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Jay Bilas Thinks Reid Travis Will Go Undrafted

Three Kentucky players are expected to go in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft on Thursday night. A fourth came to Lexington with hopes of joining them, but with less than 24 hours until the draft, the possibility of Reid Travis being drafted is minimal.

ESPN’s Jay Bilas agrees with what most experts are saying.

“I think he’ll be undrafted,” Bilas said. “Reid was a great college player, another fantastic kid. Not a kid, he’s a man. A fantastic young man. But I think the game, the NBA game, has gone away from him being a draft pick. Sort of back to the basket big guy that’s undersized that does not play above the rim, is not a versatile defender. There are a lot of things that he does well. Can he play in the NBA? Absolutely he could play in the NBA. I do not see him being drafted. Just the way the game has gone.”

Most mock drafts from popular media outlets do not have Travis listed as a possible pick in either the first or second round. It is becoming painfully clear that Travis will likely not hear his name called after 60 picks. But as Bilas mentions, that does not mean he won’t make his way into the league. He is just the wrong type of player for what the modern game is asking for.

“You put him 15 years ago or something, he probably would be drafted,” Bilas continued. “Maybe 10 years, whatever it is. Now it’s a little bit more problematic for undersized low-post guys that play within 15 feet. It’s more of a spread game now. Your ability to switch out and defend on the perimeter, guard, screen-roll situations, be able to shoot a three and all that. It’s just not what he does. The things he does well he does very well, but I’d be surprised if he were drafted.”

What hurts Travis’ stock more than anything is his inability to step out beyond the arc. Aside from entering the league at age 23 (which kills his stock), he shot only 7-26 from deep during his one season at Kentucky. Bilas notes how Travis is an excellent low post player, which he is, but outside of 10-feet, the big man struggles to make the simple play. If he can develop that outside game then the league will absolutely have a spot for him, but right now the reality is that he’s not an NBA-caliber player just yet.

Now let’s hope he can get there.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

20 Comments for Jay Bilas Thinks Reid Travis Will Go Undrafted



  1. BUCats
    10:05 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    Best of luck whatever he does next. His attitude alone will make him successful. I would add him to my work team.



  2. TOMCATS1990
    10:05 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    Not all great college players are NBA players. He will have a good career over seas if the NBA fails!!!



  3. TOMCATS1990
    10:05 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    Good Luck to #22



  4. UKCAT5FAN
    10:17 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    Why make this post right now?? Why?



    • mashburnfan1
      10:41 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      just maybe because the draft is less than 24 hours away and I am guessing the quote was very recent. I guess he could have posted this July 15th but that would not make much sense to most.



    • UKCAT5FAN
      11:21 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      Thanks Caption Obvious Mashburn! We know the draft is tomorrow but is this really news? As I’m sure you know since you are Captian Obvious here, we have a certain grad transfer looming over a decision and likely looking at Travis as a factor in his decision. Not saying a big factor but a factor none the less. Couldve went w/o this post. That’s my point Captain.



    • Big Sexy
      11:47 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      Really? You think Blackshear is going to read this and it will scare him off? One, he won’t read it. Two, it’ll have as negative effect on him as it will on my day tomorrow.



    • MrPioneer
      8:29 am June 20, 2019 Permalink

      Or cats5fan, ya know, Blackshear already knows he is a completely different player than Reid and has a lot more NBA upside. Reid going undrafted will have zero effect on his decision.



  5. Alamo_Cats
    10:17 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    Would love to see him go into coaching



  6. Swizzle
    10:31 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    That bilas is a real brain surgeon. Telling us what we already know.



    • mashburnfan1
      10:39 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      Bilas was not talking to “us”. This is probably from something where someone asked him about the UK guys and probably even directly about Travis. All he did was answer the question then KSR writes about it and shows his quote and some idiot fan bashes Bilas. He actually says alot of nice things about Travis. Classic.



    • KentuckyVSEveryone
      12:27 pm June 20, 2019 Permalink

      I just ask you to please just shut the hell up mashburn…but it sounds like you might need a friend



    • UKCAT5FAN
      11:22 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      You on duty for the comment police tonight Captain Mashburn?



  7. bbn606
    10:42 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    Could have a big influence on Blackshear’s decision.



    • UKinIN
      10:52 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

      Nah. Every kid thinks “That’s not me.” or “I’m the exception.”



  8. UKinIN
    10:51 pm June 19, 2019 Permalink

    I hope Travis feels like UK was fair to him but regardless, there’s only so much a new coach or program can do for a 22 year old.



  9. HackRichards
    5:59 am June 20, 2019 Permalink

    Especially a 22 year old that cannot jump very high or shoot over 12 ft away. I love Travis but he is what he is. AND BILAS knows because BILAS was the SAME way!



  10. Fitz
    8:31 am June 20, 2019 Permalink

    Give Mash some slack on this one. Swizzle was taking a swipe on Bilas, and whether UK fans like Jay or not, he is an excellent college hoop analyst. The best in my opinion. What makes Bilas’s opinion of so valid is he provided the reasons and context of why Travis will go undrafted. Are they unknown by UK fans? No, but probably to the one who asked the question.



  11. michaelb
    1:28 pm June 20, 2019 Permalink

    I’m with the opinion of Reid Travis can play in the nba . He is improving in all the areas he is knocked for . He’s a hard worker & a bully in the post . He defends well and rebounds like a beast . I think he will be a signed free agent the. He will stuck with teams after he gets his shot . I think he is better than the people who are gona be drafted at the bottom of this years 2nd round .