2013 NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Kansas Shooting Guard Ben McLemore

Jamie Squire

Here's a look at a potential top-three overall selection in next month's NBA Draft, Kansas shooting guard Ben McLemore.

Ben McLemore--The best shooting guard in this year's NBA Draft class. Interestingly enough, Bill Self, the Head Coach of the University of Kansas, said that McLemore was "the most talented kid he'd ever coached."

Unlike another candidate for the first overall selection in the 2013 draft (Nerlens Noel), McLemore will be able to play the first day of the season without any lingering injuries, and is also a more versatile player. He serves as a dependable perimeter presence. McLemore is also simply an active highlight reel waiting to happen.

NBA Comparison: Bradley Beal/Ben Gordon

Strengths:

  • One of the smoothest shooting stokes in the class of 2013
  • Deadly combination of athleticism and scoring ability
  • Prototypical size and athleticism for the shooting guard position
  • Tremendous form, great elevation, able to shoot over anyone, terrific range on the perimeter
  • Able to put the ball on the ground and create off the dribble
  • Above average ability to distribute the ball for a two-guard
  • Solid feel for the game, very coachable
  • Doesn't gamble on steals or over play the opposition, fits comfortably within his role
  • Great at cuts towards the basket or backdoor; high percentage of cuts end in alley-oop dunks
  • Just scratching the surface of his abilities
  • Great quickness
  • Good player in transition due to pure speed and explosiveness
  • Excellent potential defensively
  • Strong lateral quickness, goes over top of screens, can stay with even the most athletic guards defensively
  • Outstanding first step

Weaknesses:

  • Is still a very raw prospect
  • Lacks ability with his left hand when attacking the rim
  • Struggles to lead the break when in transition
  • Has to work on consistency at his release point when coming off curls
  • Less effective shooting off the dribble this year than when feet are set
  • Still figuring out how to maximize his abilities defensively
  • His positioning and awareness when off ball leaves a little to be desired, commonly looks lost when the ball isn't in his hands; sometimes only looks like he's playing at half speed
  • Struggles to create shots in ISO opportunities when operating out of the half-court, can't dribble well with his left
  • Encounters difficulty changing speeds and directions when attacking the basket, barely gets all the way to the rim, usually settles for floaters from 5 to 10 feet out
  • Doesn't do well adjusting to contact or dealing with it around the basket, doesn't draw contact in the painted area, doesn't get to the foul line enough; attempts only 3.7 FT attempts per contest
  • Needs to learn how to create within pick and roll opportunities, these become essential to guard play at the NBA level
  • Shot selection needs to improve, needs to learn when to pass up contested shots and make isolations for himself
  • Can be a streaky shooter at times

Draft Projection: 1st Round, Pick #2 to the Charlotte Bobcats-to-#5 New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans

McLemore is the ideal shooting guard type that can help fix a struggling roster at the bottom of the NBA. Should he fall to the Bobcats, he could come in and start immediately on their roster. McLemore has a combination of perimeter offense, elite athleticism, and quickness that stand to make him a starter and even a potential NBA all-star after the likes of Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, etc, finally retire.

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