The focus of the NBA draft lottery is on the teams moving up and down in the draft order, but Ben McLemore was one of the biggest losers on Tuesday.
Based on the reverse order of the standings, things looked good for the shooting guard. The Orlando Magic were in need of a good perimeter player with the first overall pick, and the Charlotte Bobcats could have used anything with the No. 2 pick.
At this point, virtually every analyst had McLemore and Nerlens Noel going first and second in the draft in some order.
However, the results of the lottery have changed things up a bit. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the first pick in the lottery and will be followed by the Magic, Washington Wizards and then the Bobcats (via ESPN).
The problem with these teams is the lack of need for a shooting guard. Last season, the Cavaliers drafted Dion Waiters with the No. 3 pick, and the Wizards took Bradley Beal with the No. 4 selection. Both players were selected to the first-team All-Rookie team this season.
While there is certainly a possibility that Cleveland looks to utilize Waiters off the bench, it does not make much sense to draft two players at the same position in consecutive years. The team is much more likely to fill a need somewhere in the frontcourt.
This leaves Orlando as the best spot for McLemore. Unfortunately, even that is far from guaranteed. ESPN's Chad Ford writes in his latest mock draft, "The Magic need a point guard but might have been reluctant to take [Trey] Burke at No. 1. What about at No. 2? I think there's a good chance."
Victor Oladipo is another possibility with his impressive defensive ability. The Magic could look to add more of a sure thing instead of someone with risk but more upside like McLemore.
The good news is that the former Kansas star will find a home somewhere. The guard was fantastic as a freshman last season and showed the ability to score in a number of different ways. He has the skill and athleticism to be a very good scorer at the next level.
If he slides down to a team like the Bobcats or Phoenix Suns, one of those teams will be very fortunate to get one of the most talented players in the entire draft.
Although the lottery results will certainly cause McLemore to lose some money on his rookie contract, he should still have a very successful NBA career. Whichever team is lucky enough to grab him will get excellent value after the first few picks of the draft.
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