Two tweets from friend-of-StR James Ham.
I'm hearing McLemore bombed in Phoenix. N.O. has Gordon at #6 and like Burke. Would the Kings pass on a top 2 talent?— James Ham (@James_Ham) June 23, 2013
Hearing that Ben McLemore is sliding down the draft board fast. Will he make a last minute stop in Sac in an attempt to secure the top 7?— James Ham (@James_Ham) June 23, 2013
1. There's no way Ben McLemore is working out for the Kings. With less than a week until the draft, the only surprise workouts happening will be happening in cases in which a player visits a team picking above his range. McLemore isn't working out for a team two spots below his range.
2. There's a surprise in every lottery. Often a couple. Last year: Dion Waiters at No. 4, Terrence Ross at No. 8. So don't doubt that another player we're not expecting could go in front of McLemore, too. Here's the list that makes sense for that: Nerlens Noel, Victor Oladipo, Alex Len, Otto Porter, Anthony Bennett. Add in Trey Burke and you have six, dropping McLemore to No. 7. That sixth could be any of a couple of other guys ... heck, No. 7 could be any of a couple of other guys. It's a big ol' jumble, and it wouldn't be a total shock at this point if McLemore were on the board.
3. The Kings -- or any team picking at No. 7 -- would have trouble passing up McLemore for Michael Carter-Williams, Dennis Schroeder, Shabazz Muhammad, C.J. McCollum or the others on the board. He's a potential star two-guard. The Kings have Tyreke Evans, of course, but he's a restricted free agent. The Kings also have Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette, but you don't make draft decisions in the lottery based on whether you have Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette. Hey, DALT THINKS MCLEMORE IS THE BEST PROSPECT. I'm pretty sure you can't pass on him unless you are fairly certain you're taking a tremendous sleeper at No. 7.
How would McLemore fit if the Kings kept Evans? I think you could bring McLemore off of the bench at first, and go with spots of an Evans-McLemore backcourt. You could potentially play with some smallball with Evans back at the three. I think you could figure it out at McLemore develops. Unfortunately, that puts Thornton in a trap. But again, you're trying to build a good team, not a good team for Thornton to thrive in.
Regardless, I'm not sure the fact that McLemore hasn't visited Sacramento matters too much. I mean, it matters. But it's a small matter. The front office has some experience, and knows how to watch tape and read data. If they felt he was the right pick without seeing him in person during workout season, I bet they'd feel comfortable taking him. If they like another player better, I bet they'd take the other player. At this point, with a clean slate, I'm totally comfortable with the team's decision-making capabilities.