NBA Draft blog: Jeff Withey selected with 39th pick by Portland; discussing the fit for Ben McLemore in Sacramento
11:15 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
No other Jayhawks were taken in the second round, which means Ben McLemore (No. 7 to Sacramento) and Jeff Withey (No. 39 to Portland) will remain as the only Jayhawks drafted.
With that, we're going to sign off on our live coverage.
Be sure to check back to KUsports.com for your complete draft wrap-up, which includes Withey's reaction to getting taken by Portland, a Tom Keegan column saying that McLemore slipping was a case of paralysis by analysis and also quick-hit commentary from Keegan where he provides his thoughts on each of the picks of the first round.
10:36 p.m. update: By Matt Tait
Here's a photo of the inside of McLemore's suit coat ...
10:21 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
The Portland Trail Blazers have selected KU center Jeff Withey with the 39th pick in the draft.
10:16 p.m. update: By Matt Tait
Hey, folks. Thanks for following along with all our of coverage from Brooklyn and this year's NBA Draft. It's been an awesome night and a great week out here.
Just wanted to chime back in with a couple of thoughts about McLemore to Sacramento.
My first thought was that this was a bad deal for Ben. Sacramento has been in a bit of a rut for the past few years and just doesn't seem like that appealing of a place to play ball.
But after talking to Self and Ben and his agent, I think it's a pretty good spot. Not ideal, maybe, but not all that bad either. I like the market and the fact that there won't be a ton of pressure on him out there. I like the commitment to the team from the new ownership group and the fan base and I still think they have some nice, young pieces.
DeMarcus Cousins could still turn into a very solid player; Jimmer Fredette is a stud; Tyreke Evans showed early in his career what he's capable of and still has youth on his side; and there are a few solid role players like Patrick Patterson, Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas.
Fran Fraschilla, as he always does, hit it right on the head, though, when he told me that the biggest concern will be someone to get McLemore the ball. Without a stellar and proven point guard, the Kings often struggle to get into their sets and also lack leadership. It's possible that they could employ a more wide-open, up-and-down style — and that would suit McLemore perfectly — to overcome that, but until they do, the PG spot still has to be a major question mark.
Time will tell how this pans out for Ben, but I don't think they'll give up on him as quickly as they did Thomas Robinson and I also think Ben will benefit from playing in a distraction-free, low-pressure organization.
Should be fun to watch. Thanks again for joining the coverage all week and also for the kind comments. It's because of you guys that we do all we can to bring as much KU coverage to your computers/phones/iPads/brains.
9:59 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
A couple of former Jayhawks are on the move.
Also, numerous reports say that Paul Pierce will be traded from Boston to Brooklyn when the deal can be made official on July 10.
9 p.m. update: By Tom Keegan
I asked Jay Bilas on a pre-draft conference call how much he liked Jeff Withey compared to former Kansas center Cole Aldrich.
His response: "They're really different. Withey is probably a little bit more mobile. He's a better shot blocker and rim protector, but he's slight of build. So getting and holding position down low is an issue for him. That's not going to change. I don't see him getting a lot bigger and wider. It's not like he's not an older guy. He transferred in from Arizona, so he's a red-shirt player. He's been around awhile.
"But he can make a face-up shot. I think he's a better shooter than he got credit for, but he's not a low-post player. He's not a guy you're going to throw the ball to him in the low post and he's going to go to work on you. He's more a guy to defend the post, block shots. I think he's a backup center in the league, but he's a valuable piece, and I think he's a late first‑round pick. He's a good pick."
8:30 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
A couple more McLemore photos from the Associated Press ...
7:57 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
According to HoopsWorld's rookie salary scale, here's what McLemore will make in his first three years in the pros:
Year 1: $2,413,300
Year 2: $2,521,900
Year 3: $2,630,500
7:52 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
A few notes on the McLemore selection from KU Athletics:
• This is the fourth straight season a Jayhawk has been selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
• In the last decade, KU is among the top five for producing the most NBA Draft picks (18).
• Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, KU has had 24 players drafted to the NBA, which is the most of any league member.
• KU has sent 28 players to the NBA during the past 20 years, passing North Carolina for third-most among all Div. I schools. KU only trails Kentucky (31) and Duke (29).
7:32 p.m. update: By Matt Tait
A couple photos and video showing McLemore right after he was taken by the Kings.
7:16 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
David Stern makes it official: Ben McLemore is taken with the seventh pick by the Sacramento Kings.
7:13 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
ESPN reporting Ben McLemore will be taken at No. 7 by the Sacramento Kings.
7:12 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Kentucky's Nerlens Noel goes to New Orleans at No. 6 to team up with Anthony Davis.
Looking likely that McLemore will go No. 7 to Sacramento.
7:07 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Maryland's Alex Len going to the Phoenix Suns at No. 5. Noel and McLemore still available.
6:58 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Charlotte Bobcats take Indiana's Cody Zeller at No. 4. NBA teams look like they're following Keegan's list below (except for McLemore, of course).
6:53 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Washington makes it official and selects Georgetown's Otto Porter. McLemore and Nerlens Noel still on the board.
6:47 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Indiana's Victor Oladipo goes No. 2 to the Orlando Magic. Some media sources already reporting that the Washington Wizards will take Georgetown's Otto Porter.
6:41 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
UNLV's Anthony Bennett is taken with the No. 1 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Shocker there. I don't think any mock drafts had that.
6:16 p.m. update: By Matt Tait
So I just spotted two-time NBA champion Shane Battier in the room and thought, well, a lot of people are comparing McLemore to Ray Allen and seeing how Battier, whose HUGE Game 7 helped propel the Miami Heat to this year's title, played with Allen this past season, I thought who better to ask.
