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ESPN’s latest mock NBA draft includes only three Wildcats

ESPN released a new mock draft on Monday and it includes three former Kentucky Wildcats, but only one in the lottery.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is projected as UK’s top and only lottery pick. ESPN has Gilgeous-Alexander at No. 12 overall to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Clippers could be looking at point guard as a position in need of supplementing, and the size, length and versatility of Gilgeous-Alexander could be attractive here considering the type of lineup flexibility he brings.

The fact that he is 6-6 (with a 7-foot wingspan), instinctual defensively and unselfish makes him easy to slot in alongside virtually any type of player. His offense has made significant strides as the season has moved on, helping him surprisingly emerge as arguably Kentucky’s best long-term prospect. [ESPN]

Kevin Knox is next with a slight drop from his previous projection. Knox is now slotted at No. 15 overall to the Washington Wizards, one spot out of the lottery.

With Markieff Morris approaching the final year of his contract, the Wizards could very well start thinking of supplementing their power forward position with a player who fits the modern game.

Knox didn’t have an efficient freshman season, partially due to playing out of position, but there’s a significant market in the NBA for combo forwards in his mold who can make an open shot, defend multiple positions and offer offensive versatility. He’s one of the youngest players in this draft, so he still has plenty of room to grow. [ESPN]

Hamidou Diallo is the only other Wildcat expected to hear his name called on draft night. ESPN thinks he is a second-round pick, projected at No. 40 overall to the Brooklyn Nets.

UK’s three other NBA hopefuls — PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel — are not among the top 60 prospects in the class.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

9 responses to “ESPN’s latest mock NBA draft includes only three Wildcats”

  1. Swizzle

    And the other 3 are quoted as saying. So your saying there’s a chance.

  2. callitlikeiseeit

    CBS has Knox as last lottery pick

    1. Fitz

      Diallo can do a lot of things good but not great. A year or two in G league they will develop two or three things from good to great or at least good enough to play in the NBA; that may be the thinking.


    Diallo is the glaring oddball of the 3. Out of the other 4 UK players aside from Knox and SGA, you’d think an NBA team would be far more likely to take a gamble on Wenyen, P.J. or Jarred, before they’d seriously consider taking Diallo. Someone please tell me what I’m missing.

    1. Irishcats118

      Diallo is a freak athlete w tremendous upside. A team could easily take a chance on him in the 2nd. I can see your argument w vanderbilt and pj possibly but not wenyen.


      It’s a shooter’s league now, much more than ever. Wenyen’s ability, at 6′-10″ to not only rebound and defend 4 or 5 positions, but also hit the 3, makes him worth a lot more than a 6′-6″ “athlete” that doesn’t/can’t do ANY of those things. Basically, Diallo is a much smaller Alex Poythress, but without the 3 pt. shot.

  4. The Professor

    Personally, I think all of the 6 will spend most of the time in the G League next year if they decide to go. Alexander has the best chance to stay but he will have trouble with the quickness of NBA level guards.

  5. CoachCat

    Not one of these kids are NBA ready. We’ve seen elite talent here. These 3 should have given it another year. Grown both mentally and physically then jumped over to professionals.

    1. jsuge20

      youre right.. but I believe that SGA had to go. I dont see how his draft stock could get much better next season. He is the reason this team went as far as they did this season, and I dont see how he could improve his draft position with the depth we’ll have next season.