With just over a month left in the college basketball regular season, it is officially turning into NBA Mock Draft time.
The Kentucky Wildcats have long been seen to have 1-2 draft picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, but in the latest update, a new face has been added to the mix.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz released their updated mock draft on Wednesday, and the duo has two Cats being selected in the top 10. This projection is for every pick in both rounds, but there will only be in the 58 selections this year after two teams had to forfeit picks for violating NBA free agency rules: The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls.
First off the board is freshman guard Shaedon Sharpe going to the New Orleans Pelicans at seventh overall. He’s then followed by freshman guard TyTy Washington going to the Washington Wizards with the ninth pick.
Givony also gave a quick highlight on Washington.
“Washington has hit his stride in a major way after a slow start, making a case for not only SEC freshman of the year consideration, but also potentially conference player of the year honors.”
Givony continued with this:
“Washington’s passing has equally stood out, particularly operating out of pick-and-roll, where he again ranks as the most efficient player in college basketball, per Synergy. He uses both sides of the floor, finds secondary cutters along the baseline and is just as adept at throwing lobs over the top as he is hitting the roller in stride with well-timed pocket passes, or the pop-man over the shoulder for an open jumper. Few players in the college game play with the pace he does, and the way he simplifies the game and takes what defenders give him is rare for a freshman and gives him a high floor as an NBA guard.”
For Sharpe, news of his eligibility for this upcoming draft has only been released in the last week. With that has come swirling speculation as to if we will ever see play in a Kentucky jersey.
Head coach John Calipari has seemingly alluded to Sharpe playing in the coming weeks, and with his draft stock being so high, you can see why fans are adamant about playing the star freshman.
One player missing from the list is star big man Oscar Tshiebwe, who is firmly in the National Player of the Year race. However, it seems scouts still want to see a little more in terms of Tshiebwe’s NBA outlook.
Freshman big man Daimion Collins, who had been frequently projected as a late first/early second-round pick leading into the season, was not included in this mock.
Here’s what the top 10 of this mock looks like:
1. Orlando Magic - Chet Holmgren | Gonzaga
2. Detroit Pistons - Paolo Banchero | Duke
3. Houston Rockets - Jabari Smith | Auburn
4. Oklahoma City Thunder - Jalen Duren | Memphis
5. Sacramento Kings - Jaden Ivey | Purdue
6. San Antonio Spurs - Keegan Murray | Iowa
7. New Orleans Pelicans - Shaedon Sharpe | Kentucky
8. Indiana Pacers - Johnny Davis | Wisconsin
9. Washington Wizards - TyTy Washington Jr. | Kentucky
10. Atlanta Hawks - Bennedict Mathurin | Arizona
What do you think of this mock? Let us know in the comments section!