When you are picking as high as the Phoenix Suns are in the NBA Draft, the chances of landing a good player are, well, pretty good. But this draft shouldn’t be about landing a good player for Phoenix — it needs to be about landing a great player. And the player with the best upside to be great is Kansas’ Ben McLemore.
McLemore has two elite qualities. He is flat-out amazing athletically and he has a great stroke. Those are two really good qualities. Now you’ve probably heard rumblings about McLemore lacking passion and competitiveness. Don’t buy it. The kid competes hard.
What he doesn’t have is a takeover mentality and there is a simple explanation to that — he doesn’t have a takeover game. He has to rely on guards to get him the ball and his shots. He doesn’t dominate the ball the way a Victor Oladipo does.
Now I love Oladipo, and he would be a great pick. My comparison to him is not Dwyane Wade but a miniature Jason Richardson. Oladipo is an undersized two-guard, but he has a great motor, is highly-skilled, athletic and tough.
The difference between McLemore and Oladipo right now is that Oladipo is a man and McLemore is a naive kid. Out of the gate, Oladipo will be better, more productive. But McLemore has way more upside.
There is a chance both could be there when the Suns pick, although I’m a little concerned about Orlando throwing a monkey wrench in the draft by taking McLemore.
But if both are there, McLemore should be the pick.