Now that the NFL Draft has concluded, I wanted to start diving into the NBA Draft prospects. I’m going to focus on the three guys that are projected in the first round. Montgomery and Richards have also declared for the draft but will likely make the decision to return due to not being projected as a top pick.
6’8″ 228 PF
Ranked 10-15 Overall, 2-3 PF
PJ is a little undersized for the power forward position but does make up for this in length. Washington’s improvement in his shot has helped his draft stock immensely. Kenny Payne has said “Sometimes as coaches we get caught up in skill and what it looks like and we neglect to talk about what’s in a guy’s chest, what’s in his brain, his will to win, his fight, his makeup,”
Comparison: Paul Millsap
6’6″ 210 SG
Ranked 15-20 Overall, 1-3 SG
Super high potential, especially if his shot gets better. Shows signs of explosiveness and great athletic ability. Has a knack for playing through contact and drawing fouls. NBADraft.net said “With right coaching staff around him in the NBA, he could eventually develop into a potential all-star.”
Comparison: Demar DeRozen
6’6″ 195 SG
Ranked 20-25 Overall, 3-6 SG
Great shooter with length. Can use shooting ability to open driving opportunities. Can finish through contact. Great free-throw shooter. Decent on-ball defender. Should be able to take advantage of the more open court in the NBA.
Comparison: Devin Booker
I have obviously a high opinion of the Kentucky guys but I really do believe these three have the potential to be great and the drive to see that potential. With these three going into the NBA next year, that will give Kentucky 31 players in the NBA. The NBA Draft Lottery is May 14th and we will know more about team needs and where each guy can look to be drafted at that time. Here are the current odds for the lottery:
|Memphis > Boston (Top 8 Protected)||6.0%|
|Dallas > Atlanta (Top 5 Protected)||6.0%|
|Los Angeles Lakers||2.0%|
|Sacramento (to Boston or Philadelphia if it’s 1st Overall)||1.0%|
The Draft is June 20th and will be broadcasted on ESPN. Currently 18 out of the 30 teams have a Wildcat on their roster.