The Kentucky Wildcats once again have a host of draftable players for the upcoming NBA Draft.
If everyone on UK’s roster were to enter the draft, as many as five Wildcats could hear their name called in the draft, at least based on ESPN’s latest prospect rankings. Among their top 100 draft-eligible players, five Wildcats made the list, and all of them were in the top 65.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the way at No. 12 overall. He’s actually been projected as a top-10 pick in some recent mock drafts, including No. 7 to the Cavaliers in UPROXX’s new mock draft.
Kevin Knox isn’t far behind at No. 14 overall, though that would put him right on the edge of being a lottery pick this year after he was at No. 10 earlier this month. Hearing that Knox is actually considering a return for his sophomore season, I imagine the thought of him not even being a lottery pick is giving him even more reason to consider another year of college.
Hamidou Diallo checked in at No. 35 in this ranking, putting him right on the edge of being a first-round pick. I think he’s gone regardless of what his stock is, but seeing he could sneak into the end of Round 1 makes it even more likely he’s gone.
As for PJ Washington, he comes in at No. 47. It sounds like he may want to test the waters, but after watching him this season, I’m really not sure a team would draft him. There are only 60 picks, and PJ just didn’t do enough to feel good about being selected in this year’s draft, and it doesn’t help he could miss the combine and workouts while recovering from finger surgery.
Jarred Vanderbilt checked in at No. 64, putting him on the edge of even being drafted if he declares. There’s really no question he needs to return to school, but he may be afraid of another foot injury killing any chance of lasting in the NBA. If he thinks he can get on a roster and get paid now, he may very well make the jump, but that’s just speculation.
There’s also no Wenyen Gabriel to be found here, despite reports that he too may want to turn pro.