Waiting pays off for KU's McLemore, Withey on draft night
JUN 28, 2013 12:38a ET
They sleeping on Ben McLemore. Just watch
Ben McLemore still on the board?? Kid is gonna be a star in the league— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) June 28, 2013
It's true: McLemore just might have the most upside of anybody in this wacky, unpredictable 2013 draft haul. Mind you, Sacramento is where upsides sometimes go to die.
A year ago at this time, the Kings grabbed Jayhawks big man Thomas Robinson at No. 5. He was expected to be an enforcer and a building block, while the franchise was supposed to have one foot out the door towards a move to Seattle, Anaheim, Las Vegas, or parts unknown.
In February, T-Rob was traded to Houston, which was out of left field. But that was a mild shock compared to the decision by NBA owners a few months later to spurn a well-heeled Seattle suitor and keep the franchise in California's capital city.
"The bottom line," Self said of McLemore, "is (that) he probably ended up just where he needed to be."
Amen. Amen, amen, amen. And you could probably sing the same song about Withey, given the benefit of hindsight. The Blazers are a hot mess defensively, coming off a season in which they ranked 26th in the league in blocks per game (4.3 as a team), or almost as many as Withey averaged (3.9) by himself during his senior campaign in Lawrence. Portland also wound up 26th in the league in points allowed per 100 possessions (109.2).
"I know Jeff is excited," Self said. "He's more motivated now than ever."
Which is good. The Blazers crave post help for power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, even though Aldridge allegedly wants to get the heck out of town. Portland center J.J. Hickson is a free agent, while backup Meyers Leonard is still a pup.
"A good night for Kansas," Self called it.
A good night for McLemore and Withey, too. Just watch.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org