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Nick Richards will go through the NBA Draft evaluation process

Nick Richards is dipping his toe into the NBA Draft waters. Kentucky’s 7-foot center announced on Instagram he has submitted his name into the NBA Draft.

“After discussing my options with Coach Cal and my family, I decided to enter my name into the NBA Draft,” Richards said. “Using the rules in place, I want to explore every option to see where my game is.”

Like E.J. Montgomery, Richards will keep the door open to potentially return to UK for another season. Unlike Montgomery, Richards did not specifically state what he wants to hear from NBA officials.

“If it isn’t my time, I’ll be more than excited to suit up for there best fans in the country again next season and chase our goal of winning a championship.”

His complete statement:

nickrichards_ | IG

John Calipari completely supports Richards’ decision.

“Nick is one of the most loveable and nicest people I’ve ever coached,” Calipari said. “He’s made great strides and at some point he’s going to be an NBA player who influences games. At 7-foot with his ability to shoot and block shots, it’s just a rare commodity. I think Nick is making a good decision for him and his family to explore their options and see what’s out there. I’ll fully support what he and his family choose to do.”

The fifth UK underclassman to declare for the NBA Draft, in 2018-19 Richards averaged 4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in about 12.1 minutes of action. The sophomore led the Wildcats in blocked shots with 47.

Richards has until May 29 at midnight to decide if he wants to return to Kentucky for another season or keep his name in the NBA Draft.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

25 Comments for Nick Richards will go through the NBA Draft evaluation process

  1. Pensacola_Cat_Fan
    12:16 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Good for him.

    12:18 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    I expected nothing less. I’m sure at this point, with the new rules, Cal is telling all of his players to do this, if only for the experience. Hopefully Nick gets plenty of honest feedback, then comes back with the same mentality PJ did.

    • Glock
      9:21 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      Totally agree

  3. Smyrna_Cat
    12:18 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Smart move on his part.

  4. recliner coach
    12:23 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Once he gets some playing time where he doesn’t have to worry about getting yanked after 1 mistake sometimes 30 seconds after he entered game, he will come into his own. He has a short range jump shot, he can make free throws, rebound and block shots.

  5. StuckinLville
    12:23 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    I like this process. These guys get to hear it from NBA personnel what they need to work on. It worked for PJ so hoping the same for EJ and Nick.

    • bigbluenationmbb
      12:36 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      That’s what I believe to all of these fans hate on these kids for doing it I don’t blame them I would do it to

    • syrin23
      2:22 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      If EITHER one of these guys played to their potential, this team could win it all with only a handful of losses if that. Let’s hope they figure something out

  6. Wade
    12:25 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    He should and has lots of talent but it’s just upstairs with nick the tape tells all and he needs to come back and start putting it together on the court. We need nick to have a huge year and I think he could be one of the best bigs n the sec

  7. Duuuuuude
    12:28 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    As far as working on aspects of their game, I think they listen more to these NBA guys than they do Cal as they will directly effect their pocket book.

  8. BallDontLie
    12:32 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Happy for nick. From a team standpoint though, its going to suck if EJ and Nick decide they want to leave even if they may not get drafted or late 2nd round or whatever. Happened with Briscoe and Gabriel recently.

    • Skooms
      12:57 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      Different situations though Balldontlie. If you think back, we were hearing rumblings throughout the season that Briscoe was going no matter what. Heard some of the same with Wenyan. I think we’ll be ok this time around, but you never know.

  9. Suffering Fools
    12:38 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    This ought to be great for him. The feedback should give him clearer goals and directions to focus on. A focused Nick Richards is a formidable weapon.

    • Catcasey1
      1:39 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      He’s got nothing to lose he will be jr. You can only do twice with the second time u have to stay in the draft

    • BobbyBlue
      1:43 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      Lots of big bucks invested in the G league and they must have players to keep it afloat. Just sayin

  10. VirginiaCat
    1:05 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Now that players are allowed to consult with agents, it makes it more likely that kids will stay in the draft. Agents are looking to line their pockets and don’t necessarily have the players’ best interest in mind. They will apparently rent cars for the players, give them a taste of the NBA lifestyle, and do what they can to influence them to stay in the draft. The agent makes no money if the kid returns to school. Nick should not stay in the draft, but he might if an agent gets his ear. Cal should factor this in while encouraging his players to put their names in the hat.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:15 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      I agree with you on this. I like the way some of the other rules were changed, but not so sure I like this one – it presents way too many opportunities for corruption. The contact with agents should be strictly limited and monitored. There are a lot of shady characters trying to get in with these kids.

    • runningunnin.454
      1:20 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      Well, give Virginia a cigar; I’ve been saying this since this rule was approved. I wouldn’t trust a sports agent further than I could throw him.

    • StillBP
      1:33 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      Whoa, what a day…first time I’ve ever agreed with VirginiaCat

    • Soylentbeans
      5:44 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      The agents aren’t primarily who they talk to. They are talking to people with in organizations to get feed back as well. Plus agents would want players who will get drafted higher and potentially get bigger second contracts. Why would it be in an agents best interest to string a guy along who may not even get drafted? I very seriously doubt they want 10 or 20 % of g league money.

  11. UK_fac_boi
    1:05 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Get’em Big Nick!!!

    • dctawk
      4:05 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

      Go Nick!… He will be back with a lot of good info. If he averages 8 pts, 7 rb, and 2 blocks a game this year, he’s league bound. It’s a long grueling process for them, but fun for us.

  12. T-Rox
    4:02 pm April 22, 2019 Permalink

    Nick & EJ in all honesty have the a giant opportunity to return next year, and really put on a show in Lexington! With them it’s about getting their mind in the right place. The talent & potential is there, and I’d say they have more potential than Keldon, Tyler, and PJ just because they are athletic 7 footers, who can both shoot and can run the floor! Who dont want those guys in the NBA? If they come back, the majority of mins should be there for both of them, and it’s about getting the mind right. First they need to believe they can dominate anyone, then show us! Draft Potential will SKYROCKET for both if they do!

  13. BackinBlue
    9:53 pm April 23, 2019 Permalink