With the new rules now allowing for players to seek NBA feedback with the option to return to school, it has provided insight as to what exactly players go through while making their decisions.
EJ Montgomery for example, was a textbook case in regards to a player that would tremendously benefit from getting feedback straight from the people who influence their organizations draft picks. He obviously went through that process and came to the ultimate conclusion that returning to UK for a sophomore season was in his best interest.
Returning to school was the scenario that most fans believed was most likely when Montgomery initially decided to test the waters. As time went on, there was a real buzz growing around him electing to stay in the 2019 draft.
But just how close was he to leaving?
Kyle Tucker of The Athletic has composed a series of interviews with players’ fathers from last season’s team. If you haven’t already, check them out because they are very well done.
During his discussion with EJ’s father, Efrim, there was definitely a tone of optimism on exactly where his son sat in the eyes of several NBA teams. He even went on to mention how multiple teams, besides the five he did work out for, were calling and inviting EJ to come visit. Although he wasn’t listed on many draft boards, EJ Montgomery seemingly received some very positive feedback.
Montgomery worked out for five teams with picks in the late first round: the Celtics (20, 22), Thunder (21), Cavaliers (26), Spurs (29) and Bucks (30). His father says more than one of them expressed serious interest in taking him with one of those picks. He didn’t specify but did note that EJ’s best workout was with the Bucks.
At the end of the day the Montgomery family decided that even though these teams with late first round picks were showing genuine interest, there just wasn’t enough security to risk it. Thus, EJ Montgomery will return to Kentucky for his sophomore year in an attempt to have a PJ Washington like leap in Year 2.
Get ready to hear that analogy a lot.
Do you think EJ Montgomery will play a major role on this year’s team?