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Davion Mintz to test NBA Draft waters, not ruling out return to Kentucky

Kentucky guard Davion Mintz will test the draft waters and go through the NBA’s evaluation process, but is leaving the door open for a potential return to UK, the school announced this afternoon.

Under NCAA rules, Mintz can sign with an NCAA-certified agent, receive feedback and return to school. Mintz will have until July 7 (10 days after the NBA Draft Combine) to make a final decision as to whether he wishes to remain in the draft or return to Kentucky.

“These last two months for my family and I have been filled with a lot of reflection and a lot of personal evaluation,” Mintz said. “I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this past season at Kentucky, a truly unique and unforgettable experience, while also trying to figure out what the next step is for me and my career. My ultimate dream has always been to play at the professional level. I believe at some point, whether that is now or down the road, that is where I will be. Figuring out when that time is right while weighing my love for Kentucky and thinking about the possibilities of next season has not been easy, and to be fully honest and transparent, I have not come to a decision yet of what I will ultimately do.

“However, at this point in time, I believe it is in my best interest to officially submit my name for the 2021 NBA Draft to test the waters and go through a proper evaluation period. I am looking forward to the process and I am going into this stage in the decision-making process with an open mind. I appreciate the support and honesty Coach Cal and the staff have shown me throughout this decision and I want to thank Big Blue Nation for your love and your patience as I take this next step.”

Mintz joins freshman guards Brandon Boston Jr. and the late Terrence Clarke, along with senior forward Olivier Sarr and freshman forward Isaiah Jackson to declare for the draft this offseason. Mintz and Jackson both left the door open for a potential return to Kentucky.

Players have the ability to submit paperwork and receive evaluations from teams and participate in the NBA Draft Combine if an invite is on the table.

“I am in total support of Davion testing the waters to find out what his options are based on how he finished the year,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “He is doing the right thing by taking his time with his decision, going through the workouts and evaluations, and really getting all the information out there that is afforded to him through the NBA Draft process.

“From his leadership to his shooting to how much he improved over the course of the season, I really enjoyed coaching Davion this last season. I really believe if our team had been better and got into the NCAA Tournament somehow, his path would be clearer. As I told his mom and dad, he is a young man I could coach for 10 years. Whatever he ultimately decides, he has a bright future ahead of him.”

The 6-foot-3 guard led UK in total points (288), 3-pointers (56), assists (77) and double-figure scoring games (17). He averaged 11.5 points per game, including 16.7 points per outing over the last six games. He shot 37.8% from behind the arc and dished out 3.1 assists per game.

Mintz began his career at Creighton, appearing in 97 career games with 79 starts for the Bluejays. In 2018-19, he started all 35 games in the backcourt, averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game. As a sophomore, in 2017-18, he led the Big East in assist-to-turnover ratio. He redshirted in 2019-20 due to an ankle injury.

The NBA Draft this season will be July 29.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

33 Comments for Davion Mintz to test NBA Draft waters, not ruling out return to Kentucky

  1. blueballs80
    2:07 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    So we still don’t have a pg and he will wait till July 7th to make his decision. What happens next,?

    • DaveT999
      3:06 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      Cal isn’t waiting on Davion to decide. And even if he does come back, Cal wants 2 PG. Davion is more of a SG who is good at PG because he had to be.

  2. BigBluSoTru
    2:11 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    BBN it’s officially turmoil here inn Lexington. What is going on? Hiring OA back is not going too help this season whatsoever we have over paid for trying to get past sucess which is not going too happen. Lighting doesnt strike the same place twice. When O was previoulsy here the landscape was diffrent every thing is changed now.

    • 4everUKBlue
      2:34 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      Do you ever proof read your comments?

    • nocode96
      2:47 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      Bold of you to assume this dude puts any thought into anything 4ever

    • LayTheOdds
      3:14 pm May 4, 2021 Permalink

      Hey 4ever – Do you ever have an original thought? It seems like all you do is criticize others comments. You’re not real creative either….troll this troll that, proofread this. Go back to mommy’s basement and wait for your Biden unemployment check dipsh*t. Just STFU and leave the adults to their business.

    • DaveT999
      3:07 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      Since when is a player potentially leaving who has been in college for 5 years “turmoil”. How long do you want Davion to stay in college, until he gets a PhD?

  3. Lip Man 1
    2:18 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    The last UK player out the door, please remember to turn off the lights in Rupp Arena.

    It’s amazing how in about a year and a half one of the top programs historically could turn into a crap show. And don’t tell me “It’s because of COVID…” That may have played a part but then how do you account for all the other programs that played through it and actually were successful?

    • 4everUKBlue
      2:34 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      It’s because the sky is falling. Haven’t you heard?

    • LayTheOdds
      9:07 pm May 4, 2021 Permalink

      4ever never fails to make dumba*s comments. What a clown!

    • Han
      2:50 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      We had some bad trends going already, but Covid did definitely play a part in all of this. While everyone else played through it, it was harder for UK than pretty much anyone else because we had a whole new team that was dependent on freshmen and new transfers who hadn’t sat out. We had no returning players with experience for the first month or two until Brooks got healthy. Point to another team that had to do that.

