Oscar Tshiebwe just had one of the best single seasons a Kentucky Wildcats basketball player has ever had.
Despite this, Tshiebwe’s NBA Draft stock isn’t exactly soaring right now, as he’s widely projected to be a second-round pick if he enters the 2022 draft.
And with the potential to make millions of dollars off of NIL, does this mean we could actually see a second season in Lexington for the National Player of the Year?
Well, according to The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker, things are looking up as of this moment.
In an article detailing the latest stay-go buzz for the Wildcats, Tucker provided a very promising update regarding Tshiebwe’s chances of being at UK this fall.
“The general consensus right now inside the program is there’s a very good chance Oscar Tshiebwe returns,” Tucker wrote, adding that Tshiebwe does still want to get “rock-solid feedback from the pros to be sure where he stands.”
The reason for Tucker’s optimism is that UK appears close to a solution for the NIL concerns with Tshiebwe, who is still prohibited from anything that constitutes “work.” As Tucker notes, that includes promotional photo shoots, TV commercials, paid public appearances, and autograph tours among other things.
“But Tshiebwe, his agent, his immigration lawyer and UK are still working tirelessly to get all those limitations removed and open the door for “potentially millions,” a source says,” Tucker wrote,” adding, “There is a great deal of optimism within the Joe Craft Center that the best player in college basketball returns to school.”
So for now, it looks like there’s a good chance Tshiebwe is back for what would be his senior season of college basketball while making money to help support his family, which is his No. 1 goal right now. Much of the recent buzz has been that Tshiebwe is back if NIL gets worked out, so it’s good to hear that is seemingly moving in a positive direction.
And for what it’s worth, many of the early preseason rankings for next season project Tshiebwe to be back in Lexington this fall.
Saying all of this, I would still guess that Tshiebwe tests the NBA waters for more feedback and to potentially buy more time for the NIL stuff to get completely figured out.