The Sacramento Kings have been encouraged by the progress of Ben McLemore.

McLemore most recently had 19 points against the Warriors.

McLemore is earning a reputation as a hard worker and a committed defensive player.

"He's done everything we've asked," Mike Malone said. "And what I told him after practice was I love his work ethic and the work habits that he has. I said, 'I hope they never change because if you continue to work this hard and do all the right things, your future is very, very bright.' "

The Kings aren't sure which position McLemore is best suited to play.

"The bottom line is, whether he starts or comes off the bench right now, Ben is a big part of our future," Malone said. "And I have to continue to show confidence in him and give him an opportunity whether it's at (shooting guard) or (small forward), and he's deserving of that opportunity."