Grizzlies sign former top-10 pick Ben McLemore to 2-year deal

BY Zach Dillard • July 4, 2017

Ben McLemore is getting a fresh start and the Memphis Grizzlies are betting $10.7 million that the former top-10 pick has yet to max out his potential.

The Grizzlies signed the former Sacramento Kings guard to a two-year deal in order to add shooting and perimeter depth to its roster. The 6-foot-5 McLemore, 24, averaged 9.4 points on 52.7 percent true shooting during four up-and-down seasons in the Kings’ (dysfunctional) organization.

(The deal's specifics were first reported by ESPN's Chris Haynes.)

The seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft has graded out as a sub-replacement level wing — posting minus-1.2 VORP during his career to date — with defensive question marks, but he’s improved his 3-point shooting every year in the league (38.2 percent last season) and is poised to benefit from playing in an offense centered around efficient lead options Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.

The Bucks and Knicks were also rumored to show significant interest in McLemore.

Memphis still faces a franchise-shifting offseason with major decisions looming on Tony Allen, Zach Randolph, Vince Carter and JaMychal Green, but McLemore provides enough upside at a low cost to kick the tires, particularly if head coach David Fizdale can extract more from his length on the defensive end while adding much-needed shooting to the mix.

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