Battier had some interesting thoughts about the comparison, but said, in short, that he had seen McLemore a few times this year and that he thought the former KU star could be a special player in the NBA.
I'll have more from Battier later, and will have up as much reaction as possible sometime tonight.
Coach Self said he'd talk to me for a few minutes sometime after McLemore was selected so I'll be sure to get Self's first thoughts on Ben's big night up on the site as soon as possible.
So stay plugged in to KUsports.com all night for all the latest from Brooklyn and the 2013 NBA Draft.
6:10 p.m. update: By Tom Keegan
This isn’t a list of where I think players will be drafted, just the top dozen prospects in my mind, so that I can compare it five years from now to how the general managers picked. If five years from now this list proves I’m smarter than the average general manager, I’ll link to it. If it shows I’m dumber, the list forever will be lost in cyberspace and nobody will remember I ever wrote it:
1. Ben McLemore: My guess is if Cleveland Cavaliers point guard sensation Kyrie Irving were allowed to make the selection, he would take McLemore. He knows McLemore’s long shooting range and explosiveness at the hoop could lead to tons of assists and victories. General managers often are guilty of over-analysis. If he drops, blame it on that.
2. Anthony Bennett: So he’s shorter than most who play his position? So what. He’s a more talented, more explosive version of Draymond Green. Charles Barkley was too small for his position too. Bennett isn’t Charles Barkley, but he might have a little Sir Charles to his game.
3. Cody Zeller: GM's are looking at him all wrong. He’s not a center. He’s a stretch four, whose long-range shooting wasn’t on display for Indiana because the Hoosers needed him in the post. He’s not Dirk Nowitzki, but he might be as close to Dirk as he is in the other direction to Tyler Zeller.
4. Alex Len: Intriguing center prospect, but not worthy of the No. 1 pick. He projects as a solid starter, not an All-Star.
5. Nerlens Noel: Terrific athlete who does far more than block shots defensively. Deflects and steals passes with reactions rare for a man his size. There is no reason to believe he ever will be a big scorer.
6. Victor Oladipo: Explosive athlete will get the absolute most out of his talent, but his ceiling is nowhere near as high as McLemore’s because he doesn’t have his shooting touch or range and never will.
7. Otto Porter: Nice small forward. Right size, right shooting touch, but he’s not a superior athlete at a position where he’ll be defending plenty who fit that description.
8. Dennis Schroeder: Slender 6-2 guard from Germany has a 6-7 wingspan, is crazy quick and is only 19. He won’t go this high, but five years from now we’ll all look back and wonder why he didn’t.
9. Michael-Carter Williams: Tall point guards who have great vision can be difference-makers. It might not happen for him immediately, but he’s a gifted enough athlete to develop into a better-than-average starting point guard.
10. Kelly Olynyk: Sure, he’s too skinny, but he’s so coordinated and so skilled he’ll be a tough guy to guard, which he’ll need to be because he also might have a difficult time guarding powerful NBA centers.
11. Trey Burke: Not as quick as most NBA point guards his size, but he has tons of moxie and terrific shooting range.
12. Steven Adams: Really big and really strong, he looked lost offensively at times for Pitt, but he has the drive and the talent to grow offensively and could become an excellent defensive center.
6 p.m. update: By Matt Tait
Just spoke with KU coach Bill Self who is in the Green Room and at McLemore's table tonight.
Self's in as good a mood as anyone could possibly be at this event. He's loose, working the room and talking to all of the other prospects, coaches and media members he knows.
He made sure that I knew Ben and when I told him that Ben was with me all day yesterday and didn't even get sick of me, Self set the record straight.
"Oh, he got sick of you," Self cracked with a smile. "He's just too nice to tell you."
Fair enough, coach. Gotta love it! Even his college head coach is pushing the image that McLemore is the nicest kid in America. May very well be true.
After that he asked me to snap a photo of the two and said, with a huge smile, "Get this one for the LJ-World."
Like I said, both guys are in great moods and are completely relaxed.
Almost go time out here. This place is hopping.
Stay tuned for much more …
5:55 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
While we're waiting for the draft to start, here's a fun video from ESPN that features some of the top picks, including McLemore. The KU star even demonstrates his dance — "The McLemore" — at the end.
Original post: 4:32 p.m. by Matt Tait
Good evening ladies, gents and Ben McLemore fans. Welcome to Brooklyn, N.Y., site of this year's NBA Draft.
I'm Matt Tait and I've been in the Big Apple all week following around former KU star Ben McLemore as he embarks upon the beginning of his NBA career.
In a little less than two hours, McLemore, a likely Top 5 pick, will know the location of his new team.
But until then, the speculation continues.
Just talked to some more folks from Cleveland, which picks No. 1, and the general feel there is that McLemore will not go first tonight, but when asked if that happening would shock them they all said absolutely not.
So, we'll see.
I think Orlando at 2, Charlotte at 4 and Phoenix at 5 remain the most likely destinations, but I'm not ready to say McLemore is out of the running for No. 1 just yet.
What the heck, let's do a percentage wheel, shall we.
- Orlando (2) - 50%
- Charlotte (4) - 24%
- Phoenix (5) - 20%
- Cleveland (1) - 5%
- Other - 1%
I'll be here all night at the Barclay's Center (which is incredible, by the way) and will bring you videos, photos and reaction from draft headquarters and the Green Room while Tom Keegan and Jesse Newell handle the blog from Lawrence.
Please remember that once McLemore is picked, I'm going to be out of commission for a while, following him around once again.
Let's get this party started. This is one of my favorite nights of the year and Brooklyn, though not quite Madison Square Garden, is right up there in terms of hosting this event.