Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated has an article today giving a kind of "state of play" in the NBA Draft, and of course, several Kentucky players get mentioned. UK isn't the only one, though, and Bradley Beal continues to be highly though of among NBA movers and shakers:
But no matter how the top tier of the draft eventually unfolds, few, if any, dispute the fact that Beal is considered the best shooting guard in a deep crop that includes Syracuse's Dion Waiters, Washington's Terrence Ross, Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb and Duke's Austin Rivers. Beal has managed to create some well-timed separation from his peers, even after a freshman season in which he didn't shoot as well as expected (44.5 percent from the field, 33.9 percent from three-point range).
I think Beal is a very good NBA prospect, better than Lamb on paper and significantly better than Waters. Doron Lamb isn't mentioned in the piece, but he is nearly as tall as Beal, although not as athletic and multidimensional. Lamb has been shooting the ball very well in workouts, though.
There has been word around the Interwebs that Terrence Jones is in a position to rise up the draft, and Amick confirms this:
It's a big week for Kentucky forward Terrence Jones, who has been seen as a mid-first-round pick for quite some time but has a chance to move up. It's no secret that the Warriors are considering him (either for No. 7 or if they trade down), and I'm told that Sacramento (No. 5) is very intrigued as well. He'll work out with both teams this week, a source said, visiting the Warriors on Monday in a face-off against Baylor forward Perry Jones (Zeller and Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli will be in that workout too) before his Sacramento visit. Terrence Jones said he is also scheduled to work out for Atlanta (No. 23), Orlando (19), and Denver (20).
It would be great to see Jones rise into top ten position. That would be mission accomplished for him, as he cited that hope as well as a desire to win the national title as reasons to return to Kentucky. The big fear I always have is when players return and wind up moving down, which de-incentivizes the decision to come back for another year after a good but not great freshman season.
Also in re: Jones, remember how it was after the Indiana Hoosiers game when he seemed to lose confidence? Many, including me, began to doubt his decision from a draft perspective. But to his great credit, Jones came out of his funk with a passion, and was instrumental in making this Kentucky team perhaps the most balanced team in the last two or three decades.
Finally, the Boston Celtics seem to be trying to impress Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with their work ethic:
In yet another sign that the teams at the top never stop working, San Antonio (no first-round picks) and Boston (Nos. 21 and 22) requested combine interviews with numerous high-profile prospects whom they have no chance of drafting. Silly though it may seem, the teams see it as their only chance to connect with a promising player who will be a free agent someday.
After mentioning that he had visited with the Celtics, Kidd-Gilchrist said he never considered declining the meeting with a team drafting so low.
"I mean, I just want to get picked, to be honest with you," he said. "I'm just blessed to be in this opportunity, so I don't take it for granted."
The stuff of legend.