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June 27, 2013The night former Kansas guard Ben McLemore has been waiting for his entire life arrived Thursday, and ended with the overall No. 7 selection, sending him to the Sacramento Kings.
For the second straight season, Sacramento showed faith in the Kansas Basketball program by selecting a former Jayhawk. Last year it was forward Thomas Robinson, this year, they celebrated Ben McLemore sliding from a potential No. 1, to No. 7.
The Kings haven't exactly been at the forefront of the NBA in terms of winning and being of any major relevance, but McLemore has the talent a struggling organization needs to revive the good ole' days of the late 90's and early 2000's when the Chris Webber and Mike Bibby led Kings were a constant challenger for the Western Conference title.
McLemore was Kansas' leading scorer during his red-shirt freshman season after sitting out due to NCAA academic requirements.
As it was during his time in Lawrence, McLemore's soft-spoken demeanor may have been one of the reasons behind his slide to No. 7 after being considered the overall top pick almost immediately after the college season ended and he made his decision to enter the draft official.
Word had also spread over the past several weeks that McLemore maybe didn't work out as much as teams would have liked, thus raising further question marks for one of six players considered for the top pick.
After Cleveland took UNLV freshman Anthony Bennett at No. 1 (to the surprise of many), the draft changed for teams selecting between 2-8. There was plenty of smoke around McLemore possibly heading to Phoenix at No. 5, but the Suns were able to take big man Alex Len, who slipped from what was considered to be the No. 1 or No. 2 pick.
During the middle of the week, word had come out that Sacramento was looking to move up to take McLemore, not thinking he would simply fall into their laps at 7. At the end of the day, it seemed to have worked out for both parties.
While being a top 7 pick isn't necessarily considered a slide, McLemore was getting plenty of love from LeBron James and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, both showing surprise no one was taking him and that he is going to be a star.