Sacramento Kings select Ben McLemore with seventh pick in 2013 NBA Draft
“I definitely can say I come in with a chip on my shoulder,” Mclemore told media in New York of after being picked by the Kings. “That’s what I want to do. I want to come in and show everybody what I can do because I know on the court, I know what I can do. I can be an alpha dog and take over games and help my teams win games.”
Not long after the selection, Vivek Ranadivé addressed fans attending today’s draft party at Sleep Train Arena. After being carted into the building from the Kings practice facility, the new majority owner told fans that the front office was trying drastically to trade up in the draft to pick the 20-year-old guard.
“We were willing to pay a lot of money to get Ben and we got him at seven,” Ranadivé said. “As I’ve said, before, seven is my lucky number. When I was at the Warriors, we got (Stephen) Curry and (Harrison) Barnes at seven, my birthday is on the seventh, the Mayor (Kevin Johnson) was picked seventh, he wore number seven and we got the best player in the (draft) at seven.”
Kings guard Isaiah Thomas also made an appearance at today’s draft party. He says he’s excited about the selection of his new teammate.
“He’s gonna bring a lot to the table,” Thomas told Cowbell Kingdom. “He’s a guy that’s an athlete, a big-time athlete that can shoot the long ball. And once he learns the NBA system, he’s gonna help us out, so I’m happy with the pick that we chose him.”
The draft has not played out the way many experts had predicted it would go. Heading into today’s festivities, McLemore was projected as a possible top three pick. That he ended up with the Kings shocked his new 24-year-old teammate.
“The first six or seven picks, I’ve been shocked about all of them,” Thomas said. “I thought he was going to be a top two pick or whatever it maybe, so it’s up and down. You never know what’s gonna happen. I’m just glad we got him.”
In his lone season at Kansas, McLemore averaged 15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and two assists per game. The 20-year-old guard shot 49.5 percent from the field and 42 percent from 3-point range.
WATCH: Draft Express’s video scouting report on Ben McLemore[youtube id="MHaCrtbL_zg" width="600" height="350"]
WATCH: Kings fans react to the Ben McLemore pick
James Ham also contributed to this post. Updated at 6:23 pm.