Only three Kentucky players are listed as top-100 prospects going into the 2021 NBA Draft, with only one being projected as a first round selection.
In The Athletics’s first 2021 NBA Draft Big Board featuring Sam Vecenie’s top 100 draft prospects leading up to postseason play, freshman forward Isaiah Jackson came in as Kentucky’s lone first-rounder at No. 20 overall, followed by freshman guard B.J. Boston at No. 33 and freshman guard Terrence Clarke at No. 34.
Beyond that, no other Kentucky players were featured on the list.
Check out Vecenie’s projected lottery picks, where both Boston and Clarke were both previously projected to land:
- Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State)
- Evan Mobley (USC)
- Jonathan Kuminga (G League Ignite)
- Jalen Green (G League Ignite)
- Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga)
- Ziaire Williams (Stanford)
- Scottie Barnes (Florida State)
- Keon Johnson (Tennessee)
- Kai Jones (Texas)
- James Bouknight (Connecticut)
- Corey Kispert (Gonzaga)
- Moses Moody (Arkansas)
- Jaden Springer (Tennessee)
- Greg Brown (Texas)
With only three Kentucky players projected in the top 100 – only 60 prospects are selected every year, mind you – that would mean Oscar Tshiebwe, Olivier Sarr, Davion Mintz, Keion Brooks Jr., Devin Askew, Jacob Toppin, Dontaie Allen, Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher all have little-to-no draft stock at this point in time.
How many of those players will return to Kentucky next season? All nine players have at least one year of eligibility remaining due to the NCAA’s decision to grant a free season of eligibility to all players participating in winter sports for the 2020-21 season.
Will we have more cases similar to that of EJ Montgomery and Kahlil Whitney, who declared for the draft with almost zero chance of being selected? A few outgoing transfers, similar to Johnny Juzang’s situation last offseason?
Or is this the year Kentucky finally returns the majority of its players from the year before?
To find Vecenie’s entire list of potential draft prospects, head on over to The Athletic here.