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4 Cats in first round of NBA Mock Drafts; BJ Boston a contender for No. 1 pick?

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Isaiah Jackson and Devin Askew are already getting first-round hype for the 2021 NBA Draft. Can BJ Boston actually contend for the No. 1 overall pick?

UK Athletics

The 2020 NBA Draft just took place last Wednesday, but it’s never too soon for the draft gurus to project where next year’s prospects will land.

The Kentucky Wildcats had three players selected, two of which went in the first round. How many will hear their name called at the 2021 NBA Draft?

The most up-to-date mock draft for 2021 comes from ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who has BJ Boston going No. 3 overall to the Detroit Pistons. Fellow freshman guard Terrence Clarke goes No. 15 to the Indiana Pacers, while freshman forward Isaiah Jackson checks in at No. 25 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In addition, Givony says that Boston is in contention for the No. 1 overall pick.

Boston may be able to capitalize on that with a strong season playing in a more traditional setting at Kentucky, where he has already demonstrated impressive talent as a 6-7 guard with a 7-foot wingspan who can create shots for himself and others, pull up with deep range and defend all over the floor.

There’s another mock draft from NBADraftRoom.com that has lots of love for the Wildcats. There are two Kentucky players projected to be taken in the lottery, three in the first round, four overall, and another on the bubble.

The most notable part of this projection is freshman point guard Devin Askew going in the first round. He has been drawing enough hype in practice thus far to think he may very well be a one and done, but this is the first projection that actually has him going in Round 1.

Here’s what this projection looks like:

No. 3 to Detroit Pistons - BJ Boston

“Boston emerged during his HS senior season as one of the top handful of players in this class,” according to NBADraftRoom.com. “He’s got elite handles and shooting ability and a long, wiry frame. His stock is soaring.”

No. 13 to Atlanta Hawks - Terrence Clarke

“Clarke is an elite shooting guard prospect who can score the ball at will. He’s built in the mold of Tracy McGrady and has a chance to be a truly special player.”

No. 26 to the Brooklyn Nets - Devin Askew

“Always in control of the game and able to dictate the pace. Has a lot of power for a point guard.”

No. 36 to the Memphis Grizzlies - Isaiah Jackson

“A big time athlete with length and potential. Still learning to put it all together but has a ton of upside. Reminds of Amare or a young JJJ.”

On the bubble at No. 66 - Olivier Sarr

“Fundamentally sound and possessing good size, Sarr will get a long look from NBA teams.”

Finally, the latest mock draft from Sam Vecenie of The Athletic has Boston at No. 3, Clarke at No. 8, and Jackson at No. 33.

And you’re gonna like what Vecenie had to say about Boston:

I think I’d bet on him being an average-plus shooter this year at Kentucky in terms of efficiency while taking difficult ones as opposed to being purely a volume guy. Beyond that, he’s a tough driver and ballhandler who can finish inside and plays with real aggressiveness when hunting his own shot. He’s going to average close to 20 per night at Kentucky this season as his mix of inside-out dribbles and crossovers going forward, paired with step-backs off the bounce, make him an impossible cover for college teams.

From what we are hearing from early Kentucky practices, Boston and Clarke going early is on track. It also sounds like Jackson and Sarr are going to have their stocks rising quickly once the season starts. Keion Brooks Jr. is the most notable snub here, but with his current injury, it is tough to project his trajectory.

What do you think of this latest mock draft? Accurate? Way off? Just too early?