#2 Ben McLemore
Ben McLemore is the anti-Eric Gordon in many respects, he’s young, cheap, and coming off his best season as a pro. The Rockets will want to hold onto him if they’re in contention this season, but if not he’s an incredibly valuable trade chip.
Last season, McLemore hit 40-percent of his 3-pointers on 6.4 attempts per game. Only 30 players averaged more attempts per game and of that group only eight shot at a higher percentage than McLemore.
The group of high-volume sharpshooters that McLemore can call himself peers with are JJ Reddick, Terry Rozier, Jayson Tatum, Danilo Gallinari, Bojan Bogdanovic, Duncan Robinson, Davis Bertans, and Damian Lillard. The fact that McLemore is only set to make $2.2 million this season makes him one of the league’s best bargains.
Most contenders are maxed-out against the salary cap which makes McLemore’s tiny commitment all the more valuable because of how easily he’d be able to fit into their finances. The Rockets could likely land a first-round pick or an interesting young player if they were to offer his services up to championship hungry contenders.
Since McLemore is a 3-point specialist his value is tied to how well he’s shooting it but he has converted 40.2-percent of his threes over the past two seasons. Even if he experiences a dip in efficiency below the 40-percent mark he’ll remain a valuable trade chip.
The Rockets should look to trade McLemore midseason if they aren’t close to a top-four seed. Since McLemore is only under contract for one more season it would be foolish for the Rockets to keep him around in the hopes of securing one of the bottom seeds in the West.
He’s a good player but he’s not going to be the difference maker in a playoff series against the Lakers. McLemore has real value around the league and if the Rockets aren’t in the thick of it they should set their sights on the future and reap a draft pick for a fantastic signing.
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