University of Kansas

KU notebook: Kings’ Ben McLemore will be unrestricted free agent

Former KU star Ben McLemore will become an unrestricted free agent after the Kings decided against extending a qualifying offer to him.
Former KU star Ben McLemore will become an unrestricted free agent after the Kings decided against extending a qualifying offer to him. The Associated Press

Sacramento Kings shooting guard Ben McLemore will become an unrestricted free agent Saturday after team officials decided against extending a qualifying offer to the former Kansas standout, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.

McLemore, a 24-year-old fourth-year pro who was taken No. 7 overall by the Kings in the 2013 NBA Draft, starting this weekend will be free to sign with any team.

Philadelphia, Chicago, Milwaukee and Washington have been mentioned in media reports as possible landing spots for the 6-foot-5 St. Louis native, who earned $4,008,882 last season in the fourth year of his rookie contract. He averaged 8.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game in 61 games (27 starts) in 2016-17, cashing a career-best 38.2 percent of his threes.

He scored 32 points in the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic KU alumni game June 8 at Lawrence’s Free State High School.

“That’s what I do, score the ball well, shoot the ball well,” McLemore, who averaged 17.4 points a game at KU during the 2012-13 season, told reporters after the Roundball Classic. “I’ve been working on my game every day, getting better each and every day. Obviously you guys (media) can see what I can do. Hopefully, everybody around the world knows what I can do as well.”

McLemore’s best season with the Kings came in 2014-15 when he averaged 12.1 points a game in 82 games. He suffered various nagging injuries last season.

Sacramento has several players at his position, including former Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield, who was acquired midway through last season, and recent draftee Justin Jackson of North Carolina, as well as Serbia’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, who according to the Sacramento Bee has reached agreement on a three-year, $36 million deal.

KU coach Bill Self and former Jayhawk Scot Pollard play Epic or Fail at KVC Hero Luncheon on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

Selden made big strides last season

Former KU guard Wayne Selden went from not being selected in the 2016 NBA Draft to being a 2017 playoff starter for the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Going into the draft, you can’t have expectations too high,” Selden said in a recent interview with NBA.com. “After the draft I was obviously a little down, but it really put a little more of a chip on my shoulder, gave me a little more of my edge. When I went to the preseason with the Grizzlies and got released (last fall), the chip got a little bigger. It was trying to fight back and get back to where I should be. That was the biggest goal all year. Being able to come back into a Grizzlies uniform was a blessing.”

Selden played 35 games for Iowa in the NBA D-League. He played three games for the New Orleans Pelicans, then after his 10-day contract expired, was acquired by Memphis, the team that cut him last fall. He averaged 5.0 points a game in 11 regular-season games (including two starts) for the Grizzlies. He averaged 3.8 points per game in six playoff games (including two starts).

Selden’s advice for players who start the 2017-18 season in the D-League, which actually now will be called the G-League (with Gatorade as sponsor)?

“Stick to it. Especially in this business things are interchangeable. Things change fast,” Selden said. “You never know when your time is going to be called (by NBA team). If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

KU hoops coach Bill Self jokingly wishes that Frank Mason and Josh Jackson were back while talking about this year's team at KVC Hero Luncheon.

Reid to visit LSU Thursday

Naz Reid, a 6-10 senior power forward from Roselle Catholic High School in Asbury Park, N.J., who is ranked No. 14 in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com, will take his first official visit to LSU starting Thursday, Zagsblog.com reports.

Reid has a list of LSU, KU, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville, Seton Hall and UCLA.

“His recruitment is just really starting to get to a point where he’s got to start making some decisions on a bunch of different things and really start to look at this seriously,” Roselle Catholic coach Dave Boff told Zagsblog.com. “He’s got some tremendous national programs looking at him. He also has got a couple of the local schools that he’s excited about, so he’s just got to go through that list and start trimming it down as we move forward.”

Star beat writer Jesse Newell breaks down what coach Bill Self and KU might look like next season.

Bagley to visit Duke in July

Marvin Bagley, a 6-10 senior power forward from Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, Calif., who is ranked No. 1 nationally by all the recruiting services, will visit Duke in July, 247sports.com reports.

Bagley has a list of KU, Duke, Arizona, Kentucky, UCLA and USC.

“Duke speaks for itself,” Bagley told Zagsblog.com. “It’s a great school. Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski), Capel (Jeff, assistant) and all those guys are in the tournament every year.”

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