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Lillard wants to go from Weber State to NBA starter in a year

Damian Lillard, Julian Demalleville

Weber State’s Damian Lillard (1) drives past Sacramento State’s Julian Demalleville (11) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Weber State won 75-60. (AP Photo/Thearon Henderson)


From Weber State and the Big Sky Conference to starting NBA point guard in a year?

That’s the leap Damian Lillard says he wants to make. Says he is ready to make.

Not everybody is convinced, but Lillard is climbing draft boards. He was working out for the Kings (No. 5 pick) Wednesday and said to the Sacramento Bee he thinks he’s ready for the leap.

“I think I can be a really good player,” Lillard said. “I think I can start in the league. All I can do is keep working....

“I try not to say I’m going to do this or do that,” Lillard said. “I just want to keep working, get better and see where it takes me. I definitely believe I can be a starting point guard.”

Lillard is the best point guard in the draft, a guy more in the score-first mode (a mentality more like Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook) but who should fit well in the NBA. He has crazy shooting range and is a great penetrator, when he learns how to be a real floor general he could be a quality starting PG in the league.

Reports are he was very impressive in the interviews at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, which is only going to help his cause.

The Kings are not going to take Lillard at No. 5 — that’s too high and they already have Tyreke Evans. DraftExpress has him going No. 10 to New Orleans, where he could be an interesting fit with Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon. But the Raptors at No. 8 or the Trail Blaers at No. 11.

And some fans will scream “Weber State?” But this kid seems ready.