If you caught any part of the NBA Combine there’s a pretty good chance you saw a Kentucky player on your screen. Six out of seven of UK’s draft eligible players were in attendance, far more than any other school. Even combine host, Ryen Russillo, said that he and his crew could probably do an hour of coverage solely on the Wildcats. This is one of the deepest drafts in recent memory and Kentucky is part of the reason for that. Now that the combine is over, teams pretty much know who is going to be available and are narrowing down their selections. Where are the Kentucky players going to be selected, you ask? I’m going to give you the best fit for each Cat that isn’t going number one overall:
#2 Charlotte Bobcats – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist- This isn’t a best fit, but rather what I think will happen. Kidd-Gilchrist is chosen here for a host of reasons. The most glaring reason is that he has the most upside. Players that would be in the running besides MKG are Bradley Beal, Thomas Robinson, and Andre Drummond. Beal doesn’t fit because Gerald Henderson was the best player on the Bobcats last year and he plays shooting guard too. Drummond simply isn’t good enough to be the second pick, and Robinson’s translation to the NBA is questionable. MKG, who should be an all-star for years to come, is just too good for MJ and the Bobcats to pass up.
#6 Portland Trailblazers (from Jay-Z)- Terrence Jones- How does a LaMarcus Aldridge and Terrence Jones frontcourt sound? Jones is a super skilled power forward that can pretty much do it all on the basketball court. Pair him with Aldridge and you have a headache for opposing defenses. When motivated, TJ has displayed some great ability. If he can show that skill every time he hits the basketball court, he can be a premiere forward in this league. Nothing says motivation like playing in front of your hometown every night.
#22 Boston Celtics (from Lob City, USA)- Marquis Teague- With Ray Allen and KG’s contracts up, the Celtics have a ton of holes to fill. One glaring need is for a backup point guard. Keyon Dooling is going into his twelfth NBA season and definitely isn’t the long-term answer. Teague will be able to give Doc Rivers some immediate quality minutes while Rondo takes a breather.
#29 Chicago Bulls- Doron Lamb- A homer pick for me, but also a selection that makes sense. Lamb is not Penny Hardaway or Paul Pierce, but he is a combo guard that can shoot the lights out. With Derrick Rose out for most the of upcoming year and Kyle Korver’s contract up, GM Gar Forman fills two voids with one pick. I’m not sure how effective Lamb is going to be at defending speedy point guards in the NBA, but he can give you some minutes at the position depending on the matchup. A good NBA comparison would be Orlando’s JJ Redick.
Sacramento Kings #36 – Darius Miller- I was pulling for Sacramento to get the first overall pick. I wanted an all-Kentucky frontcourt of Boogie and AD, but my dreams were quickly crushed. The Kings do need a power forward to go along with DeMarcus, and they’ll probably take someone like Robinson with the fifth pick. All signs have been pointing to them shopping Tyreke Evans around this summer too. They are having trouble finding a spot to play him, and could use another SF/SG after he’s gone. This is where the final Cat is selected in D. Millz.
Feel free to use the comments section to tell me how wrong I am.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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