3 Biggest Sacramento Kings draft fails of the last 15 years

Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings
Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

3. 2013 – Ben McLemore, Pick 7

Ben McLemore was a highly regarded prospect who played one season at the University of Kansas before declaring for the draft. The talented shooting guard had potential, as he was an impressive scorer with high-end athleticism. In his redshirt freshman season, McLemore averaged 15.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game with 49/42/87 shooting splits.

Since Ben McLemore was such a good prospect, it made sense to draft him 7th overall. He was regarded as the “safest bet in the draft” due to his high floor and ceiling coming into the league.

McLemore was just like most rookies; inefficient but showed promise. On a struggling Sacramento squad, he was given all the opportunity in the world to showcase his offensive skillset, but year after year, he failed to make the jump to the next level. McLemore spent his first four seasons in Sacramento before leaving for the Memphis Grizzlies. Then, McLemore made a shocking return to the Kings when they traded to get him back one year after he left. Let’s say his return was not some spectacular homecoming.

Some names that Sacramento passed on to draft the talented guard are CJ McCollum at 10th overall, Steven Adams at 12th overall, Giannis Antetokounmpo at 15th overall, and Rudy Gobert at 27th overall. The best-case scenario for the Kings would have been to draft Giannis, but at 7th overall, that would have been a stretch.

At the time, Ben McLemore was a great pick, but unfortunately, his career did not pan out as we might have hoped.