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Kentucky’s draft prospects all drop in SI’s new Big Board

After basketball season comes Stay or Go season. This morning, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo released the second version of his NBA Draft Big Board, which ranks the top 60 pro prospects. Three Kentucky Wildcats made the list, but maybe not in the order you would expect. BJ Boston is No. 25, Isaiah Jackson No. 34, and Terrence Clarke No. 47. That’s quite a contrast from the first version of the Big Board, which had Boston No. 6, Jackson No. 29, and Clarke No. 17.

Woo’s comments on Boston and Jackson are about what you’d expect — BJ has been wildly inefficient this season but is still worth a gamble; Jackson is a “freak athlete” but struggles with foul trouble. After the past few weeks, it’s hard for me to see how Jackson actually dropped in these rankings, from No. 29 to No. 34, but maybe Woo didn’t see that dunk vs. Tennessee. More interesting to me are the comments on Clarke, who has been out most of the season with an ankle injury.

A mysterious ankle injury ended Clarke’s season early at Kentucky, and ultimately there are far more questions than answers surrounding his stock as a prospect. He will most likely need to spend time in the G League next season in order for a team to have any real sense of what they have. Concerns about his maturity date back to high school, and Clarke will have to win teams over in interviews—it’s not out of the question, but he’s probably a first-round longshot at this point. He didn’t shoot well, struggled with turnovers, and simply wasn’t able to show much progression over the course of seven college games, in which his team went 1-6. There’s little beyond pedigree keeping Clarke’s stock steady right now. The appeal he held as a big, scoring wing still exists, but banking on him reaching that ceiling requires a lot of optimism.

Regardless, it seems all but certain Clarke — and likely Boston and Jackson — will leave after this season. For more of Woo’s comments, click the link below.

[Sports Illustrated]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

31 Comments for Kentucky’s draft prospects all drop in SI’s new Big Board

  1. secrick
    10:21 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

    The nba must be way down.

    • catfan838
      10:26 am February 24, 2021 Permalink


    • millertim
      11:05 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

      Most the time, picks that far down in the draft go to the G-League… and sometimes fail to make it to the NBA. Its a big gamble, but I guess its still a paycheck for playing…

    • UKFanSC
      12:18 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      Next year’s roster is going to be a dogs breakfast. We’re going to have so many “highly mediocre talents” on the team it’s going to be interesting to see who actually plays.

  2. Trinity45
    10:23 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

    I can see Jackson being draft on physical ability alone, I just don’t see Boston period, if he is draft more power to him, I just don’t see the physical ability to hang in the NBA.

  3. Alex90
    10:24 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Why is it all but certain all 3 will leave? Cal always says he’s honest with the players and for all 3 why would he not recommend that they return? You can see the talent is there with all of them so an additional year at UK with a full offseason should only help their draft stock

    • FinnaGoHAM
      10:58 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

      A little over two weeks ago, Kyle Tucker reported in The Athletic “There’s no sense debating whether any of them is ready to be a pro, because the consensus opinion from inside the program and out is that those guys already have bags packed — if they ever unpacked them in the first place.”

    • Alex90
      1:05 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      They all expected this season to go much differently and they didn’t expect to be drafted in the 2nd round. Boston/Jackson still has the potential to go in the lottery but it’s clear they need more time. Again, if Cal has the players best interest in mind he’s telling them they need another year. For both they need another year to simply get their bodies built up for the pros.

    • dcforuk
      7:32 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      He’s honest if they honestly ask his opinion.

  4. SuperTroy18
    10:29 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Jackson could dominate in a second season at UK. I’m sure he’s gone, but he would be up there for potential POY and definitely DPOY.
    Boston reminds me of Brandon Ingram. It’ll take him years, and likely multiple teams to finally get it right. He’ll get tons of chances though.
    Clarke…I’m afraid he will get so lost in the shuffle. Another season would be good for him too, but I am sure he’s gone. I have no idea what to expect from him in the Pros. Here’s hoping they all make the best decisions for them and their families. And here’s really hoping Cats reload and they have somewhat good things to say about their time in Lexington.

  5. jetmaker754
    10:29 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

    I don’t think Jackson will still be available at #34. Just my opinion.

  6. neat1ky
    10:41 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Of the 3, I would love to have jackson back like Washington did to improve his stock

  7. VirginiaCat
    11:22 am February 24, 2021 Permalink

    The calculus should be the delta between their current value and their value after one more year at Kentucky. Go for the $ now or wait another year in hopes or a much bigger paycheck. If there is optimism that they can live up to their potential, stay another year. Otherwise, take the money while it is available.

    • Megan
      1:50 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      About that delta. They’re a year out of high school. They can’t possibly think they’ve already reached their potential. They should be full of optimism that they will become better team players, learn new skills, work on their weaknesses, build their bodies, mature mentally. I don’t understand any player who enters the draft out of fear they might be a disappointment on the court next year.

