Chris Livingston is among several Kentucky Wildcats that declared for the 2023 NBA Draft, but both Livingston and former National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe could benefit from another year in college.
Livingston, a former five-star recruit, came on late during the Wildcats' push for an at-large NCAA Tournament push. The Cats did get into the tourney and were ousted by the Kansas State Wildcats in the Round of 32.
The 19-year-old from Akron (OH) averaged just 6.3 points per game and shot 42.9% from the field. He also showcased an ability to step outside the arc, shooting 30.5% from deep as well.
Livingston scored in double figures in 5 of the team’s last 11 games, including an 11-point effort against KSU. That said, many scouts for NBA teams are not praising Livingston’s prospectus at basketball’s highest level.
“I’d like him to go back for three years,” one NBA evaluator said via The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker. “Go. Back. To. School.” another noted.
There were several more examples of teams viewing Livingston’s immediate future in the NBA as a dim one if he chooses to stay in the draft this year.
Livingston does have good size at 6-foot-6 and was a solid rebounding presence for the Cats, but moving into the NBA is a completely different beast. With NIL what it is, it might be smarter financially for Livingston to return to college.