Ben McLemore Rumors
May 16 at 9:03pm CST By Luke Adams
9:03pm: We'll post any remaining evening updates from Chicago here:
- Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy tweets that international prospect Mouhammadou Jaiteh will forego Eurocamp and will work out for NBA teams instead, possibly as early as a group workout with Minnesota.
- The Oregonian's Jason Quick reports that the Trail Blazers met with James Southerland yesterday.
2:47pm: More afternoon combine updates from Chicago:
- Ben McLemore has already interviewed with the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Pelicans, according to SI.com's Chris Mannix (via Twitter). McLemore expects to meet with the Bobcats, Magic, and Pistons tonight, according to various reports (all Twitter links).
- Victor Oladipo will also meet with the Pistons tonight, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (via Twitter) adds Otto Porter to the list of prospects interviewed by the Timberwolves, but says the T-Wolves won't get a chance to meet with Oladipo, who was on the team's wish list.
- Jamaal Franklin tells Jason Quick of the Oregonian that when he met with the Trail Blazers yesterday, the whole meeting consisted of a psychological test (Twitter link).
- Andre Roberson met with the Magic yesterday, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter).
- Shams Charania of RealGM.com has a list of the 12 prospects the Bulls plan to work out on Monday (Twitter link).
- Jeff Withey is "extremely excited" to be meeting with the Sixers, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
1:35pm: We covered the Thursday morning updates from Chicago's predraft camp earlier today, but with so many tidbits surfacing throughout the day, we're starting an afternoon post to round up the latest notes:
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford hears that two international prospects have received first-round guarantees: Dennis Schroeder and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Twitter link).
- Michael Carter-Williams has met with several teams, including the Trail Blazers, Bobcats, Pistons, Timberwolves, and Thunder, according to various reports (all links go to Twitter). Carter-Williams is hearing he could be drafted anywhere between third and 15th overall, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- We heard this morning that the Celtics had spoken to Cody Zeller and Glen Rice Jr. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe adds a few more names to the list of Boston interviewees (via Twitter): Mason Plumlee, Rudy Gobert, and Victor Oladipo.
- C.J. McCollum won't meet with the Trail Blazers this week, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian (Twitter link). However, he will meet with the Pistons tomorrow, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (via Twitter), and has already interviewed with the Magic, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter). SI.com's Chris Mannix (Twitter link) adds the Thunder, Nuggets, and Cavaliers to the list of teams who have spoekn to McCollum, who has 15 total interviews scheduled.
- Robbins notes in a separate tweet that the Magic also met with Myck Kabongo.
- Isaiah Canaan will meet with the Wizards on Friday, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Canaan, Andre Roberson, and Grant Jerrett all met with the Pistons last night, tweets Langlois.
- Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Bucks met with Shane Larkin yesterday and will work him out later this month.
- Erik Murphy has interviews lined up with the Grizzlies, Clippers, and possibly the Pacers, tweets Robbins.
- Seth Curry will meet today with the Lakers, Rockets, and Knicks, tweets Bonnell.
May 4 at 9:41pm CST By Ryan Raroque
The future looks very bright for the Rockets
, and Jonathan Feigen of Ultimate Rockets
hears from GM Daryl Morey
that the organization is set on building around the current core of players: “We’re very excited about the foundation...We were careful to make sure all the key pieces could stay. People are going to see mostly the same team back next year because of that."
Considering that they're a young team that pushed the Thunder
to six games after being down three games to none - along with the emergence of Patrick Beverley
- it's difficult to disagree with the optimism in Houston. Here are a few more miscellaneous links we've gathered up tonight:
- Eric Prisbell of USA Today reports that NBA draft hopeful Ben McLemore's AAU coach received cash and other benefits in order to help influence the former Kansas Jayhawk to leave college after one season and declare for the draft.
- Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler tweets that Al Horford is a player that the Hawks would like to keep rather than trade as the team handles a roster that could be in heavy flux.
- Kyler also says that the front runners to sign Josh Smith this summer will be the teams that miss out on Dwight Howard (Twitter link).
- Magic CEO Alex Martins doesn't foresee a long rebuilding period in Orlando and is confident that the team can return to title contention in the near future (John Denton of Magic.com).
- Hawks GM Danny Ferry feels that the 2012-13 season was a very significant year in terms of taking the initial steps toward becoming a contender and likes the flexibility that his team has moving forward (ESPN via the Associated Press).
- Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group looks back on the 10 most important moves the Warriors made to build the team that starts the second round Sunday against the Spurs.
- According to a report from Sportando, Leones de Ponce of Baloncesto Superior Nacional in Puerto Rico have released Garret Siler and replaced him with Mike Harris.
Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors contributed to this post.
May 1 at 11:04pm CST By Chuck Myron
Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game reported in March that the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is adopting a tournament-style format this year, and the league confirmed the news today. The games will take place between July 12th and July 22nd, and while the move promises excitement, the contests won't necessarily have much meaning. Damian Lillard won the circuit's co-MVP honors last summer to kick off his Rookie of the Year campaign, but the other co-MVP was Josh Selby, who's been out of the NBA since March. While we wait to see how the revamped summer league shakes out, there's plenty of other NBA news:
- Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press compares Nate McMillan and Lindsey Hunter, the presumptive frontrunners for the Pistons coaching vacancy. The team is still expected to consider a wide range of candidates, and that list includes Pacers assistant Brian Shaw and Heat assistant David Fizdale, according to Ellis.
- Dale Kasler, Tony Bizjak and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee lay out the myriad contingencies still remaining in the Kings saga after the NBA's relocation committee recommended this week that the team stay in Sacramento.
- Four HoopsWorld writers have Nerlens Noel penciled in as the No. 1 pick, but Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com has the Kentucky center at No. 2, behind Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore.
- Renaldo Balkman has signed to play for Brujos de Guayama in Puerto Rico, Luis Modestti reports (translation via Sportando). The former Knicks first-round pick received a one-year ban from playing in the Philippines earlier this season after choking a teammate.
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com appeared on KESN-FM in Dallas this week, and pegged the Mavericks' chances of signing Dwight Howard at 10%, according to a Dallas Morning News transcription. Stein thinks Howard is still most likely to re-sign with the Lakers.
- Jeff Caplan of NBA.com takes an optimistic view of Howard's future with the Lakers, believing Howard will re-sign and, freed of speculation about his next destination, fulfill his promise as a superstar.
April 9 at 2:50pm CST By Luke Adams
2:50pm: McLemore has officially announced that he'll declare for this year's draft, as Ford tweets.
11:20am: Ben McLemore has a press conference schedule for 2:30pm CT today, at which point he is expected to announce that he'll enter this year's NBA draft, tweets Chad Ford of ESPN.com.
It comes as no surprise that the 20-year-old guard will go pro after just one season at Kansas. Projected as a lock to be a top-five pick in June, draft pundits have suggested McLemore could even go as high as first overall, depending on which team lands the No. 1 pick.
In his lone season with the Jayhawks, McLemore averaged 15.9 PPG on .495/.420/.870 shooting. He struggled in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, making just two of his 14 shots from the field, but looked good in the team's overtime loss to Michigan, scoring 20 points and making four three-pointers.
Alex Lee of Hoops Rumors profiled McLemore as a draft prospect in March.
April 1 at 3:59pm CST By Chuck Myron
A pair of underclassmen declared their intentions to enter the NBA draft today, with N.C. State's C.J. Leslie and Kentucky's Archie Goodwin entering the mix. Here's more of what we're hearing with the draft now less than three months away:
- The tournament bracket makes it clear which NCAA teams are winners, but Ben Standig of CSNWashington sorts through the March Madness winners and losers as it pertains to the draft.
- Standig cites Kentucky center Nerlens Noel as a winner, and Sean Deveney of The Sporting News agrees, even though Noel has been out since February with a torn ACL (Twitter link). Other contenders to be the No. 1 overall pick, like Cody Zeller, Ben McLemore, Otto Porter and Marcus Smart all faltered, Deveney observes.
- Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com unveils the initial version of his mock draft, and has Noel going first overall, followed by Smart and McLemore.
- A Western Conference GM tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that six or seven members of the 2014 draft class would be in the mix for the No. 1 pick if they were eligible this year (Twitter link).
- A GM who spoke to Dave Telep of ESPN.com echoed that sentiment, citing five potential All-Stars who could be in next year's draft: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison (Twitter link).
