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Marcus Lee not transferring; NBA Draft still an option

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Marcus Lee will either continue his college career at Kentucky or begin a new chapter of his life in the NBA.

But a transfer is not in the cards for Lee. That's what his brother, Bryan, told the Louisville Courier-Journal on Tuesday. There have been rumblings that Lee was considering a graduate transfer move to a program where more playing time was assured, which it won't be at Kentucky.

With Isaac Humphries and Derek Willis returning to join newcomers Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Bam Adebayo, it's possible that Lee doesn't see the floor next year, and that's before five-star center Marques Bolden makes his college decision.

But if Lee is playing anywhere other than Kentucky next season, it's going to be in the pros as he's not transferring to another college program.

"There’s whispers every year, just because people feel like they know what’s better for him," Bryan said. "But as he’s shown each year, he’s completely loyal to Kentucky. It’s kind of baffling that anybody would question that, considering what he’s done for the school and the impact he’s had on that community. It’s almost kind of a slap in the face to him that anyone would even question that, considering what he’s sacrificed."

It does still look like Lee will go through the NBA Draft Combine, and if he likes what he hears, he may be off to the pros.

"Just has to be a great situation. I don’t think a number matters," brother Bryan said. "He’s not saying, ‘If I go 25-45 or something like that, I’ll stay.’ It’s more about a situation – or a few situations. So it kind of depends on how the workouts go and how the combine goes. I think he’s really just excited about the work going into it and getting back to being the player he can be and getting his confidence rolling again."

Bryan also makes a good point on how this past season was like Lee's freshman season in that it was the first time he was actually playing significant minutes. Before 2015, Lee logged 6.3 mpg as a freshman and 10.9 as a sophomore. It was hard for him to get on the practice floor with guys like Willie Cauley-Stein, Dakari Johnson, Karl-Anthony Towns, Julius Randle, Alex Poythress and Trey Lyles getting most of the frontcourt minutes over Lee's first two years in Lexington.

"Realize that this was kind of like his freshman year," Bryan Lee said, "his first time getting real playing time, so he was just learning through it. A lot of people want him to be on their learning curve, but he’s on his learning curve. He’s a smart kid, and when he’s ready, he’ll make the best decision."

Whatever happens, it's good to see Lee likely won't be transferring to another program next year.

Go read the full interview, which includes thoughts from DraftExpress on Lee's pro potential.