Kyle Tucker is now reporting that the feeling in the NBA is that Immanuel Quickley will remain in the draft. And if EJ Montgomery chooses to keep his name in the draft, he’s unlikely to be selected with one of the six picks whenever the draft is held.
Per NBA source (not exactly breaking news), Kentucky’s Hagans, Quickley, Maxey, Richards and Montgomery have all requested feedback from the underclassman advisory board. The feeling in the NBA is IQ likely staying in draft regardless of grade ... and EJ unlikely to be picked.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 31, 2020
At this point, I’m still guessing all five guys leave for the pros, and UK is left to replace its entire starting lineup.
When it comes to Kentucky Basketball, every offseason is highlighted by who will leave for the NBA Draft. This year will be no different, as it appears UK will lose much of its 2019-20 roster to the pros.
That will likely include Immanuel Quickley, who is coming off a breakout sophomore year that should get him selected in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Initially, there was momentum for Quickley returning for another season, but according to Kyle Tucker, the winds have shifted toward the SEC Player of the Year leaving for the pros.
Having talked to a few folks now who are feeling this way, looks like the pendulum is swinging toward the NBA for Immanuel Quickley. Still some feedback to be gathered, but there's a sense that maybe he needs to strike while the iron is hot after an SEC Player of the Year season.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) March 30, 2020
Quickley’s stock may be as high as it’s ever going to be, so it makes sense that going pro is now the likelier scenario. It also helps that this year’s draft crop is relatively thin, so even if he returns to school and improves, it still may not result in him being picked higher in the 2021 draft.
UK is also expected to lose Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans to the draft, while Johnny Juzang just announced he was transferring. That means UK will likely have to replace its entire backcourt if Quickley does in fact stay in the draft.
The good news is UK will add five-star recruits Devin Askew, Brandon Boston and Terrence Clarke next season, and there’s a decent chance that’s the starting backcourt whenever the 2020-21 season begins.
Still, it’s imperative that John Calipari finds a veteran guard(s) this offseason via transfer. The only transfer guard UK has been linked to thus far is Amauri Hardy, but I’d expect to see several others contacted by Calipari in the coming weeks and months.