The Houston Rockets are releasing guard Ben McLemore, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. The 28-year-old is averaging 7.4 points in 16.8 minutes per game this season under coach Stephen Silas. He is shooting 35% from the field and 33.7% from beyond the arc.
McLemore is expected to be pursued by several title-contending teams in the NBA buyout market.
NBA Buyout Market 2021: 3 Teams that can target Ben McLemore
The 8th year guard played better under former Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni last season, averaging 10.1 points per game while shooting 40% from beyond the arc.
The 6-foot-3 guard remains a liability on the defensive end but has the firepower to impact the game with his shooting. He could certainly be a good addition for top contenders looking to add a three-point specialist.
McLemore is a proven scorer who can help spread the floor with his shooting prowess. He would most likely join a contender where he would be most effective.
On that note, let's take a look at the top three teams that could target Ben McLemore in the NBA buyout market.
#1 LA Lakers
The LA Lakers could add more depth to their lineup by adding Ben McLemore to the mix. It's no secret that the reigning NBA champions need more three-point shooters to help spread the floor for their two superstars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has the best three-point shooting percentage for the Lakers this season. However, he is only averaging 8.4 points in 45 games thus far.
Adding a talent like Ben McLemore can give them a boost in the scoring department while also acting as a safety measure in case the team is hit by an injury to one of their guards ahead of the playoffs.
The LA Lakers will probably look to add McLemore to their roster. He would help put them in a better position for the upcoming postseason battle.
McLemore was an effective shooter when he played alongside James Harden and Russell Westbrook. His game could reach new heights playing alongside LeBron James, who has a knack for making everyone around him better.
Not to mention a chance to play for his first title with a team that is one of the greatest franchises in the NBA.
#2 Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are in desperate need of more three-point shooters around Stephen Curry.
With Klay Thompson sidelined, the Warriors haven't been at their usual best from beyond the arc. Steve Kerr has a promising talent in Jordan Poole, but he likely won't rely on him in clutch situations, especially if they make it to the playoffs.
The Warriors need to be active in the buyout market and do their best to acquire Ben McLemore before he commits to another suitor.
McLemore struggled this year with the Rockets but could turn a corner with the Warriors. With Curry grabbing most of the attention from the opposition defense, the veteran will once again receive plenty of open looks on the floor.
#3 Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers have a golden opportunity to add another piece that will help them match up better against other title contenders in the East.
The Sixers are prime candidates to win the East and could involve themselves in the chase for McLemore with the playoffs inching closer. Placing an efficient shooter like McLemore next to another reliable three-point outlet like Seth Curry could further bolster their lineup.
Ben Simmons is a phenomenal player but head coach Doc Rivers wouldn't want to see the ball in his hands with the game on the line. Danny Green is also a career 40% 3-point shooter but has the tendency to go cold at the worst possible time.
Adding a lethal shooter like McLemore won't look like a major move for the Sixers in the regular season. But he could prove to be the difference-maker come playoff time.
With the Nets adding several marquee names in preparation for the postseason, the ball is now in Philly's court to make their move.