Now that the summer trips have concluded around the nation, we’ve gotten a chance to see many of the top players for the upcoming season in action.
That includes the Kentucky Wildcats, who figure to have several first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft. However, who they will be is a guess at this point outside of Keldon Johnson. He’s the only Kentucky layer being consistently projected in Round 1 of next year’s draft, including the latest mock draft from ESPN.
There, Johnson goes No. 8 to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he could team up with former Wildcats guard Andrew Harrison.
ESPN actually gave a breakdown of Johnson’s performance in the Bahamas, where he was clearly one of the best players that any team there had:
Freshman wing Keldon Johnson set the tone early for Kentucky with his hustle and tenacity defensively, fighting over screens, getting in a deep stance and putting tremendous pride in shutting down his matchup. Offensively, he made a couple of 3-pointers, caught a couple of lobs in the open court and was a handful getting downhill off dribble handoffs. Johnson looked every bit the lottery pick he was billed as coming in and appears to be on the verge of a breakout season.
Interestingly, Mega Bemax, who Kentucky crushed by 36 points, actually has two players going in the second round of this mock in Adam Mokoka and Goga Bitadze. As if we needed any more validation of the opponents Kentucky dominated there.
However, Kentucky’s big performance wasn’t enough to have many guys in this projection, as PJ Washington is the only other Wildcat in this mock. He goes 21st to the Indiana Pacers. No other Wildcat was even in the second round of this projection.
Still, it’s great to see PJ already getting that first-round buzz. He looked like a different player in the Bahamas, and it’s clear he’s working hard to become the best versions of himself for next season.
Here’s a look at what the draft lottery look like in this projection: