Jayhawks on the move

Besides Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey being drafted, a lot of Jayhawks headed to new teams.

This post will be updated whenever a Jayhawk joins a new team.

Here is a breakdown of the new teams for some Jayhawks:

Darrell Arthur headed to Denver:

A member of the 2008 National Championship squad, Arthur was traded to the Denver Nuggets last night.

The trade went through and Arthur will be on his second team since he got drafted. If you remember, Arthur went through a similar situation as Nerlens Noel did last night. He dropped way below where he was expected to go. Although, Arthur was expected to be a lottery pick and dropped to the 27th pick by the New Orleans Hornets. By the end of the night, he was headed to Memphis (after being traded to the Trailblazers and the Rockerts), where he played for the last four seasons.

Arthur struggled last year with injuries after having a great junior campaign. I expect Arthur to return to form in the 2013-14 season and be a key piece for the Nuggets.

Paul Pierce headed to Brooklyn:

Paul Pierce is and always be a Boston Celtic. However, he was sent in a blockbuster trade to the Nets, along with Kevin Garnett. The Celtics are in rebuilding mode so Pierce is probably happy to be heading to a team that can contend in the playoffs for his final years in the NBA. However, most Celtics (and KU fans) wanted Pierce to end up retiring as a Celtic. I’m sure Pierce feels the same way. Unfortunately, the NBA is a business and the Celtics need to get younger and better.

Pierce will join Tyshawn Taylor and will most likely be a starter next season but may move to the sixth man in the season after that.. Pierce played a lot of minutes last season so it is not quite certain how much longer he will stay in the league. Pierce will be coached by Jason Kidd, who recently retired from the league. It’ll be interesting to see how Kidd can handle a team that just added two veterans.

The Nets now have five players who have played 11 seasons or more: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett Reggie Evans, Jerry Stackhouse and Joe Johnson.

In the end, the Nets will be a great place for Pierce to finish his career. A lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett makes the Nets a top three team in the East. They may not be as good as the Heat but they’re  up with there with the Pacers and Bulls.

And now the rookies…

Ben McLemore headed to Sacramento:

McLemore was picked seventh overall by the Kings, dropping past his predicted top five pick slot.

At first, I groaned. However, McLemore might benefit from starting his career in the Sacramento market. McLemore is quiet and humble. He’ll avoid media scrutiny in a city like Sacramento. If he can develop his “killer instinct” and become a star, he can easily help the Kings become a playoff team. The Kings are young and talented, with DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and Patrick Patterson.

McLemore’s key to success is getting a quality point guard on the team that can get him the ball. Ray McCallum was drafted by the Kings as well, who is a point guard. Name sound familiar? The Jayhawks played his Detroit team in the NCAA tournament in the first round two seasons ago. McCallum recorded eight points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in the NCAA Tournament against Kansas.

If Cole Aldrich re-signs with the Kings, McLemore won’t be the only Jayhawk on the squad. However, Aldrich is a free agent.

Jeff Withey headed to Portland:

Withey is headed to Portland after falling to the 39th pick. Withey didn’t even talk to or work out with the Trailblazers, so he was a little shocked to get drafted there. However, Withey was considered a late first round/early second round pick, so the Trailblazers got a great deal.

Withey won’t be asked to score much and he’ll have to compete against some veterans to get some minutes. If the Trailblazers run LeMarcus Aldridge and Withey together, it would be quite an intimidating front court. Withey is a great shot blocker and I expect him to carve out a niche for himself and last 10 or more years in the NBA. Portland is a great spot for him right now.

Travis Releford to Indiana or Denver?:

Travis Releford was invited to work out at the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets camp in summer league.

A team like the Pacers could definitely use Releford’s defensive skills and his three-point shot. If he signs with the Pacers, he’ll immediately play for a contender, which I’m sure makes Travis happy.

Releford wouldn’t be the only Jayhawk with the franchise as former Kansas standout, Kevin Pritchard is the General Manager of the team. Pritchard was KU’s starting point guard in the 1988 National Championship game.

Oh, and Releford will see Larry Bird  a lot.

Elijah Johnson to Los Angeles Clippers:

Similar to Travis Releford’s deal with the Pacers, Elijah Johnson is headed to camp this summer for the Los Angeles Clippers.

His agent confirmed the deal on Twitter:

Thomas Robinson traded to Portland:

I’m sure Thomas Robinson doesn’t enjoy being on his fourth team since entering the NBA. However, T-Rob is now reunited with former teammate, Jeff Withey. Hopefully, this is the last time T-Rob gets traded and he is able to show his true potential.

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