  8. Johnnycat
    12:00 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Undrafted 2-way players (those with a team guarantee to split time between G-league and NBA) make $450,000 a year. Even late 2nd rounders make over a million a year to ride the bench or get sent to the G-league. Sure they may get cut by end of year 2, but they would have cashed more in 2 years than 99% of Kentuckians make in a lifetime.

    • CatManDo
      1:41 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      $2 million, working 45 years, averages to around $45K a year. I assume way more than 1% of Kentuckians average that over their work career.

    • Megan
      2:14 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      Well done, CatManDo. It might be $2 million after two years, but that’s before $700k in federal income taxes filing singly, $54k in FICA, $104k in state tax (Charlotte Hornets?). That’s $1.14 million in take-home before any expenses. It’s nice, particularly if you can stash away a good part of it for the long-term. But it’s not the kind of money that will make you financially independent, not anytime soon. VirginiaCat has it right about the delta. As much as you like the numbers for jumping now, they are likely to be better next year. So don’t be blinded by the $$$ when there’s $$$$ waiting for you if you play it smart. The object isn’t to get to the G-league. It’s not even to get drafted. The object is to stay in the league, to get to that second contract. There’s your generational change. You don’t want the average G-league salary of $35k. You just don’t.

  9. T-Town Cat
    12:25 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Nick Richards was picked 42nd last year and signed for three years and $4.3MM, with two years guaranteed. Do you think any of Boston, Clarke, or Jackson would turn that down to come back and risk injury or dropping further? Me, neither.

    • Megan
      2:21 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      $2.5 million guaranteed. $1 million this year, $1.5 million next. And he had to stay three years in college, “risking injury and dropping further,” to be in that position. If you know you will be drafted in the middle of the second round — and that takes a leap of faith given the uncertainties and no team willing to make a binding promise — maybe that’s a good move for you.

      If you’re really concerned about injury and dropping further, you’re not thinking straight, and maybe you deserve to jump too early.

    • Big Sexy
      11:27 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      Or Nick could’ve came back and been, say, the 13th pick and be guaranteed about $10 million over 3 years. Ones injury really hurt their status that bad? Noel was questionable his rookie year and was drafted 6th or so. How many serious injuries are there that would affect their careers? How many UK players left(or were forced out) had 2 years or less in the NBA and were out. Maybe another year or two could’ve improved some and got them in the first round with guaranteed money(not all 2nd rounds are guaranteed unless they just recently changed it).

  10. Johnnycat
    12:49 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Clarke will not get drafted. He will need to grind the hard way to make it….but he aint coming back. Boston will be late 1st round…same with Jackson. Jackson’s high free throw percentage shows he can shoot….he may actually go above Boston.

    • MississippiBlue
      1:34 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      Boston and Jackson are guaranteed 1st round picks and if they have a combine Clarke will get a first round guarantee by some team. He has too much athleticism and basketball skill for them pass on him. We only got to see a glimpse of what he can do…it’s unfortunate that UK want get more from him, but lets not act like he’s not a NBA player.

    • Johnnycat
      1:50 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      Yeah, I had a brain fart. I meant to say Clarke will not get drafted above the other two. But I still don’t think he makes a 15-man roster next year, whereas the other two will, at worst, be 2-way players or may actually get some real minutes. He just doesn’t do anything well….at least I didn’t see it. But what do I know…Boston and Jackson have real upside. Sarr will have a nice career in France. They will lose Fletcher imo, but I think all the others return…including Allen.

  11. Eddiemcwildcat
    1:07 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Rinse and repeat

  12. Buffalo Cat
    2:06 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Until Cal can convince players like these to stay another year or two, the program will be mired in “mediocrity” which I define as top 25 good, but not Final Four good.

    • Megan
      2:24 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

      That shows you how spoiled we are as Kentucky fans. If you can’t be consistently Final Four material, you’re mediocre. It’s nice to have high standards, except when you use them against the players and coach, calling for his firing and such. That’s when the crowd turns ugly.

    • just a guy
      9:07 am February 25, 2021 Permalink

      Megan, where did he ask for Cal to be fired? He also didn’t say we have to go to FFs but they should be FF good with a HOF coach, the most money to spend on recruiting, top notch facilities, and the name of a blue blood, that happens to get a top 2 recruiting class every year. Being top 10 every year should be expected and not excused when all those things are there and we’re hoping to win enough to make the NIT

  13. zoupman
    2:39 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

    It would be nice, if they all came back. They would surely improve and move up the board.
    Actually scratch that, I really don’t care what Clarke does. Almost like he was never here.

  14. CahillsCrossingNT
    5:13 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Isn’t Calipari developing them? I’ve always heard that’s what he does.

  15. panicpat
    7:13 pm February 24, 2021 Permalink

    Jackson is the only of the 3 I will miss. He’s a beast. Boston and Clarke are vastly overrated

  16. just a guy
    9:03 am February 25, 2021 Permalink

    Funny how people would think one dunk in a game means he’s NBA ready. He struggles with fouls, and outside of 2ft Jackson struggles to score. He’s Nerlens Noel. NBA GMs are no longer spending 1st round capital on “specialists”. The NBA is a make or miss league, haven’t you seen the commercial?