If you thought the 2012 NBA Draft lacked talent, the 2013 NBA Draft made the prior year’s draft class look like an All Star Team. In all honesty, when Anthony Bennet is the first overall pick in the draft, it’s just one steep downhill slope.
Despite an MVP emerging in the draft class in Giannis Antetokounmpo, along with All Stars like Victor Oladipo and Rudy Gobert, the majority of the draft was a crapshoot in landing a talented player.
Finishing the 2012-2013 season with a 28-54 record, the Kings went into the draft with yet another lottery pick, this time, seventh overall.
Personally, my eyes were set on the freshman out of Kansas, Ben McLemore, but it seemed probable that he would be taken way before the seventh pick. But as the picks began coming in and McLemore was still on the board, my hopes kept growing.
When it came to Sacramento’s selection, Ben was still available. It was an easy choice to make for the front office and I was extremely excited as I thought the Kings had drafted a future star. *Sigh*, more on that later.
After drafting a hopeful future NBA All Star (in my eyes) in Ben McLemore, the Kings had to wait until the second round to pick again where they held the 36th overall selection. When it came their time, they chose Ray McCallum Jr. off the board, a point guard out of Detroit Mercy.
Another draft came to an end and Kings fans could only hope that one of their young products would surmount to elite status in the league to bring the misery in Sacramento to an end.
As noted before, I, and other Kings fans, had high hopes for Ben McClemore. In his first month in the league, Ben was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month, seeming to confirm what Kings fans thought about their draftee.
When All Star weekend rolled around, McLemore competed in the Slam Dunk Contest, which included a dunk over minority-owner Shaquille O’Neal.
But the aforementioned success were truly the extent of McLemore’s highlights during his rookie campaign as he finished the season with modest numbers.
Unfortunately for Kings fans, McLemore would show little, if any, improvement during his next three seasons in Sacramento. By the time his rookie contract was complete, Sacramento had no desire to resign him.
McLemore would sign with the Grizzlies in July 2017, during the offseason. A month later, he broke his foot in a pickup game, sidelining the shooting guard for 12 weeks.
A year and 10 days after McLemore had signed his multi-year deal with Memphis, the Grizzlies shipped him back to Sacramento. After playing only 19 games during the 2018-2019 season, the Kings waived their former pick in February.
During the 2019 offseason, the Rockets decided to give McLemore a chance. In Houston, McLemore has found a nice little niche for himself in the Rockets’ offense-focused, three point hurling system.
The Kings will face McLemore on August 9 as part of the eight games during the NBA’s continuation.
Ray McCallum Jr.
As if the Kings weren’t satisfied drafting one player with a surname starting with “Mc”, the Kings doubled down and drafted Ray McCallum Jr. with their second round pick.
McCallum had some competition at the point guard position during his time in Sacramento, as the Kings had the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Greivis Vasquez, Jimmer Fredette, Andre Miller, and Darren Collison.
Despite the ample competition, McCallum started 10 games during his rookie year and 30 during his sophomore campaign. He even managed to drop 27 points against the rival Los Angeles Lakers during his first year in the league.
But after two years, the Kings had enough of McCallum. In the 2015 offseason, the front office traded Ray to San Antonio for a second round pick. McCallum would spend the next two seasons bouncing around both the NBA and the D-League spending time in the Spurs, Grizzlies, and Pistons organizations.
When his time in the NBA had come to an end in 2017, McCallum headed overseas to continue his professional basketball career. As of now, he is currently with the Shanghai Sharks, the same team Jimmer played on while he was in China.
The 2013 draft was a total disaster. With the only bright spots being Giannis Antetokounmpo, CJ McCollum, Victor Oladipo, and Rudy Gobert, it’s hard to say the Kings passed on a flurry of talent, and really, at the end of the day, we just have to live with the fact that the draft was a bust.