Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Ben McLemore

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  • Measurables: 6-foot-5, 185 pound freshman shooting guard from Kansas
  • Key Stats: 15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2 assists per game; shot 49.5 percent from the field and 42 percent on 3-pointers
  • Projected: top two
  • Hickory High similarity score

Random fact

Although McLemore was a freshman this season, this was his second year attending Kansas. Because of issues with his high school transcripts, McLemore was academically ineligible to play for Kansas in 2011-2012 and redshirted. McLemore, now 20 years old, is already older than Andre Drummond.

Fits with the Pistons because …

The Pistons desperately need a good perimeter player, because Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey and Kyle Singler just aren’t cutting it. McLemore, who shot 42 percent from 3-point range, is most commonly compared to Ray Allen. McLemore could become the Pistons’ second-best option on offense, behind the Drummond-Monroe tandem in the paint. Having a player that can knock down long shots like that is a luxury that the Pistons haven’t truly experienced in a while.

On defense, McLemore’s foot work and length have scouts hoping he has the potential to become a lockdown defender in the NBA, even if he’s not there yet.

People fail to remember that scouts looked at McLemore as an undersized power forward until his senior year of high school. He’s a very late bloomer.

Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …

Detroit’s front office still has a lot of hope in developing Brandon Knight as a shooting guard, and if they believe in that, there’s no use in drafting McLemore. McLemore is not a player that you can put in other positions and make it work– he’s a shooting guard and will stay a shooting guard.

If the Pistons have an opportunity to snag McLemore – it will take some luck in a few minutes – he’s not a sure-fire star. He has the capability of developing into one, but he was often too passive at Kansas.

He’s not going to be a bad player, but there’s a chance he won’t realize the potential everyone sees in him.

From the experts

Chad Ford:

McLemore is the purest jump shooter in the country. He’s a likely top-three pick, and in some scenarios in our Lottery Mock Draft, we having him going No. 1 overall. McLemore is also an elite athlete and has the potential to be a great defender. What he lacks is confidence. At times he can disappear or overly defer to other players. For teams wanting a go-to scorer and an alpha dog, he might not be the right choice. But if he overcomes that, he could be an NBA All-Star someday.


Long term, the question is what type of role McLemore can grow into in the NBA. Is he a “3 and D” player, meaning a spot-up 3-point shooter, transition finisher and defensive stalwart, or can he be more than that? Most starting shooting guards in the NBA need to be able to function in pick and roll and isolation settings, which is something he doesn’t do at Kansas very often (under 10% of time according to Synergy Sports Technology). It really depends on what the expectations from him well be, which will be decided in large part on where he ends up being drafted.

On film


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Tags: Andre Drummond Ben McLemore Brandon Knight Greg Monroe Kyle Singler Ray Allen Rodney Stuckey

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