Michel Scotto over at everyone’s favorite pay-site, “The Athletic,” spoke to NBA scouts and executives about five notable early-entry draft prospects. Kentucky’s Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington are two of the five NBA hopefuls discussed, and the anonymous opinions of what each of them should do may surprise you.
Up first is Jarred Vanderbilt, who earned a split-vote from the group consisting of one NBA scout, three NBA general managers and four NBA executives who spoke to Scotto. Four of the eight said Vanderbilt should remain in the draft, while three said he should return and another was undecided. Vanderbilt’s playmaking skills caught the eye of one NBA Eastern Conference exec, and it should earn him a second-round selection in June if he stays in the draft.
The opinion of PJ Washington’s NBA future was quite different, though. Only one of the eight said Washington should remain in the draft, with six saying he should return to Kentucky. Concerns with Washington’s size for a power forward will scare teams away, they believe, so he should return to develop new skills to play the three or a stretch-four.
Of the two, Vanderbilt’s feedback was surprising; Washington’s, not so much. It’ll be interesting to see if Vanderbilt is okay with a second-round ceiling because that’s where he is right now. If he decides to come back to UK to prove he can be healthy, he could climb to the first round in 2019. But there are people around him who may push him into accepting whatever happens to become a professional this summer. We’ll know soon enough, I guess.
To read the full scouting reports on Vanderbilt, Washington and three other NBA hopefuls with decisions to make in the coming days, get out your wallet and head over to The Athletic.