Well. Alrighty then.
Yeah. I just wrote that. Get over it.
Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum as the first two picks of the Vivek & Co. era. That's nothing if not anything but an asset collection as far as I can see.
Are either of those players automatically better than Tyreke Evans? No. What about Isaiah Thomas? I'd say McLemore of course is, but by how much is an excellent question.
So what do you do now if you are the Kings? Take a deep breathe is the first thing you do. The draft was a time crunch. So will be Free Agency in a lot of ways (although that's a lot less screwy because the players you are dealing with in trades and Free Agency are relatively known commodities).
As far as McLemore, you can read a bit about him here from Draft Express. Same with McCallum. As far as McCallum goes, I have no real beef with McCallum going where he did with the players available on the board at the time. The way bad teams improve are by stockpiling asset's and then go about figuring out ways to maximize those assets at a later date.
Assets, assets, assets. (Perhaps you've heard that a time or two from some other fella, huh? Got news for ya kiddies: He's right.)
In regards to Ben McLemore, there are things I really like. Let's look at him from an advanced stat standpoint. All stats are courtesy of Ken Pom.
|Ast Rate||TO Rate||2pt% & FGM-FGA||3pt% & FGM-FGA||FT% FTM-FTA|
|118.7||22.1||58.6||63.3%||12.6||17.2||125-226 55.3%||73-174 42%||120-138 87%|
The first thing that you'll probably notice is that the guy is hyper-efficient offensively and from a shooting standpoint. Given that this Kings roster hasn't had a lot of guys have a TS% of 60% recently, McLemore seems a likely candidate in the right system.
Here is some video of McLemore if you are interested (and have not seen it which you likely have):
H/T to Aykis16 for the 2nd video.
The biggest problems I see with McLemore are shot creation, but I don't think that's a huge issue with a team that has DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans on it. In fact, if Evans is your PG, and you have a ballhandling SF around McLemore, that could be a dynamic playoff team when you get right down to it.
Tyreke is not a classic lead PG, but who cares? Other than for purists of which I'm not. I actually think Tyreke can lead the team in scoring and assists next season if he's retained. Plus, it's not as if DeMarcus Cousins can't pass the ball effectively to perimeter players. (You know, when he's actually not looking to drive into the teeth of the defense.)
What this means for Tyreke Evans I do not know at this point. Yes, I've heard what Carmichael Dave said, and I'm aware many people think Tyreke is not a PG and should be traded. But that's a bit difficult as I pointed out once today on Twitter. (In fact I laid out all the options that can happen here.)
Here is the depth chart as I see it right now.
PG: Tyreke Evans (RFA), Isaiah Thomas, Toney Douglas (FA), Ray McCallum (R)
SG: Ben McLemore, Tyreke Evans (RFA) Marcus Thornton, Jimmer Fredette, John Salmons
SF: John Salmons, James Johnson (FA), Travis Outlaw
PF: Jason Thompson, Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes, James Johnson (FA)
C: DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Cole Aldrich (FA)
At this point, James Johnson is gone. There is no way he comes back. Additionally, Toney Douglas is also not likely to come back at this point either with the selection of Ray McCallum. But that could change, too.
McLemore is likely to start unless it's clear he's really not ready. Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette should not rest easy these days and expect to be in Sacramento. In fact, I'm not sure Tyreke Evans can rest easy either.
Who knows what's going to happen? I'm not going to really comment much here because, honestly, I don't really know what it means at this point. I really don't. I know it's the first step of many to improve this team that's been long overdue. Nothing in the draft today was going to dramatically alter the direction of the franchise short of anything happening long term, and that in of itself is an important note to not forget at this juncture.
In general, I like the Ben McLemore pick if a few other things happen. 1) is moving Tyreke back to his best position (if you want to pigeonhole him to one) of PG and 2) sign a better ball handling SF that can play defense. Who is that? Good question. Andre Igoudala comes to mind, but getting Denver to agree to a Sign and Trade will be difficult to say the least. Especially with the assets the Kings likely would give up to get Iguodala.
As far as everything else goes, July 1 is the start of a new season. Trades can happen until June 30th of course, and very well may for all we know. It seems unlikely that no trade is coming for the rest of the night.
On the other hand, this is the real start of the new era. Given the crunch of everything that happened, and given the general expectation that things were going to be interesting, I'm not surprised that Ben McLemore was taken given Pete D'Alessandro's comments. It was clear that ball movement, passing and shooting was a clear cut priority of D'Alessandro based on Ailene Voisin's Sunday column.
Do i think this means anything? I don't know. It's something, but what yet I do not know. There are other things going on, and until we know what those things are going on it's difficult to comment on that.
Plus there is this.
Don't fret over too many guards right now. Many moves yet to be made. Team won 28 games, not like anyone should feel disrespected.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) June 28, 2013
When you win 28 games, everyone should feel like their job is on the line the following season.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) June 28, 2013
Too often bad teams get caught up drafting for need, not best player. Imagine if Spurs passed on Duncan because they had David Robinson?— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) June 28, 2013
Until next time that is.
@CollegeWolf Everybody seems to want McLemore! I'm glad the Kings got him, but I'm not sure at this point if I'd rather have CJ McCollum. I would have been happy with either, and certainly happy that we got McLemore. I'm like many fans believe it or not: I never really though McLemore would actually drop.
I'm glad at this point, however, that Ben McLemore was the first choice of Pete D'Alessandro and everyone else in the new organization. That's as important to me as what McLemore is and is not if nothing else.
If that makes sense. Not sure I really understand the Wolves draft much, but then again, I'm not really sure why Flip Saunders is running basketball operations either.
@Nate Hughart Trade Ben to us then! We'll take him, lol! But yeah, CJ might have been a better fit for you guys. I like Thomas, so I wouldn't have taken Burke for the Kings.
I'm not sure why we hired Flip either.... :-(
@CollegeWolf I won't be sad if the Kings can re-sign Tyreke, acquire Iggy in a S&T, and get Asik in a straight up trade.
Then I'll be a straight up ecstatic! Of course, that probably won't happen. But I'm a dreamer if nothing else.
@Nate Hughart Lulz. So true, sadly.
@CollegeWolf It's a good thing we're all confused!!! We have common ground on this point!