Even when he was ice cold for a stretch at Summer League, when you watched Ben McLemore go up for a jumper you couldn’t help but admire the form. It just seemed obvious that eventually the shot will fall.
However, the Kings have bigger plans for McLemore than as a spot-up three guy.
He’s athletic and can finish in transition — and new Kings coach Mike Malone says he wants to run — but they want McLemore to be able to create a little in the half court as well. That’s what Malone told the Sacramento Bee in a long Q&A.
“Ben McLemore is a young guy, and he’s going to be better when he plays with better players. And he needs to continue to work on his ball handling and creating shots. But he has an athleticism you can’t teach, and he has an ability to shoot the ball when you get going that is special.”
With Greivis Vasquez and Isaiah Thomas, McLemore should be getting clean looks in the offense. At first all he has to do is put the ball on the floor and get a better shot when there is a hard closeout on him, and with that more things will open up.
If he can just develop solid handles and the ability to create enough space to get off that jumper he could be very dangerous. But expect it to take time, everything with the Kings right now is a process.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.