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More good vibes for UK keeping 2 of PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel

It’s looking more and more like UK will keep two of their remaining three players testing the NBA waters. Which two will it be?

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Texas A&M C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports

With May here, we’re now under a month until the Kentucky Wildcats know who’s staying and leaving for the NBA Draft.

Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have all signed with agents, thus ending their college careers.

However, PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel have not signed with agents just yet, thus giving them a chance to return to UK.

But with news that all of them will be at the NBA Draft Combine — which runs from May 16-20 — we shouldn’t expect their final decisions to come until around the May 30 deadline to withdraw from the draft.

At various points during the pre-draft prospects, it’s appeared all three of them were either likely to leave for the NBA or return to UK.

Now, the latest report from Kyle Tucker has things trending in the direction of returning to UK, at least for two of the draft Cats.

One source close to the program recently told SEC Country he believes that while Washington, Vanderbilt and Gabriel all want to begin their pro careers, two of them ultimately will realize they should return to school.

The funny thing about that report is all three should eventually realize they need another year of college. If we’re ranking the three in terms of who needs to come back the most, you’d probably say Gabriel, Vanderbilt, then Washington, who is actually projected to go in the 40-50 range of several mock drafts.

I too think UK will be able to keep two of those guys, but it feels like three is out of the question. Assuming two of them return, they would join EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards in an already-talented frontcourt.

It’s going to be hard to find significant minutes for Richards/Montgomery and two of Washington/Vanderbilt/Gabriel.

In other words, whoever feels the most like the third man between Gabriel, Washington and Vanderbilt will probably feel most compelled to leave for the pros.

It feels like Washington and a healthy Vanderbilt are going to get more minutes than Gabriel, so while he may be the least likely to make the NBA, he may feel like the odd man out when it’s all said and done.

However, Tucker went on to say he feels like the two guys likeliest to come back are Gabriel and Vanderbilt.

Who do you ultimately think stays and goes?