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“I have no clue what he’s thinking”: NBA execs discuss UK player decisions to Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman over at Stadium has a nice story up today with comments from NBA executives about the many players entering or even just considering the upcoming NBA Draft. That group of course includes five former Kentucky Wildcats, plus one more if you count Kahlil Whitney, and all six players were discussed.

The one that stands out the most is the scouting report on EJ Montgomery, one of two former Cats in Goodman’s “They Say They’re Ready, But Leaving School Would Be a Mistake” category of talent.

We don’t even have him in our Top 100,” said one NBA executive. “I have no clue what he’s thinking.”

Kahlil Whitney is the other former Cat who should’ve stayed in college.

“He screwed up when he left Kentucky in January or whatever it was. He should have transferred. He might as well go with the high schoolers in the new G League program because that’s what he needs,” an NBA exec said.

Tyrese Maxey, Nick Richards and Immanuel Quickley made the correct moves, according to this particular story, and Ashton Hagans was a split decision.

“I think he’s a first-rounder, in the 20s. He’s got to get better with his shot, but he’s such a great on-ball defender,” they said of Hagans.

Read about the other guys in Goodman’s story here. Pretty interesting stuff on the Cats and many others. Nice job, Jeff.

Stay or Go? Advice for the 2020 NBA Draft’s Early Entrants

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

17 Comments for “I have no clue what he’s thinking”: NBA execs discuss UK player decisions to Jeff Goodman



  1. Wild Turkey 101
    3:01 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    Montgomery doesn’t like physical play, and his jumper isn’t good enough. Not wide enough to rebound or long enough to rim protect. His game has no niche.



    • KentuckyBoy
      4:39 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      I’m honestly tired of hearing about it. EJ did what he thought was best for him. He put himself before the team, and made a questionable decision. Is what it is. Good luck, and hope it works out for him.



  2. Ben27
    3:05 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    You can blame it all on their parents or guardians. Kids that age are not capable of making good decisions at that age. It is not their fault as that part of the brain has not developed yet. Too many get caught up with the money and the glamour, that it blinds their judgement. It is a shame to blow their one chance in life to play in the NBA and have a long career.



    • Han
      3:29 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      Plenty of people are capable of making good decisions at that age. Plenty of people enter the workforce, make the right college decision, etc. However, college athletes being pressure to make millions of dollars by their family, friends, and other hangers-on do have more distractions than most of us, and have had a lot of those distractions in their ears for years.



    • KentuckyBoy
      4:36 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      Exactly. There are plenty of kids who are solid at 19.



  3. JASUN74
    3:07 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    EJ just seemed like a no brainer to come back to school and improve another year. Good luck to him but it’s a head scratcher for sure.



  4. RAGE
    3:11 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    I didn’t understand what Montgomery was thinking or his dad… I knew he was gone when his dad made the comment about why waste another year…. With that said I hope he has a good career but I doubt it will be in the United States… I know when you are college that we all think life will be better when we have a job and making your own money.. Unfortunately you learn real fast that you had it made when you are in college and honestly the best easiest time of your life lol… He could have only bettered himself by staying at least one more year and why he didn’t just declare but save his eligibility is the real crazy part… Cause now that he has heard what the executives say about him he could have just came back… Oh well we will be ok next year as a program I just hope he will be ok also… I don’t get why staying at UK and being treated like a rockstar while riding the private jet from game to game is just so awful… I think it beats staying in the Gleague riding a bus from city to city but that is just me….. For a parent though to just blatantly tell their kid bad advice like that I truly don’t understand….. Done his kid a disservice big time



    • Bobbum Man
      4:16 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      Pretty simple… dads ready for a payday



    • Rob
      4:27 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      Oh well. What’s done is done. They’re the ones that are gonna have to live with the decisions they made.



  5. dave1964
    3:33 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    EJ has one option overseas and that is it he will never make a NBA roster.



  6. RexRox
    3:38 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    Of course, I wish all the Cats the best of luck. I’m sure some just hate the classroom and some undoubtedly face pressure from family and friends to go pro, I can’t help but wonder that those who end up in the G-League will miss the UK lifestyle when they find themselves riding buses to & from games and sleeping in normal-sized beds. Things they seldom had to deal with at UK.



  7. jim tom
    4:32 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    It’s really simple. Money is money and these kids need it just like me and you



  8. IrishCat
    4:59 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    Did he hire an agent? I don’t remember. I wish, for his sake, that he would read this stuff and come back. I do believe he has NBA potential, but he needs a lot of work in very specific areas to achieve it.



  9. dcforuk
    5:22 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    It’s not a problem until it is.



  10. dcforuk
    5:24 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    I think both Nick and EJ could have raised their draft status tremendously by coming back…….EJ to a draft pick and Richards to a sure-fire first round, if not a lottery pick.



  11. VirginiaCat
    8:56 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    The concept of delayed gratification is foreign to many young players. That is a particularly toxic brew when parents are afflicted with delusional thinking. I feel bad for E.J. because, fundamentally, he is a good kid.