Although the college basketball season hasn’t officially started, NBA mock drafts are starting to come out for 2024, and six Kentucky Wildcats have been mentioned in projections thus far.
The six players that are supposed to be taken are Justin Edwards, D.J. Wagner, Aaron Bradshaw, Ugonna Onyenso, Rob Dillingham, and Antonio Reeves.
The folks at Hoops Hype did an aggregate mock draft that rounded up projections from across the internet. Out of the six Wildcats mentioned above, three of them are supposed to go in the lottery, including Edwards at No. 3, Wagner at No. 6, and Bradshaw at No. 12. The only player we haven’t seen play from this bunch is Bradshaw due to him having foot surgery before the Canada trip.
Edwards and Wagner showed what they can do on the court, but with Bradshaw returning, hopefully, this trio can perform great on the court together. Although it is very early, it is great to see three players already expected to go into the lottery.
As for the other players, sadly, they are not taken in the first round but in the second. The next player that comes off the board is Onyenso in the second round at pick No. 36. Onyenso, who saw very limited time last year as a freshman and is recovering from a broken foot, is expected to get a lot of playing time this upcoming year; so hopefully after learning under Oscar Tshiebwe for a year, Onyenso can make a big difference this upcoming year.
The next player expected to be picked in the second round is Robert Dillingham at No. 43. He is an undersized guard, but during his limited minutes in Canada, he was able to show what he can do on the court given the opportunity. Hopefully, a year under John Calipari while hitting the weight room with college-level trainers, he can gain some size and become potentially a first-round pick in next year’s draft.
The last player taken is Antonio Reeves, going No. 59. The one reason why Reeves is so low to go in the draft is due to his age and the skillset he can bring to an NBA team. But another year under Calipari, and you could potentially see him slide up to a mid-second-round pick if he continues to work on his game and improves.
Overall, it is early, but to see six potential Cats be able to get drafted in the 2024 NBA Draft would bring some excitement that we haven’t seen since the 2015 draft when four players were selected in the lottery and six got selected from Kentucky.