Maybe there were a few Kansas Jayhawk diehards holding out hope, but this was a given.
Ben McLemore announced Tuesday he is leaving Kansas for the NBA Draft, reports the Kansas City Star.
There he will likely be a top 3 pick, which means he is making the right call. In a draft where there are no future franchise anchor guys (such as Derrick Rose types), guys who can be a valuable rotation guy in a few years will go high in the lottery. CollegeBasketballTalk’s Rob Dauster told PBT a couple times he sees McLemore’s NBA ceiling in the Ray Allen with the Celtics years level — not the key guy, not a guy that creates his own shot, but a guy who can get you points and makes a great third option.
He’s a starting two guard, but not a star.
McLemore is unquestionably athletic and has the prettiest jump shot in college, a silky-smooth release that leads to the Allen comparisons (and got him 15.9 points per game last season on average, a Kansas record). He’s not all the way there yet, but you can see the upside.
But he also has a reputation for disappearing in big games, in part because he struggles to create his own shot. We certainly saw that in the NCAA Tournament, but it really didn’t hurt McLemore’s cause much because he really just confirmed what scouts and teams about him.
Still, he needs to come out. He’s going to make Top 3 money this year, guys that go back tend to slip down the draft board and next year’s draft is expected to be much, much better.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.
Joel Embiid‘s minute limit of below 20 bummed out everyone (especially Embiid).
But good news could be on the way.
Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:
The 76ers look like a borderline playoff team, Embiid’s health the biggest variable. There’s a direct correlation between his ability to stay on the court and Philadelphia’s postseason chances.
Plus, he’s just so darn fun to watch. The more he plays, the bigger victory it is for every viewer not rooting for the 76ers’ opponent that night.
John Henson was on the trade block. Greg Monroe seems permanently affixed there.
Another player the Bucks apparently want to deal? Rashad Vaughn, who was the No. 17 pick in 2015.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Milwaukee has been working to trade several players to clear salary-cap space, including guard Rashad Vaughn and center John Henson, league sources said. The Bucks have been willing to attach a second-round pick in offers for Vaughn, league sources said.
It’s unclear whether the Bucks are still as motivated to move Vaughn. They slid under the luxury-tax line by stretching Spencer Hawes. One-time target Richard Jefferson already signed with the Nuggets. A roster vacancy and cap savings might not matter as much anymore to Milwaukee.
But Vaughn has struggled in two NBA seasons. The Bucks might be better off trying to develop someone else, even a D-League player, over the 21-year-old Vaugh.
Vaughn is due $1,889,040 this season. He faces a $2,901,565 team option for next season, which his team must decide on by Oct. 31. It seems unlikely that will be exercised.
This is what happens when you draft players for the wrong reason.