St. Louis area well represented in NBA Draft

ST. LOUIS — The dust has, for the most part, settled.

The 2013 NBA Draft is over, and most of those who didn’t make the cut have honed in on a summer-league team.

How did players of local interest fare?

Let’s take a look.


Otto Porter — No. 3 to the Washington Wizards

Who: 6-foot-9, 198-pound Georgetown forward, originally from Sikeston, Mo.

The Wizards stuck to their guns, and got a player from a nearby college that they had been linked to long before the Draft. Porter became the highest-drafted Hoya since Allen Iverson went first in 1996. Not bad for a kid who never played AAU basketball.

Any NBA fan in St. Louis looking to adopt a team should probably pick the Wizards. The team now has three top-three draft picks (Porter, Bradley Beal and John Wall), and two of those stars are from the Show-Me State. Beal is a St. Louis native and Chaminade graduate.

Fit: Porter should see the court as a rookie, just like Beal did last year. The Wizards are desperate for a playoff appearance, and this three-star rotation will be expected to provide one sooner rather than later. That said, the team also has veteran forward Martell Webster and backup Trevor Ariza. This means Porter won’t have to be “The Man” right away.

Ben McLemore — No. 7 to the Sacramento Kings

Who: 6-foot-5, 182-pound Kansas guard, originally from Wellston, Mo.

Summary: McLemore’s name was tossed around as a potential No. 1 pick. He was supposed to be a Top-5 lock. But, this wacky draft showed its cards as the Jayhawk star took a bit of a dip, largely due to the lingering questions that exist about his perceived lack of aggressiveness on the court. The Kings reaped the reward and landed the player they apparently wanted all along.

“He was our No. 1 choice,” new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said, according to reports. “And we were frantically in the war room trying to trade up to the number two, three, four slot. We were willing to pay a lot of money to get Ben and we got him at seven.”

Fit: McLemore has one of the purest shots you will see. He should get the chance to showcase it in Sacramento, since the Kings’ big man (DeMarcus Cousins) demands some attention inside. Tyreke Evans, a restricted free agent, could actually help McLemore as well. If Evans stays, the two guards could complement one another. Imagine Evans driving, and McLemore sinking the kick-outs with his signature stroke.

Alex Oriakhi — No. 57 to the Phoenix Suns

6-foot-9, 255-pound Missouri center

Summary: Surprise! If you saw this coming, you’re lying. It’s not that Oriakhi, the most-consistent (and most underutilized) player the Missouri Tigers had this past season, didn’t have the goods. Instead, it was his size that was supposed to hold him back. 6-foot-9 is a little short for an NBA big.

While mock drafts continued to count Oriakhi out, he was selling himself to the Suns. Pre-Draft workouts with the team landed him with the Suns three picks before the evening ended.

Fit: Oriakhi will have his work cut out for him. The Suns also drafted Maryland star Alex Len fifth overall. Andy they already have Marcin Gortat on their roster. There will be no guaranteed spot.

He has already beaten the odds once, though. His rebounding and defense will help him. If he can show the ability to adapt as a power forward, and can expand his offensive game outside of the paint, he might stay on the roster.


Phil Pressey: Phil Pressey is down, but not out. The former Mizzou point guard who skipped his senior season with the Tigers to enter the Draft early never heard his name called.

News came early Friday morning that Pressey has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Boston Celtics. He will play with the team in the NBA’s summer league. Pressey’s father, Paul Pressey, was an assistant with the Celtics earlier in his NBA coaching career.

B.J. Young: The St. Louis player who bounced between three area high schools (CBC, Hazelwood Central and McCluer North) before leaving Arkansas after his sophomore season did not get the draft results he hoped for. Time will tell if a summer-league second chance awaits.

Brandon Paul: There’s still hope, Illini. A report out of Minnesota on Friday claims the Timberwolves are interested in giving the former Illinois guard a summer league shot.

Laurence Bowers: Questions about his knees (Bowers tore an ACL in 2011-12 and sprained an MCL in 2012-13), combined with questions about his position (He has the size of a small forward, but not necessarily the skill set) kept the former Missouri forward out of the Draft. He will also get a shot with a summer-league team. Which one? Still pending, according to a report from the Columbia Daily Tribune.

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