Over the last decade, the Kentucky Wildcats have produced a plethora of NBA-ready talent. While this past season’s roster wasn’t void of talent, most consider them without too many potential NBA stars like teams that have come before.
That said, Kentucky had their typical starting five — Tyrese Maxey, EJ Montgomery, Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards and Ashton Hagans — all declare for the draft.
However, according to Sam Vecenie’s most recent mock draft, only three of the five will actually be drafted. Vecenie, who works for The Athletic, also noted that EJ Montgomery isn’t within his top 120 prospects.
Montgomery, a sophomore, could use another year at the collegiate level. The former five-star recruit needs to stay in the program, as Richards showed that an additional season could make all the difference.
According to Vecenie, Maxey is the team’s only lottery pick, being drafted 14th, the last lottery selection, by the Portland Trail Blazers. Quickley was taken at No. 43 to Sacramento, and Richards barely made the crack, being drafted with the last pick in the draft by the New Orleans Pelicans.
The only real shocker on this list is that Ashton Hagans wasn’t chosen. The 6-foot-3, 20-year-old point guard was the floor general for one of the country’s best teams, averaging 11.5 points and 6.5 assists per game.
While still expected to be a second-round talent due to his limited upside, Hagans’ gritty defense should be enough to at least get him drafted. Like Hagans, Richards and Quickley will be late-draft hopefuls.
Maxey is also projected to be a top-ten pick by most but sees a drop off in Vecenie’s mock.
Overall, Vecenie did not give great placement to the Cats entering the draft, an event yet to be moved back by the NBA.