Of all of Kentucky’s draft prospects, De’Aaron Fox helped himself in the month of March. Fox was fantastic in the postseason, most notably vs. one of the other elite point guards in the draft, Lonzo Ball. As a result, Fox is climbing the mock drafts. Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo has Fox in the top three of his latest mock, a considerable jump from his previous spot at #11.
“Admittedly, this isn’t as much reflective of Fox’s stock rising as it is a major shift in opinion that was partially influenced by his stellar play down the stretch,” Woo writes. “When it comes down to positional size and strength, end-to-end speed, defensive instincts and highlight-reel talent, Fox may be tops in this draft class. He’s extremely competitive, aggressive and shone as Kentucky’s best player in the second half of the year. He’s offered plenty to suggest that he’ll be highly impactful regardless of the questions about his jump shot – which to his credit, doesn’t look broken, but will need addressing. Fox was not always an efficient scorer and is less polished offensively than Fultz and Smith (who also favor driving off the bounce), but in terms of pure malleable talent, there is a case for him to be selected even higher than this. The shooting issues give him a slightly lower floor, but the ceiling is massive.”
Also in Woo’s mock: Malik Monk at #7 and Bam Adebayo at #27. Bam has yet to decide whether or not he’ll stay in the draft or return to school (he has until May 24). Like many NBA writers, Woo seems torn on Bam’s prospects.
“Adebayo’s lost a bit of his five-star luster and may still return to Kentucky,” Woo writes. “He’s got a great build, works hard on the glass, plays above the rim and doesn’t eat up a ton of touches in order to be effective, but also doesn’t do too much else. His post skills aren’t far along, he doesn’t shoot jumpers very comfortably in games, and you can see his physicality paling a bit in comparison once he’s lined up against grown men every night. The big question is what else he can offer, and whether going back to school will unearth any new dimensions to his game. As-is, he’s still a useful role player.”
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