At one time, it looked like Tyler Ulis might sneak his way into the lottery. The Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year proved time and time again during his two years at Kentucky that his size is no issue, but earlier this week, we found out reports of a significant hip injury have caused his draft stock to slide. This morning, ESPN’s Chad Ford told reporters that it’s hard to know how much those reports will affect Ulis’ draft position, but he thinks he’ll still go in the 20-30 range.
“There’s varying degrees of depending on doctors, the conservative nature of things, of how concerned teams are, so it’s really hard to pick where Ulis goes. I think he either goes somewhere in the 20’s or he ends up going somewhere in the 30’s, but I think he’s going to get drafted. I don’t think it’s going to torpedo his draft stock.”
Ford added that teams “are all over the board” with Ulis because of his size, but he’s “probably the best passing point guard in this draft.” (Anyone who’s watched Ulis play even once will agree with that.) While Ulis to the Bulls at #14 is my preference, sliding further down the board in the first round might not be the worst thing since it means he’ll end up with a better team.
Here’s where Ford sees the rest of UK’s prospects going:
Jamal Murray: “Three to seven. He’s got a pretty narrow range right now. He’s in the mix literally with every single one of those teams, with maybe the exception of the Suns. The Celtics are looking at him at three, Wolves are looking at him at five, Pelicans like him at six. Denver even likes him at seven as a nice backcourt mate to Emmanuel Mudiay.”
Skal Labissiere: “Seven to thirteen. So, Denver, at seven, being the high point, Phoenix at thirteen being the low point. I think many of us have projected and I think it’s very accurate that the Magic at eleven look like the most likely spot for him to land.”
Alex Poythress: “I think he’s a possible second-round pick because he’s an elite athlete and I think he can defend multiple positions. I actually heard he shot it pretty well in workouts. That’s what he projects: A guy coming off the bench, playing great defense and hitting some spot-up threes. If he can just do that, I think he has a long career in the NBA.”
We’ll know for sure in less than a week.