “I love going up against competition, especially someone of my caliber.”
Five-star big man Myles Turner didn't make the biggest jump in our latest update of the class of 2014 RIvals150. But his climb up the rankings from No. 78 to No. 6 has certainly been the most impressive.
Technically, fellow five-star Devin Robinson had the biggest leap based on what has happened so far this summer with an 82-spot jump from No. 106 to No. 24. But Turner's jump placing him comfortably in the top 10 sets him apart.
A 6-foot-11 center out of Euless (Texas) Trinity, Turner was actually expected to make a climb during the spring and early summer. In fact, we wrote before the spring started that he could be a breakout star before slotting him at No. 78 in March.
Even then, there was some worry that the ranking of Turner at No. 78 wouldn't be aggressive enough. However, nobody could have ever imagined that any ranking outside of the national top ten might have been selling him short.
More than likely, Jahlil Okafor would be the first to tell you that the spring of 2013 didn't go as he might have hoped. There weren't any issues with the play of the 6-foot-11 center from Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young.
But he battled ankle problems that kept him from playing at 100 percent for the better part of April, May and June.
Now in Prague with USA Basketball's 19 and under national team, Okafor looks to be back to full health and primed for a big July.
Coming off a standout junior season, Okafor certainly had his moments on the spring circuit when he was healthy. Most of all, though, Okafor retains his spot at the top of the rankings because he is a unique prospect.
In an era where every big man wants to face up and show off their perimeter skills, Okafor is a true space-eating, back-to-the basket and highly skilled center who can score in bunches. His combination of size, skill and understanding of position is one that isn't seen very often and he looks like the type of player who could be dropped into a NBA game right now and hold his own.
Rivals 150 Update
2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp Schedule
My KU Alumni games, 2011-12 Border War, Legends of the Phog, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos, Late Night in the Phog, and more now on YouTube