The Kentucky Wildcats have an influx of talent joining their program this upcoming fall.
From top-five recruits like DJ Wagner and Justin Edwards to potential transfer targets like Hunter Dickinson, the Wildcats roster is going to look like a ghost of what it was a season ago. The 2022-2023 season was a relatively disappointing campaign for the Cats.
Regardless, they may get one key piece back if former National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe opts to return to college. However, NBA Insider Adam Zagoria reported that the big man has workouts set with four NBA teams, three of which made the 2023 playoffs.
Tshiebwe clearly wants to test his fate at the next level, and despite NIL deals making collegiate sports a lucrative venture, taking his talents to the next level seems like the priority for the star center.
Kentucky big man Oscar Tshiebwe has workouts scheduled with Boston, Milwaukee, Houston, and Sacramento w/ more to follow, per a league source.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 28, 2023
Returning to @KentuckyMBB remains an option for last year's National Player of the Year pic.twitter.com/PeCYSNrGTi
Tshiebwe isn’t expected to be a first-round pick, and there is a real possibility he could go undrafted despite his success at the collegiate level. Coming to Lexington from West Virginia, where he spent two seasons, Tshiebwe will be undersized in the NBA, standing just 6-foot-9.
He did work on his shooting which was both obvious and useful for Kentucky this past season, but his defense against guards at the highest level mixed with potentially less effective rebounding is cause for concern, especially when considering using a first-round pick on him.
Nonetheless, Tshiebwe did average over 13 boards per game and over 16 points per game in both seasons with the Cats and should be on the radar for teams looking to add frontcourt depth this offseason.
The early entry withdrawal deadline for underclassmen that want to maintain their college eligibility is May 31st. Expect a decision from Tshiebwe to come closer to that date.