The latest edition of the ESPN NBA Mock Draft still holds steady with previous mocks, with four Kentucky Wildcats being taken, but just one first-rounder.
The NBA Draft lottery is this Thursday, so we’ll have a better understanding of who may or may not be going No. 1, and of course, who will land the No. 1 overall pick.
Jonathan Givony has only one Wildcat being taken in the first round, with that being Tyrese Maxey going No. 16 to the Trail Blazers, just missing out on the lottery. Getting to learn from Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, arguably the best backcourt duo in the NBA, would be a great way for Maxey to grown and develop while not being thrown right into the fire.
From there, there is a drop-off until late in the second round when three more Wildcats are selected within a handful of picks from each other.
Immanuel Quickley is projected to land at the 52nd spot heading to Sacramento (we’re sorry, Quick.) At least he’d be teaming up with former Wildcats star De’Aaron Fox.
Ashton Hagans follows by heading to Indiana to play for a good organization in the Pacers, a team that prides itself on good defensive play, so this would be an ideal fit. They also have Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. McConnell at point guard, so Hagans could sit and develop for a few years before taking on a bigger role.
Nick Richards is the final projected Wildcat to go off the board heading to Los Angeles to be a Clipper and could be a DeAndre Jordan-esque player if he plays like he did this past season. The Clippers also figure to be one of, if not the favorite to win it all next season, so Richards could find himself in the NBA Finals as a rookie if this pick came to pass.
Former Wildcats EJ Montgomery and Kahlil Whitney were not included in this projection. Neither is expected to be picked in the draft, which takes place October 16th.
Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball, Deni Avdija, and Onyeka Okongwu are the projected top-five picks.
Here’s a look at what the entire lottery looks like:
1. Golden State Warriors | Anthony Edwards
2. Cleveland Cavaliers | James Wiseman
3. Minnesota Timberwolves | LaMelo Ball
4. Atlanta Hawks | Deni Avdija
5. Detroit Pistons | Onyeka Okongwu
6. New York Knicks | Obi Toppin
7. Chicago Bulls | Isaac Okoro
8. Charlotte Hornets | Precious Achiuwa
9. Washington Wizards | Tyrese Haliburton
10. Phoenix Suns | Killian Hayes
11. San Antonio Spurs | Aaron Nesmith
12. Sacramento Kings | Patrick Williams
13. New Orleans Pelicans | Devin Vassell
14. Boston Celtics (via MEM) | RJ Hampton