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Could Wenyen Gabriel turn pro?

It sounds like Gabriel is really considering a jump to the pros.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament Championship-Tennessee vs Kentucky Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Between now and the deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft, there’s going to be a wealth of rumors and speculation as to who stays and who leaves Lexington.

One player that’s not been mentioned much in these discussions so far has been Wenyen Gabriel. The sophomore forward just enjoyed a breakout season that saw him become a major factor as UK went 9-2 to end the season.

If Gabriel were to return for his junior season, one would think he’d continued to progress and perhaps become good enough to play in the NBA, or at least somewhere professionally.

Well, he may not want to wait any longer.

KSR’s Matt Jones is reporting that there’s a very real chance that Gabriel turns pro this offseason. Jones even thinks that Gabriel could be more likely to go pro than either Kevin Knox or Hamidou Diallo.

“Wenyen Gabriel might be closer at this moment to going than Knox and Hami. As odd as that seems,” said Jones. “That doesn’t mean he will, but I think he’s a lot farther along because he’s older…I don’t think he’ll make the NBA, but for good, bad, better, or worse, he would be the fourth most likely [to go].”

It’s no secret that Gabriel and his family have hard a lot of hardships to overcome in life, so if he wants to make some money playing professional basketball so he can better support them, that’s very admirable and something everyone should support.

That said, it’s clear that no one returning to UK is a given, other than maybe Brad Calipari.