I feel like as we get closer and closer to the 2013 NBA Draft, this topic is going to start popping up a lot. Which player should be drafted first: Shabazz Muhammad or Ben McLemore?
McLemore has made his way up mock drafts and to the top of the draft board with a strong start of the season down at Kansas. He’s really shown he can score with the best of them. Likewise Shabazz has been the primary option UCLA hoped he would become.
So let’s break down the tale of the tape
Shabazz Muhammad (6’6, 222 lbs. 19 yrs old)
- Can create his own shot in the pros
- NBA size
- Finishes strong around the basket
- Willing defender
- Top 2 high school player in the nation
- Good rebounder
- 75% FT shooter
- Looks like he’s gained some weight, is he bulking up or quietly getting fat?
- Not a three point shooter (only attempts 1-4 few per game) but shoots a respectable 45%
Ben McLemore (6’5, 195 lbs. 20 yrs old)
- Excells on the fast break
- Excellent dunker, great explosion
- Great shooting touch. Went 6-6 in 3pt attemps against Iowa State.
- 87% FT shooter
- Spaces well, doesn’t stand around, gets shots from moving without the ball
- Known volume scorer. Will erupt for 30 randomly, then score less than 15 in successive contests
- Not known if he can get his own shot
- On the thin side. 1 inch shorter than Muhammad but 30 lbs lighter
- Can he play NBA PG? No evidence he can excell as a PG if asked to transition
That’s what I have on these guys so far. All in all, I think Muhammad has all of the tools right now to be the #1 on a rebuilding team and should go top 2 definitely. I actually will have him #1 in my next 2013 NBA Mock Draft.
I still like McLemore, but as a piece with a young star (preferably a PG to get him shots) already in place.