We already know Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander are signing with agents and are off to the NBA for good. However, UK will have several others testing the waters without an agent, including Jarred Vanderbilt, who announced his decision on Friday.
Vanderbilt joins PJ Washington and Wenyen Gabriel as those going through the pre-draft process while keeping open their option to return to UK.
But of those three, we should assume at least one of them is gone, and maybe even two. However, I do believe Vanderbilt is the least likely of them to stay in the draft, but he’s still going to go through the process and get feedback from NBA evaluators.
After Vanderbilt announced his declaration, John Calipari released a statement of support for the freshman forward.
“Jarred is in a unique situation because of the time he missed on the court this season,” said Calipari. “I truly believe we only saw a small part of Jarred’s game because he had to figure out how to play with us and we had to figure out how to play with him.
“What we did see was a player with an unbelievable motor who will grab every ball, get his teammates involved and fight like heck. We would certainly welcome Jarred back with open arms and I would love the opportunity to coach him for a full season, but I know he needs to go through this process and see where he’s at. He has the type of skills and talent that NBA teams love; now we have to figure out if now is the time or if he needs another season.
“Either way, Jarred’s best days are ahead of him, and I can’t wait to see him back on the court.”
Vanderbilt now has until May 30th to withdraw from the draft or forego his remaining college eligibility.