I have seen a lot of traffic regarding Kansas Jayhawk SG Ben McLemore. Some have been for and some have been against drafting him. I've seen some people saying to trade Waiters in order to draft McLemore and improve another draft pick. There are a lot of things to consider when we do this.
1 - Tale of the Tape: McLemore is a slightly longer and taller player, but also is 30lbs lighter. Both players have adequate height and length to play the position (offensively and defensively) in the NBA. Ultimately, the .75" in height is nearly negligible. Same with the .5" in wingspan. The 2.5" standing reach advantage that McLemore has over Waiters is a more impressive number though. McLemore also showed up in better shape when it was time to go through the testing, but we did find out that Waiters was nursing an ankle injury, so I'm not sure what to say about the difference in body fat (5.0 vs 8.5%). Because Dion shut down interviews (and pretty much everything else) for the combine, we have absolutely no athletic measurements to go on. Having seen his quick first step in an NBA game and his ability to get to the rim (though struggle to finish) against NBA talent, I'd like to think that athleticism is absolutely not a problem.
2 - Tale of the Stats: Let's start with college...and on that, let's make note of something. McLemore was an older Freshman. He's a year younger than Dion...and Dion has two years of college experience and a year of NBA experience. His body was far more mature than your typical freshman. Regardless, he played more minutes per game last year than Dion did in either year. McLemore was clearly the more efficient scorer and shooter than Waiters. That's taking into account ONLY Waiters Sophomore campaign. McLemore scored 3.2 more points on 1.2 more shot attempts. He has a really good FT% and was close enough to the 50-40-90 line to make you think he could (with a lot of work) threaten that at the next level. McLemore also was a significantly better rebounder. Where Dion trumps Ben is in the AST:TO ratio. Dion never had a negative AST:TO ratio.
Rebound numbers for SG's can often be attributed to the system a player is playing in. Particularly defensive rebounds. If Dion was asked to leak out at Syracuse looking for fastbreak numbers, he will get less boards.
3 - Tale of the Team: Here's where things start to get less "hard line" than others. You can't question that McLemore was a more efficient scorer/shooter. You can't question that Waiters was better playmaker for his team. You can't question that McLemore is a taller/longer player. From here, we have to delve into how said players will fit into the team.
3a - We start McLemore and make Waiters the 6th man. Starting another rookie SG isn't really all that great of an idea as they are rarely efficient. Dion is just behind that second group, but is clearly ahead of the 3rd pack. Waiters has also gone on record and said he does not want to be a 6th man. He did that in college where coaches have all the power. In the pros, he will find his power very soon. I can see the idea that having Dion come off the bench and play Manu Ginobli/James Harden role or us is enticing. I can see where McLemore's sweet jumper helps Kyrie out on offense too. It makes sense. It is short sighted. (We'll get to that.)
3b - We start Dion and have McLemore come off the bench. A rookie SG with a good stroke should do well off the bench. We can cycle Dion and Kyrie around McLemore (always having a ball-handler with him) and still have a nice lineup. McLemore will make both Kyrie and Dion better...and when Dion/Kryie play together...if one is tired, the other can handle the rock to give him a pseudo-on court break.
3c - We move McLemore to the 3. Seriously, I've seen this. It's ridiculous. He's 190lbs and under 6'6. There's no way McLemore is guarding a 3. Only in a small ball lineup could we make this work...but we don't have a legit SF and dominant SF yet. Not to mention the hole we have at the Center spot (because we can't quite count on Andy yet.)
3d - We trade Waiters and draft McLemore. I hate this on so many levels. We KNOW what Waiters can do in the pros. We know that we can ask him to handle the ball and he won't screw it up. We know he can create his own shot against NBA talent. We know that we have holes at the 3 and 5. McLemore solves none of this. I look at McLemore as a SG version of Harrison Barnes with a better shot. A guy who tests well athletically but needs someone else to set up his shot. He struggled in Kansas first two wins and then played well in their loss to Michigan. He could very well be a very good NBA player...but I don't see it because of his weakness with his handles.
Even if McLemore is an upgrade over Waiters. What is a better lineup?
Kyrie - McLemore - Gee - Thompson - Zeller (with Dion off the bench)
Kyrie - Waiters - Gee - Thompson - Zeller (with McLemore off the bench)
Kyrie - Waiters - Porter - Thompson - Zeller
Kyrie - Waiters - Gee - Thompson - Noel
Even if you were to argue over the last two lineups, there's no way that you can think that either lineup wouldn't beat the first two. I did leave Andy Varejao out or several reasons. I'm thinking long term here. And I'm concerned with injuries...even if it has been a different freak injury after another...there is still some concern.
We don't need a SG...even if he would be an improvement over our current SG. We need to fix the rest of our lineup. The teams that have non-D-league talent at every position can afford to go BPA. We really can't. We need to fix our lineup then draft BPA and figure out how to make them fit. Even if McLemore is better than both Porter and Noel, is the difference between him and Waiters that much better than the difference between Porter and Gee or Noel and Zeller? Because that is something that seems to be ignored by those who want us to draft McLemore.