Feb 15, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Ben McLemore (16) dunks during the 2014 NBA All Star dunk contest at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets NBA Draft Trade Idea: Ben McLemore

Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post recently wrote an article suggesting that current Denver Nugget GM Tim Connelly should contact former Nugget GM Masai Ujiri.  The former Denver Nugget executive that current GM Tim Connelly should contact is Pete D’Alessandro.  D’Alessandro was the Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations until leaving last summer to take the GM job with the Sacramento Kings.  If Masai Ujiri can convince Pete D’Alessandro to acquire Rudy Gay, surely Tim Connelly can grease the wheels on acquiring shooting guard Ben McLemore.

Ben McLemore was the 7th overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft.  Here are some of the strong points that NBADraft.net listed about McLemore going into last year’s draft:

Prototypical 2-guard with a mouth watering combination of athleticism and shooting ability

Shooting efficiency was off the charts for a freshman, hitting 50% FG, 42% 3p and 87% from the line

His jump shot is absolutely a thing of beauty and rarely do you find such a gorgeous stroke on such a gifted athlete

Fast forward one NBA season and Ben McLemore has lost a little bit of his shine.  McLemore struggled with all aspects of his shot shooting only 37.6% FG, 32% 3P and 80.4% from the line.  The Sacramento Kings are slated to pick 8th overall in the upcoming NBA Draft.  Draft Express has the Kings selecting a combo forward with their pick.  Nugget fans are being bombarded with shooting guard options that may or may not be available at #11.

WHAT IF, Nuggets GM Tim Connelly phones Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro with this simple trade offer.  Nuggets #11 pick in the draft for Ben McLemore.

The Nuggets would acquire a young guard with oodles of potential that already has one year of NBA experience.  The Sacramento Kings would then have two top eleven picks in one of the “deepest drafts” in recent memory.

I understand that technically Ben McLemore does not address any of the Denver Nugget concerns such as perimeter defence or perimeter shooting.  So why add McLemore?

His three point shooting will get better.  I’m not suggesting it will hit his college proficiency but he is too talented to stay at sub 35%.  With Randy Foye on the bench, McLemore has protection.  At the tender age of 21, Coach Brian Shaw can add defensive dimensions to McLemore’s game.  ESPN’s David Thorpe recently wrote that Ben McLemore should study a player like Paul George.  Paul George, of course, was recently coached by Brian Shaw.



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