Southwest Notes: McLemore, Aldridge, Porzingis, DeRozan

Former lottery pick Ben McLemore has revitalized his career with the RocketsESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote an excellent profile piece examining the reemergence of McLemore in Houston.

On his third team in three years, McLemore seized his opportunity with the Rockets when injuries befell Eric Gordon and Gerald Green. McLemore has transformed himself into an effective catch-and-shoot option in Houston. For nine games starting on November 30th, McLemore averaged 14 PPG while shooting 39-of-85 from long range.

The first season of McLemore’s two-year, $4.4MM contract with the Rockets became fully guaranteed on January 10th. “I love Ben,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told Lowe. “All he was lacking was confidence and an opportunity.” The rangy, athletic McLemore is averaging 10.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 1.0 APG for the 26-12 Rockets. He is shooting 36.5% from long range on 6.7 attempts and 80% from the free-throw line.

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • The trade market stock of 34-year-old Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge is rising, writes San Antonio Express-News reporter Mike Finger. Finger postulates that Aldridge would have net more interest as a trade piece than fellow 30+ former All-Star big man, Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love, who has been very, very vocal about being unhappy in Cleveland. Aldridge has emerged as a moderate three-point shooting threat for the first time in his career, knocking down 45.5% of his 2.5 attempts per game, both career highs.
  • Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis was given a platelet-rich-plasma injection to treat the soreness in his right knee that has kept him in street clothes for two weeks, according to ESPN’s Tim McMahon. Porzingis is also grappling with an illness that has slowed his recovery process.
  • Polarizing, old-fashioned Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan returns to the team for whom he made four All-Star appearances today, the Raptors, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN reports. His former teammate, current Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry, reflected on his contributions to Toronto basketball. “I think he poured his heart into the city,” Lowry said. “He gave the city and lot and the city [saw] him grow from a boy to being a man.”
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9 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: McLemore, Aldridge, Porzingis, DeRozan

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    That was an extremely long article that Zach Lowe wrote about Ben McLemore, who has been very effective in the Rockets’ starting lineup.

  2. Toronto should trade Ibaka and a pair of seconds for DeRozan.

    Spurs get some shooting and shot blocking from a big, plus they get a couple picks. Raptors get some added scoring.

      • DeRozan is going to opt out if spurs don’t offer him a big deal. I don’t think Spurs should offer him a big deal. Spurs get back a couple picks and they get a big man that can shoot the 3 and protect the rim. Team lacks shooters
        Play Murray and White in the backcourt together with Aldridge and Ibaka as the bigs and share SF with Carroll Forbes and Gay etc.

      • Who cares is he makes threes. The raptors need the scoring. Lowry FVV Siakim and Gasol can all hit 3’s

  3. x%sure

    Is this Aldridge’s idea– KLove as measuring stick– a guy that wants to leave?
    Aldridge, like the Spurs, have a slight statistical advantage over Love & CLE.. but LMA still has a minus 7 on/off.

    LMA can make 3s but will he close on shooters? He seemed lazy earlier which triggered a losing tecord for the Spurs. Then he got his last year guaranteed in mid-contract. Then he started shooting a lot of threes.

    What is his deal? He’s no longer in an assumed contract year like Derozan is.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      With a $24M contract next season it would seem that he could get traded to a contender either this summer or around this time next year.

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