In surprise to nobody, Kansas’ Ben McLemore declares for draft

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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.