Only one Kentucky player is expected to walk across the stage as a first-round selection in July’s NBA Draft.
In Sam Vecenie’s latest NBA Draft Big Board over at The Athletic, Isaiah Jackson was the lone Wildcat in the top 30, coming in at No. 19 overall. From there, BJ Boston came in at No. 32 overall, followed by Terrence Clarke at No. 36.
Outside of those three, no other Kentucky players were included in the top 100, meaning Olivier Sarr, Davion Mintz and Keion Brooks Jr. – UK’s lone remaining players left to make public decisions – wouldn’t likely be selected even if there were three rounds (and potentially four).
Check out Vecenie’s updated lottery projections:
- Cade Cunningham
- Jalen Suggs
- Evan Mobley
- Jalen Green
- Jonathan Kuminga
- Scottie Barnes
- Moses Moody
- Kai Jones
- Corey Kispert
- Keon Johnson
- Davion Mitchell
- James Bouknight
- Jaden Springer
- Ziaire Williams
Interestingly enough, Jackson’s father, Wesley, told Kyle Tucker of The Athletic this week that they are looking for a lottery guarantee before officially signing with an agent and leaving Kentucky. And if that guarantee doesn’t come this offseason, a return to UK is on the table.
“In my opinion, that’s what he is and needs to be. In the lottery, he’ll go to a team where he can play minutes and showcase to the world what he can do — and he hasn’t even shown half of what he can do,” Wesley Jackson said told The Athletic. “We know his value, and we’re willing to be patient. … It’s not about income. Me and his mom have been working for years, and if I have to work another year or two, it’s no skin off my bones. And we had to let him know that, to take the pressure off him. I can wait.”
Currently sitting at No. 19 overall in Vecenie’s latest update, would that five-spot difference be enough to push Jackson back to Kentucky for a sophomore campaign? It’s also worth noting that, as Tucker reported yesterday, Jackson’s father has been in contact with PJ Washington’s father about the draft process over the last few weeks.
Washington was seen as a potential first-rounder before deciding to return for a sophomore campaign, a decision that paved the way for a lottery selection just one year later. Could Jackson do the same?
For the rest of Vecenie’s Big Board, head over to The Athletic here.