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NBA Free Agency 2017: Kings decline to extend qualifying offer to Ben McLemore

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This move makes the young guard an unrestricted free agent.

Kimani Okearah

Multiple reporters are confirming that the Kings will not be tendering Ben McLemore a qualifying offer, thus making him an unrestricted free agent. This move likely signals the end of McLemore’s disappointing Kings career.

McLemore was the first draft pick of the Vivek Ranadivé administration, and at the time there was a lot of excitement around the pick as he had been expected to go much higher. The Kings had been set to draft C.J. McCollum, but when McLemore unexpectedly slid to them at 7, they took him instead.

With the departure of Tyreke Evans, McLemore was given free reign from the very beginning, starting 55 of 82 games his rookie season and all 82 the next. Questions about McLemore’s handle and inconsistency during the draft process proved to be legitimate concerns as he struggled to adjust to the NBA game. McLemore’s struggles led to the Kings looking for replacement options at Shooting Guard, finally doing so last year when they acquired Malachi Richardson, Buddy Hield and Garrett Temple. The Kings are also bringing in Bogdan Bogdanovic this year.

While McLemore failed to live up to the lofty expecations set upon him, he’s proved himself to be a very hard worker and an easy player to root for. He’s made strides in several areas of his game and is still just 24 years old. While his time with the Kings is essentially over, there’s still a chance he can latch on as a roleplayer somewhere else and he’ll probably get that opportunity this summer.

Best of luck to you Ben.