This is real, it is not an April fool's joke. We only give a nod to April fool's day around here. The Herald-Leader, along with no doubt many other outlets, is reporting that Archie Goodwin will declare for the 2013 NBA Draft. Here is what Kentucky head coach John Calipari had to say to the HL:
"Although I really wanted Archie to return for his sophomore season, I fully support him choosing to pursue his dreams. He has the drive and desire to be great, and I will continue to do everything I can to make sure he succeeds in life both on and off the court."
Along with this announcement came word that Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer have decided to stay around for next year. The article does not refer to Alex Poythress, which suggests that he has not yet decided. Presumably, that decision will be coming very soon.
Analysis of the decision
I've seen Goodwin as high as 9 at Hoopsworld.com, although it's a pretty old mock, completely out of NBADraft.net's draft, #21 in Jeff Goodman's mock, #18 in DraftExpress, #14 in InsideHoops, and so on. The consensus seems to be that he's a mid to late first round pick.
I myself see his lack of shooting as a major problem, although the pros may have a different view of that. He also did not prove himself as a particularly adroit defender at Kentucky, and that will be even more in evidence at the NBA level. He has a very weak left hand and is extremely raw for a wing player. No part of his game could be described as "polished." Size-wise, he's just average for an NBA 2-guard.
On the plus side, Goodwin is an all-out effort player, and he has an extremely high motor to go with excellent speed and athleticism. seems durable and will undoubtedly develop reasonably quickly. He's the kind of player that, if so inclined, could be a very tough wing defender and good rebounding guard.
Overall, this is a questionable decision, and depending on how good his measurables and workouts are, he could either move up to the late lottery or down into the second round. In other words, a lot is riding on what he does working out for teams.
What this means for next year
With Harrow's announcement of intent to transfer to Georgia St., this immediately makes Dominique Hawkins an option as far as a scholarship offer is concerned, and I expect an offer to be extended immediately following spring break if not sooner. Counting Noel, who is also likely to declare, Kentucky will have only six players who's intentions remain unclear. The seven incoming players bring fill the total scholarships to thirteen, but if Noel leaves, as expected, that will leave 12 scholarships spoken for.
If Wiggins decides to come to UK (or a long-shot Aaron Gordon commitment), that will fill the available scholarships, but Jarrod Polson's scholarship is on an as-available basis and I expect Calipari to use it for Hawkins.
In summary, this decision carries some, but not a tremendous amount of risk for Goodwin. He is almost certain to wind up in the NBA Development League for at least a year, but he is talented enough to make a roster under the right circumstances. I am surprised, as I thought he would stay, but you never know for sure about these young guys.
Last up: Alex Poythress. I'm sure we'll be hearing something soon.