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Wildcats boast 5 picks in ESPN’s first 2024 NBA Draft

Justin Edwards and DJ Wagner make the Cats proud as projected lottery picks.

Justin Edwards and UK Athletics

The Kentucky Wildcats have the nation’s best recruiting class next year. They have five players that have signed their letter of intent to play in Lexington next season, and it might go down as one of the best classes Kentucky has brought to the Bluegrass State.

Justin Edwards and DJ Wagner are the two names that pop out — respectively No. 2 and No. 3 in the nation per 247 Sports. Edwards was present for the win over Tennessee on Saturday while embracing the sea of blue.

Aaron Bradshaw, a 7-foot center, is No. 4, while Robert Dillingham is No. 9. Reed Sheppard is the lone four-star recruit but is ranked No. 30 in the nation. It is perfectly separated with Kentucky reloading at each of the five positions as well.

This class is absolutely loaded and is expected to have several one-and-done prospects with all four five-star recruits becoming first-round picks in ESPN’s first 2024 NBA Mock Draft. Draft analyst Jonathan Givony wrote the column and is especially intrigued with Edwards, noting his “very high floor.”

For Givony, Edwards is taking No. 4 by the Houston Rockets. Wagner goes No. 7 to the Washington Wizards, then Bradshaw and Dillingham respectfully come in No. 28 and No. 30 to the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics.

Ugonna Onyenso is the fifth Wildcat drafted and the lone second-round pick, going No. 40 to the Orlando Magic.

The chances that Wagner and Edwards drop given their natural talent is unlikely, and Bradshaw, given his frame, should be a top pick as well. Dillingham will arguably have the most to gain or lose during his freshman season at Kentucky.

Chris Livingston will be another to keep an eye on in the 2024 draft class if he continues to improve at the rate he is now and returns for a Year 2.