For most of the season, freshman wing Keldon Johnson and sophomore forward PJ Washington have consistently landed in the top 30 of genuinely ever NBA mock draft.
While there have been rumors that freshman point guard Ashton Hagans had played his way into the later part of the first round, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo has his eyes on a different Kentucky Wildcat for his latest mock draft.
First, though, is Johnson landing 14th with the Los Angeles Lakers. After a hot start to the season, Johnson was believed to be a sure top-10 pick. However, in a loaded draft that boasts multiple high-talent wings, it looks like Johnson will be towards the end of the lottery.
It’s also worth noting that if the draft was today and Johnson did go 14th, that pick could potentially go to New Orleans in a deal for former Kentucky star Anthony Davis. There’s just less than half of an NBA season remaining, though, so draft position, as well as mocks, will surely change.
Second in the mock draft was Washington, going 20th overall by the San Antonio Spurs. All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge is in the final year of his contract which could leave a gaping hole in their frontcourt if he elects to leave in free agency.
Insert Washington into that role, who has recently become a consistent knockdown shooter from behind the arc. Washington has also flashed his ability to pass the ball from multiple spots on the floor, an intangible that head coach Gregg Popovich desires from all of his players.
The latest Wildcat was freshman shooting guard Tyler Herro, predicted to become the latest splash brother in Golden State. With Klay Thompson’s free agency pending, the Warriors could look to add Herro as a far less expensive replacement.
Many believed Thompson to simply be a shooter coming into The Association, but his on-ball defense and cutting ability quickly put that aside. The same can be said for Herro, who has showcased a full package at the SG position. His two-way play on the hardwood and commitment to his craft off the court has clearly paid off.
Elsewhere, The Athletic put out a mock draft that also has three Wildcats going in Round 1.
Up first is Keldon Johnson, who goes No. 8 to the Atlanta Hawks.
Then there’s PJ Washington going No. 23 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he could potentially team up with Nerlens Noel and Hamidou Diallo.
Finally, pick No. 27 sees Ashton Hagans going to the Brooklyn Nets. Hagans has certainly put himself in the discussion for a late first-round selection this year, as he looks to be John Calipari’s latest one-and-done point guard.
Between Hagans and Herro, Hagans is more likely to hear his name called in Round 1 this year if he enters the draft. But seeing mock drafts start to mention Herro in Round 1 shows that there’s a real chance he could be another one and done.
Enjoy them while they’re here.