Turns out the rumors were true. Kentucky just announced that Bam Adebayo will submit his name for the draft but will NOT hire an agent, which means he will have until May 24 to decide whether or not he wants to stay in the draft or return to Kentucky.
“This process we went through at Kentucky was a tough but a rewarding one,” Adebayo said. “It was everything I wanted when I decided to come to Kentucky. It taught me a lot. It taught me how to be a better man on and off the court. I have improved so much since the beginning of the season thanks to the hard work of the coaching staff. They helped me with every step of the process along the way and they never gave up on me.
“I want to thank my teammates. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to grow with. We were all like brothers. I also want to thank the fans for their support and everything they do for us. Their passion is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
“I feel I’m making the right step in declaring for the draft, but I want to be absolutely sure that I’m making the right decision for me and my mom. I’m looking forward to the process and I appreciate the support of the coaches, my teammates and the fans. No matter what happens, it’s been an unbelievable ride.”
Adebayo is the third Kentucky freshman to declare for the 2017 NBA Draft following De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk earlier this week. This year, he averaged 13.0 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game. He also led the team in blocks per game (1.5) and double-doubles (eight), including five double-doubles over his last 11 games.
“Bam was our hardest worker this season,” Kentucky head coach John Calipari said. “You’re talking about a player who can guard all five positions, has more perimeter skills than people know, and someone with size and a physique that immediately translates to that league. Bam is a great kid with a ton of upside. Should he decide to stay in the draft, he will be an outstanding four man in the NBA. Every organization needs character and Bam is a high-character kid who only cares about winning.”
Again, Bam will have until May 24 to decide whether or not to return. Right now, he ranges anywhere from 19th to 30th in the major mock drafts. He’ll likely get the bulk of his feedback at the NBA Draft Combine, which takes place May 9-14.
So now, we wait.