With the NBA Draft just weeks away, Wiz of Awes will be doing a mock draft, which we’ll break down each pick for every lottery team, including the Washington Wizards. (Completed Mock Draft: Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats)
5) Phoenix Suns: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
Basic Stats: 15.9 PPG, 5.2 REB, 2.0 AST, 1.0 STL
As I looked through the Phoenix Suns roster, it’s becoming very apparent that they won’t do much harm with any choice they’ll make with the 5th overall pick. Let’s be honest; the Suns haven’t been a very good basketball team for quite some time, so adding more young talent to the roster who could contribute from day one through the draft, is obviously a positive roster move.
Ben McLemore was projected to get snagged amongst the top three picks in this upcoming NBA Draft, but as fate would have it, the lottery may have changed his odds of getting picked extremely high. Don’t get me wrong; McLemore could very well get picked in the top 3, but as my mock draft continues to unfold, he appears to be the best player left on the board.
Besides Goran Dragic, the Suns don’t have very many pieces on their roster who aren’t considered expendable. As of right now, the Suns have a bunch of role players on their team, which haven’t put out very productive results on the court. Phoenix was 29th in the league in offensive efficiency last season, just slightly above the Wizards, but to their dismay, the Suns were also ranked amongst the NBA’s worst defensive teams. Evidently, any player they choose in this upcoming draft will undoubtedly offer immediate help in the Valley of the Sun.
McLemore reminds me a bit of Bradley Beal, since they both have perfect looking jump shots, but are deceptively athletic. McLemore displayed his picture perfect jump shot, when he catapulted in mock drafts, amongst some of the most highly touted prospects. Even though he had a tendency to shy away in difficult situations, McLemore has all the talent to become an NBA All-Star. He has the it factor that many of the top prospects lack, which will obviously improve his stock once June 27th arrives.
Phoenix is definitely in need for a wing player who can put the ball in the basket. McLemore’s ability to create off the dribble isn’t elite, but with Goran Dragic becoming the primary ball handler, I’m sure McLemore would be able to create for himself off-the ball, getting open on the perimeter. Dragic isn’t an overwhelmingly quick player, but his craftiness with the ball makes him an effective player in transition, and adding a running mate could add another threat to their desperate offense.
We’ve seen teams such as the Golden State Warriors and even the Washington Wizards rebuild through their backcourt, so if McLemore is on the board when the Suns pick, they’ll likely snag him.
McLemore is one of the most dynamic players in the draft, so I’ll be fairly surprised if he’s on the board when it’s time for Phoenix to add another piece to their puzzle. Phoenix has options, and it’s virtually impossible for them to go wrong with this pick. Out of all the guys left on the board, McLemore has the biggest chance of becoming a franchise changer.
His high character and willingness to improve will undoubtedly set a good example in Phoenix’s locker room. I won’t be surprised if McLemore ends up becoming the best player in this draft class a few years down the line.