Kentucky Basketball: Noel, Goodwin both first rounders in mock draft

USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's NBA draft insider Chad Ford released his second official mock draft Wednesday morning. Where do Kentucky's Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin land?

Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin both chose to forego their sophomore seasons and pursue their dreams of playing in the NBA.

According to Ford, Noel is still the No. 1 overall pick in 84.8 percent of the draft scenarios. He says that "high-ceiling players like Noel hard to come by." And that teams are willing to take a chance on him even with his ACL tear. He has the Orlando Magic, who have a 25 percent chance at winning the top pick, taking Noel in his second mock draft.

This should come as a surprise to no one from the Big Blue Nation who got the chance to watch every game Noel played in a Kentucky uniform. He proved to be a hard working big man who was really the heart and soul of Kentucky's team. The Wildcats struggled to replicate his rim protection and work on the boards in his absence.


Ford has Goodwin pegged as the last pick in the first round to the Phoenix Suns. Goodwin, who is highly athletic, would be a "talent grab" by the Suns, according to Ford. Less is expected of players drafted at the end of the first round so Goodwin would have time to develop, most likely in the D-League.According to Ford, the Suns can "afford to be patient with [Goodwin] and wait to see if he develops."

Goodwin has all the physical tools to become an NBA player but patience is what he's going to need from whatever team that selects him. He'll need to develop his outside jumper and learn to take better shots on offense. According to Ford, his "poor outside shooting contributed to Kentucky's woes this season." But he's super-athletic and will definitely have a chance to develop in the NBA.

Kentucky's presence in the NBA draft isn't as strong as it has been the past few years, but having two first rounders (including the No. 1 overall pick) in what is considered a "down" year is saying something about the program.

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