Now, after drafting Nik Stauskas with the 8th overall pick, it seems that the Kings are more willing to move last year’s first round pick in some type of trade.
In his first season in the league, McLemore struggled to find any rhythm on the floor — shooting 44% of his shots from beyond the arc, while making just 32% of them. Yet, Kings officials believe that he has a tremendous upside. Head coach Mike Malone told the Sacramento Observer that he expects big things from his two guard.
“I think people who think we automatically take Nik Stauskas that we don’t appreciate or love Ben. That’s not the case,” Malone said. “Ben McLemore has had an incredible summer so far and I know he is anxious to show that in summer league in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. But both of these guys can play together. People don’t know, but (Stauskas) can play a little point guard. He has that kind of command of the basketball.”
The Kings, much like the Pistons, struggled from three point territory. They finished 27th in the league in three point shooting, while the Pistons finished 29th.
Stauskas adds another shooter to Sacramento’s rotation and helps spread the floor for big man DeMarcus Cousins.
As many Pistons fans know, Stauskas can be more than just a shooting guard. Malone could decide to play him on the floor with McLemore as a point forward at times as well.
So could a deal with the Kings and Pistons be rekindled with the addition of Ben McLemore?
The Pistons need help at the shooting guard and small forward positions. The weakest part of this free agency class. So making a deal for a shooting guard that can give them scoring off the bench makes since. But is McLemore that fit?
Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro took an interesting approach to preparing for this NBA Draft, using “crowdsourcing” to get information on whether to trade or keep the eighth pick. A major part of the analytics studied involved proving that drafted players often bloom in their second year.
So it’s hard to envision D’Alessandro and Mike Malone giving up on a player like McLemore that quickly.
When it comes to Josh Smith, I still think it’s hard to believe that the Kings think he is a great fit. You already have the volume shooters of volume shooters in Rudy Gay. Adding Smith, who shot more than three treys per game last season for the first time in his career.
To make an even trade financially, The Pistons would probably have to take on the two year, 5.6 million dollar contract of Jason Terry. Jason Thompson, who makes the same amount per year under his four year deal, would most likely be part of a trade as well.
There is no doubting that Ben McLemore has tremendous upside. He could give the Pistons some flexibility on the court by moving KCP over to small forward at times.
McLemore really played well during the last month of the season and started to break out for the Kings. He scored in double figures in six of Sacramento’s eight contests in April. He averaged 37 minutes a game and yet he only made 1.5 of his 5 attempted three pointers per game.
What say you? Would Ben McLemore be a good fit in Detroit? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.