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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Former Jayhawk McLemore becomes unrestricted free agent

Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore, left, goes up for a shot as Los Angeles Lakers forward Ed Davis, center, defends and forward Carl Landry watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore, left, goes up for a shot as Los Angeles Lakers forward Ed Davis, center, defends and forward Carl Landry watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Sacramento Kings would not extend a qualifying offer to former Kansas standout Ben McLemore, thus making the fourth-year pro an unrestricted free agent.

McLemore, who was back in Lawrence this summer to participate in Bill Self’s basketball camp games and the annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic said he planned to lock himself in the gym this summer to put in the work necessary to take the next step in his pro career. Asked what would help him get there, McLemore said simply, “Opportunity. Being in the right situation and going out there and doing what I gotta do.”

With that situation no longer coming in Sacramento, McLemore is free to sign with any other NBA team.

During his first four seasons in Sacramento, McLemore averaged 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 25.5 minutes per game.

The former Jayhawk who was voted all-Big 12 during his lone season of eligibility at Kansas in 2012-13, wowed the crowd this summer with a game-high 32 points on several high-flying slam dunks at the Roundball Classic.

Speaking of Kings, Wednesday afternoon, from his Twitter account (@FrankMason0), former Kansas star Frank Mason III did something slightly out of character — promoted himself for an individual honor.

Chalk the move up to the influence of his new team, the Sacramento Kings, who drafted Mason No. 34 overall in last week’s NBA Draft.

A team-first player through and through, Mason, college basketball’s reigning national player of the year, is up for the honor of Male College Athlete of the Year at this year’s ESPY’s, which will take place at 7 p.m. July 12.

Comments

Tracey Graham 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm not surprised the Kings didn't extend him a QO. He's had a very up-and-down NBA career. And with Hield and Fox likely to be the starting backcourt and the European star Bogdan Bogdanovic likely coming to play in the NBAthis season (not to mention the addition of Mason and the Kings probably bringng on a vet PG) there's really no room for McLemore in Sacramento.

He needs a new start. Hopefully he does what he says he will do -- get in the gym to really work on his game. If he can find the right team, he's still plenty young enough to improve and become an important part of somebody's rotation.

Good luck, Ben!

Bryce Landon 4 years, 4 months ago

The Kings strike me as a poorly-run organization. They draft all these great players who never seem to pan out for them. The last big-name player they had was Chris Webber.

Oh well, at least they're Sacramento's problem and not Kansas City's...

Shannon Gustafson 4 years, 4 months ago

DeMarcus Cousins was the top center in the league before they traded him for Buddy Hield and a couple chumps. So I agree they are poorly run, I don't agree that Webber was their last big name player.

Dee Shaw 4 years, 4 months ago

Good deal. Show Ben the money future new NBA team. I would assume with Bens upside and athleticism he will be sought after big time.

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