With the season over, mock draft season is now in full force. ESPN’s Chad Ford put together his annual list of who’s in and who’s out of the draft based on conversations he’s had with NBA executives, scouts, player agents and individuals close to players making decisions. Where do Kentucky’s players lie? According to Ford, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk have “one foot out the door” (players who are leaning toward declaring for the draft, but haven’t officially announced their plans) while Bam Adebayo and Isaiah Briscoe are “50-50,” or still deciding. I’m not sure who Chad’s sources are for that, but Bam and Briscoe considering coming back is surprising to me.
Who knows if that’s actually true, but one reason Bam could be thinking about coming back is that, according to Ford, his stock is falling after spotty performances vs. UCLA and North Carolina.
“Adebayo was awful against UCLA, scoring just two points and grabbing four boards without making a shot from the field. He started off poorly against North Carolina as well, before returning to form in the second half and finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds.
That inconsistency is what scares scouts and cooled the momentum he built the previous month. I still think he goes somewhere between Nos. 15 and 25 if he decides to declare for the draft. But if he stays another year and works on his perimeter game and consistency, he has the physical tools of a top-10 pick in what should be a significantly weaker draft in 2018.”
Meanwhile, Ford says Fox and Monk’s stock is rising.
“Fox definitely improved his draft stock in the last month and has moved into the No. 4 to No. 8 range in the draft,” Ford said. “Among point guards, Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball still have the edge, but Fox is now neck-and-neck with North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith — and has created some daylight between himself and France’s Frank Ntilikina.”
Ford likes the No. 4 – No. 8 pick range for Monk as well.
“In NBA terms, there are still concerns about his size and length at his position, and even more concerns about his ability to run the point — such as when Fox went out with foul trouble early against the Tar Heels — but Monk still looks like a lock somewhere in the No. 4 to No. 8 range.”