In one week, the NBA Draft will be over and Kentucky’s three draft prospects will all have new homes. Where will they land?
According to the latest projections, it’s looking more and more like PJ Washington and Tyler Herro will go in the lottery, while Keldon Johnson will fall somewhere in the 15-25 range. Here’s where all three Cats stand in the major mocks:
|ESPN Top 100||16||18||19|
|ESPN (Updated 6/10)||13. Miami||16. Orlando||23. Utah|
|The Athletic (Updated 6/7)||18. Indiana||15. Detroit||22. Boston|
|Sports Illustrated (Updated 6/11)||13. Miami||14. Boston||15. Detroit|
|Matt Norlander (Updated 6/13)||17. Atlanta||14. Boston||20. Boston|
|Gary Parrish (Updated 6/7)||13. Miami||15. Detroit||19. San Antonio|
|Kyle Boone (Updated 6/11)||11. Minnesota||16. Orlando||25. Portland|
And a sampling of comments:
With Bam Adebayo likely being suited to seeing significant minutes at the center position, it’s difficult to point to another long-term option at the power forward spot that the team can build around, which could make a player in Washington’s mold make sense.
Washington had been injured and unable to participate in pre-draft workouts until last week, but his range begins in the late lottery. He’s a strong fit in Miami, where his versatility and inside-out potential would work well next to Bam Adebayo long-term. He’s made strides skill-wise and profiles as a solid frontcourt piece, particularly if his jump shot continues to improve. Washington seems to be jockeying for position with Jaxson Hayes and Brandon Clarke in this range, and he’s the most offensively skilled of that trio.
Workout warrior who impressed a lot in recent weeks and wound up as Kentucky’s most important player by the time the NCAA Tournament got going. Herro’s Boston workout in particular got a lot of run for how good it was. His tools and his potential role with Boston as a rookie feel perfect for Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens. Offensively oriented UK players have found moderate-or-better amounts of success as of late in the league. Herro’s got a stern confidence about him that also makes him a desirable prospect in what’s a fairly fluid pool of prospects in the 12-18 range.
The Magic have focused on acquiring length and upside in the first round in each of the first two years, now it’s time to shift that focus to a backcourt player with gobs of potential. Tyler Herro can provide a boost for the Magic with his shooting and with his offensive upside to a young Orlando team still trying to establish itself as a consistent playoff contender. At 6-6, he’s a solid shooter with picturesque mechanics and potential to develop into a larger role as a playmaker down the line.
Danny Ainge loves guys who are tough and have an aggressive mindset. Johnson fits that billing. He’s not great at any one aspect of the game yet, but he’s really good at a lot of them. At 6-6 with solid length and a great standing reach, he has positional versatility that should allow him to play next to all of Boston’s perimeter weapons.
The Pistons have a clear need on the wing that they should be able to address with this pick. Johnson’s draft stock has been stabilized by his intangibles, and teams think his competitive makeup bodes well, giving him a good chance to find a useful role somewhere and add value. He’s not a great off-dribble creator, but he’s strong, can score at all three levels, and defends willingly. At the moment, Johnson seems like a good bet somewhere in the Top 20, and is firmly in this mid-first round group of wings. Teams are curious to see in which order the three Kentucky players are actually drafted.
PJ Washington: The Atlanta Hawks brought in PJ for a meeting (not a workout) today. They have the No. 8, No. 10, and No. 17 picks in the draft.
? ????? ?? ??? ????? sneak peak ?? pic.twitter.com/OiA4BXDezi
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 14, 2019
Tyler Herro: Herro is in Indianapolis today to work out for the Indiana Pacers, who have the No. 18 pick in the first round.
All eyes on UK guard Tyler Herro at today. He has one workout left, Minnesota on Saturday. He’s expected to go in the teens — and will be in the green room for the draft. pic.twitter.com/JODR6fpsoq
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) June 14, 2019
Keldon Johnson: Yesterday, Keldon worked out for the Washington Wizards, who have the No. 9 pick.
"I put my heart and soul into the game… I put hours in the gym."
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) June 13, 2019