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NBA Draft Rankings 2017: Where the Cats rank in updated projections

Rounding up the latest 2017 NBA Draft prospect rankings.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Kentucky Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s latest 2017 NBA Draft rankings have multiple Wildcats in it, as expected. But what’s better is one of these Cats is working his way pretty far up the board.

Chad Ford’s latest big board has Malik Monk climbing all the way up to the fourth spot, thanks to his 47-point outburst against UNC. That’s 11 spots higher than his previous ranking (15th). Ford said that if Monk were bigger, or got to play the point more, he’d likely be right up there with Markelle Fultz for the No. 1 pick.

Monk’s meteoric rise up the draft boards is being noticed by everyone, as Fox Sports just recently discussed whether or not he was worth a top-five pick.

De’Aaron Fox comes in at the No. 9 spot, staying the same as the last ranking. Fox’s speed helps him exponentially, as Ford essentially calls him the fastest player in the country. Fox’s only draw-back is that he’s shooting terribly, and that’s what keeps him at ninth.

Bam Adebayo, the only of the three that has fallen from his previous ranking (No. 12), is now labeled as the 18th-ranked prospect by Ford. Adebayo clearly has the size and the vertical to be an NBA big man, but he isn’t as imposing inside as many expected. He’ll have to improve that if he wants to be a lottery pick.

Over at Draft Express, it’s pretty similar for the Cats with Monk leading the way as the No. 5 prospect. Fox comes in at No. 10, followed by Bam at No. 15.

Of the 100 prospects Draft Express ranked, Isaiah Briscoe doesn’t come in until No. 86. The mesomorph guard has shown flashes of being an NBA-caliber guard, but he’s not doing it consistently enough for an NBA team to feel good about spending seven a late second-round pick on him.

No other Wildcat makes the list, though Sacha Killeya-Jones (24) and Wenyen Gabriel are ranked just inside the top 25 freshman prospects.

The most recent CBS draft rankings have Monk at No. 7, Fox at No. 8, Bam at No. 13, and no other Wildcat in the top 30.

There’s still a long away to go in this season, not to mention all of the NBA pr-draft workouts and visits that could boost various players’ stock. If nothing else, this serves as another reminder that Fox, Monk and Bam should be locks to enter the 2017 draft, but it also shows the other Cats have a lot of work to do if they want to be in consideration as well.