      Also, worth noting, the team most like us in recruiting (take and losing a lot of freshmen/transfers yearly now) is Duke, and look how they did this year. Better, but not by a huge amount, and they returned more players and don’t have quite as heavy a reputation for needing to leave if you don’t do well in one year.

      Before Covid, we were gonna make a deep run with the Richards/Quickley team.

      Also, losing Payne was a big hit, especially for a team that needs to rebuild so much year after year. We had two new coaches do go with our entirely new roster, lack of summer prep, etc.

      No other team faced that. Doesn’t excuse being as bad as we were, but doesn’t explain a lot of it.

    • neat1ky
      8:52 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      I guess Duke must have won it all this yr according to u we r only blue blood that struggled with NC and Mich st also also having great seasons, oh wait they sucked. Please don’t jump on the wagon with us next go pull for UL they’re exciting

  4. Headhurts
    2:28 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    I’m patient with mintz testing the pro waters as long as he’s understanding we need to commit to a another point guard or two just in case

    • BuzzedBaker
      3:28 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      I’m sure he appreciates your patience. I’m sure he will do his best to honor your expectation.

  5. mashman 93
    2:31 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    I will have to admit this is frustrating to hear and I’m usually a glass half full guy.

    • mashman 93
      3:15 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      To be clear I’m frustrated at the process not Mintz and his desire to go pro.

  6. UKInsider
    2:33 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    Look at this way…Mintz is not going to receive feedback that he will be a draft pick – he’s currently not on any boards – so will return to UK.

    • T-Town Cat
      2:56 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      It doesn’t really matter if he isn’t on a draft board. A team could tell him that they will sign him as a free agent and invite him to camp, or he could get positive feedback from overseas. He has been in college for five years. If he – or Brooks for that matter – really wanted to come back for another year, they would have said so by now. I’m afraid they will return only if they don’t have any other options.

    • UKInsider
      4:32 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      Fair point T-Town, but I would rather have the door open for return versus an announcement stating his desire to pursue professional dreams.

    • Aar
      7:53 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      At a minimum, he’ll get to work out with other players who are testing the waters. He’ll also get feedback on his opportunities. Both of which will serve him well going forward. Look what that experience did for PJ Washington. I wish Davion the greatest possible future as soon as possible. If that path returns him to UK next season, I think he will be a much better Wildcat for having gone through the draft process.

  7. secrick
    2:34 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    I believe he will make a team in the nba. A little worried about next year myself.

  8. dave1964
    2:34 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    And here is the problem we have a coach that is so player first he will be last on race day because he will not get the two best options at PG right now will wait until these kids on team make up their minds then Kentucky is ass out.

  9. millertim
    2:41 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    Yep this was absolutely the right thing to do— you get NBA feedback on where you currently stand (not getting drafted) and what you need to improve/ work on to get drafted next year. Most assuredly he WILL RETURN next year and lead the CATS at point guard!!

    • GM1978
      3:11 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      Absolutely…..not sure how any of this is news, as Mintz had said all along he wanted to gather the feedback from the league (as he should)

  10. Han
    2:45 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    So much for having a good idea of the roster anytime soon.

    Hope we get Frederick, Carr, whoever soon.

  11. JT55
    3:10 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    Next year is going to be ugly.

  12. Boro Boy
    3:51 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    Not on any draft boards means nothing….ask EJ Montgomery

    • ClutchCargo
      4:02 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

      EJ had not-so-smart people in his ear, unfortunately. Mintz doesn’t seem to have that problem.

  13. Dustin Rumbaugh
    4:09 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    Cal is going hard on other point guards. These guy saw the writing on the wall. End of story. Cal is playing craps and hoping to roll a 7. I hope he does.

  14. VirginiaCat
    4:38 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    Once upon a time, Cal didn’t have to recruit…he just picked who he wanted. Fast forward a few lackluster seasons, including last year’s debacle and it’s a different story. Cal is trying to rebuild the program at a time when Kentucky’s brand is down. The portal is bringing a lot of top talent to the surface, but it’s hard to reel in the big fish when your bait is suspect. Cal has a significant challenge on his hands and then next two months will speak loudly on the program’s future direction. I hope that Cal is up to the challenge. He has earned the benefit of the doubt and allow us to see what is left in the tank.

  15. CahillsCrossingNT
    4:57 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    NBA teams are hungering for talent coming from a 9-16 team.

  16. MTODDUK08
    8:06 pm May 3, 2021 Permalink

    Honestly Mintz probably deserves to go to the NBA more than any of them he transferred in did what he could and played 4 years that’s really all any fan could ask for. As far as a PG goes we will have 1 for sure my guess is 2. I think Washington picks UK and also think Carr does the same Mintz “testing the water” kinda gave it away for me Cal told him who was coming and it was the Best move for Mintz probably losing stock coming back to UK…

  17. UKFanSC
    6:53 am May 4, 2021 Permalink

    I have a hard time believing he will get much positive NBA encouragement from this exercise. I expect him back.