March 29 at 10:16pm CST By Alex Lee
While his college career is likely over – Kansas lost in the
Sweet 16 tonight to Michigan in overtime – the biggest of basketball games are
still to come for Jayhawks freshman Ben McLemore. The 6-foot-5 silky-smooth shooting guard from
St. Louis is one of a handful of candidates to be the first named called at June
27’s NBA Draft. Assuming he declares for
the draft – and all indications are that he will – McLemore is a virtual lock
to go in the top five.
McLemore, ranked second on the Draft Express Top 100, has
everything you want in a shooting guard – elite athleticism, good size/length
and picture-perfect form on his jump shot.
Using his length, he has shown the
ability to be a plus defender. Jayhawks
head coach Bill Self described McLemore as the most talented kid he has ever
coached. As a freshman, McLemore
averaged 15.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2 assists per game.
But the path to get to those solid numbers has been anything
but steady for the freshman, perhaps best evidenced by the four games prior to
tonight’s contest against Michigan.
Against North Carolina last Sunday, McLemore went 0-for-9 from the field
and finished with 2 points. His three
games before that – 11, 5 and 10 points – gave him a collective 8-for-26 effort
from the field over that vital four game span.
It is this inconsistency that has fueled increasing
skepticism about whether McLemore is worthy of the draft’s top selection. He clearly possesses all the tools for NBA
stardom. In 37 games this year, McLemore
topped the 23-point mark eight times, three times dropping 30. But he also scored in single-digits six
The looming question on McLemore has begun to
proliferate. If this is McLemore against
college competition, how long until he can score consistently at the NBA
level? Because make no mistake about it,
McLemore will have to be a consistent scorer in the NBA to justify where he
will be drafted. To his credit, the
freshman bounced back against Michigan tonight, hitting four treys en route to
20 points on 8-of-15 shooting in a losing effort.
McLemore’s faults really seem to typecast him in that “long
on talent, short on feel” mold. His ball
handling, particularly with regard to creating his own shot, needs work. Some question his competitiveness and his
feel for the game, though he has shown above average shot selection. It is easy to point to these shortcomings to
explain how it’s possible for such a gifted offensive player to disappear at
But regardless of the questions about him, those gifts are
exactly what will land McLemore a top five selection come June 27. His form, quick release and athleticism give
him a “perfect world” ceiling of Ray Allen.
He is also likely to get compared to Bradley Beal since he is likely to
be drafted in a similar spot and their obvious sharp-shooting
similarities. But he has a few inches on Beal and is a more
With reports of skepticism on the rise, expect McLemore to
be a hot topic come the pre-draft workout period. He has tools that will make NBA talent
evaluators drool, all he will have to do is convince one of them that he has
the mental game to go with it and he will be one of the first names
March 22 at 1:00pm CST By Luke Adams
As we look forward to seeing which high seed will fall next on day two of March Madness, let's round up a few items of interest related to this June's draft:
- In a lengthy piece on Shabazz Muhammad, Ken Bensinger of the Los Angeles Times reveals that the UCLA prospect is actually a year older than previously believed -- Muhammad is 20 years old, rather than 19.
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton both believe that the revelation about Muhammad's age could have a significant impact on his draft stock (Twitter links). As Ford notes in a second tweet, Muhammad still figures to go off the board early, but having lied about his age won't help with his character evaluation either.
- According to Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (Sulia link), there may be more candidates for the first overall pick this year than in any draft since 1995. However, Bucher adds that the decision for whichever team lands the No. 1 pick will likely come down to Marcus Smart vs. Ben McLemore.
- In his latest Insider-only draft blog at ESPN.com, Ford explores the question of whether Kentucky could end up having as many as nine NBA prospects on its roster in 2013/14.
- Tom Ziller of SBNation.com presents a scenario for how the NBA D-League could become a viable alternative to the NCAA for prospects coming out of high school.
March 13 at 2:48pm CST By Luke Adams
A week from now, we'll be gearing up for this year's NCAA Tournament to get underway in earnest. In the meantime, here's the latest on a number of the prospects whose teams will be participating in March Madness:
- Chad Ford of ESPN.com and Chris Mannix of SI.com have both published the fifth editions of their respective big boards for the 2013 draft. Both scribes have Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, and Marcus Smart ranked first, second, and third respectively.
- Within Ford's big board, he reports that Gary Harris, Ford's No. 10 prospect, is "strongly contemplating" returning to Michigan State for his sophomore year. Pittsburgh's Steven Adams, ranked No. 23, is also a good bet to return to school next year, according to Ford.
- Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com also updated his list of top 100 prospects for 2013, which still has Noel in the top spot, despite yesterday's knee surgery.
- Ford's weekly chat at ESPN.com included plenty of interesting draft-related tidbits. Among the highlights: A number of GMs believe Texas' Myck Kabongo could be a great value in the 20s or 30s, and Ford believes that James Michael McAdoo of UNC is one player whose stock would benefit significantly from a strong showing in the NCAA Tournament.
February 28 at 4:57pm CST By Luke Adams
We may still have nearly a third of the NBA regular season left to play, but it won't be long before talk of this summer's draft starts to increase exponentially. With just three weeks until March Madness and the June draft less than four months away, the busy season is around the corner for ESPN.com's Chad Ford, who has a number of draft-related items up for us today. Let's round them up....
- Ford's mock draft tool, which provides mock results for 2,184 different lottery scenarios, is up and running for the 2013 draft.
- There doesn't seem to be a consensus No. 1 pick this year yet, as one veteran general manager tells Ford (ESPN Insider link): "As you look at the guys atop your Big Board, I'm
struck with how depleted the talent pool is this year at the top. This
is a pretty good draft if you want to talk depth. I just don't see a
player who turns our franchise around at the top. I could be wrong. I
didn't see Kyrie Irving doing what he's doing for the Cavs right now. But this year is especially troubling."
- Based on his conversations with GMs, Ford says six players appear to be in contention for the first overall pick: Ben McLemore of Kansas, Kentucky's Nerlens Noel, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, Anthony Bennett of UNLV, Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Alex Len of Maryland. Cody Zeller of Indiana and UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad have fallen out of contention for now, according to Ford.
- McLemore is currently atop the Suns' big board, according to Ford.
- In a separate Insider-only piece, Ford and ESPN.com's Jay Bilas discuss which players top their respective big boards, with Ford choosing Smart and Bilas going with McLemore.
February 27 at 7:01pm CST By Alex Lee
The news of the night so far in the NBA is that Pacers' Roy Hibbert and Warriors' David Lee have each been suspended one game without pay for their roles in last night's skirmish (Twitter links from Yahoo's Marc Spears). In addition, Lance Stephenson, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were each fined $35,000 for "escalating the altercation." Hibbert already told Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star that he will pay Stephenson's fine for being a good teammate, tweets Wells.
Lee will serve his suspension tonight, as the Warriors visit in the Knicks in one of 10 games on tonight's schedule. Mark Jackson, back in Madison Square Garden as head coach of the Warriors, has already expressed his displeasure with the league's decision, tweets Adam Zagoria of NBA.com. Here are some other odds and ends from around the league:
- Chad Ford of ESPN released his latest draft blog, available to insiders only and complete with an updated top 30. Ben McLemore of Kansas tops his big board but as Ford asserts, this year's top 10 promises to be as ever-changing as any in recent memory.
- Greg Oden will not decide on his next team until July, reports Sam Amico of Fox Sports. This agrees with last week's report from Marc Spears of Yahoo that Oden won't sign until the offseason, though it sounds like this came directly from Oden's agent, Mike Conley. Amico writes that Oden came close to signing with the Cavaliers earlier this month, but an agreement couldn't be reached. Conley believes that once Oden works his way into game shape, he will again have All Star potential.
- Free agent forward Donte Greene, now healthy after fracturing his ankle in August, will work out for teams at Eastern Michigan University on Sunday, tweets Marc Spears of Yahoo. Spears reported last week that the Nets, Pacers, Hornets, Spurs, Bulls, Knicks, Magic, Rockets, and Cavaliers have all checked in on Greene, who played the last four seasons in Sacramento. Citing a league source, Nets Daily has reported the Nets are not currently interested in filling their open roster spot by adding Greene.
- As was rumored yesterday, it appears that Kings minority owner John Kehriotis does in fact intend to submit a "back-up offer" to the Maloofs to buy the Kings, reports Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee. Kehriotis apparently has the capital to match the offer from the Seattle group and believes he has the legal right to counter their attempt to buy the team, according to the report.
- Meanwhile, the Sacramento city council voted on Tuesday night to approve the request made by city officials to begin negotiations over the financing of a new arena, reports Bizjak. These negotiations are a crucial element to Sacramento's bid to keep the Kings.