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Three Wildcats included in The Athletic’s 2021 NBA Draft Big Board

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:

  1. Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State)
  2. Evan Mobley (USC)
  3. Jonathan Kuminga (G League Ignite)
  4. Jalen Green (G League Ignite)
  5. Jalen Suggs (Gonzaga)
  6. Ziaire Williams (Stanford)
  7. Scottie Barnes (Florida State)
  8. Keon Johnson (Tennessee)
  9. Kai Jones (Texas)
  10. James Bouknight (Connecticut)
  11. Corey Kispert (Gonzaga)
  12. Moses Moody (Arkansas)
  13. Jaden Springer (Tennessee)
  14. 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. 

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

8 Comments for Three Wildcats included in The Athletic’s 2021 NBA Draft Big Board



  1. TrumanClaytor > BoLanter
    11:54 am February 26, 2021 Permalink

    Jack… Barnes is at Florida, not FL State



    • TrumanClaytor > BoLanter
      11:57 am February 26, 2021 Permalink

      ……Or I thought he was at Florida



  2. VirginiaCat
    12:00 pm February 26, 2021 Permalink

    My guess is that we will have five or six returnees. The three mentioned are almost certainly gone. I think that Fletcher and Allen will transfer. There’s a good chance that Toppin, Askew, Brooks, Tshiebwe, and Mintz will return for another year. Sarr might stay if he believes that another year would help his draft prospects. The bottom line is that we should be better next year, but probably not elite.



    • wills
      3:29 pm February 26, 2021 Permalink

      ..lets pray Cam, Askew, Lamce, Allen especially Sarr, transfer to Division III ..make them go!



  3. BCO
    12:51 pm February 26, 2021 Permalink

    Man Id really like to get another year of Terrance Clark. Kids got so much potential. Hopefully Cal can convince him of staying to raise his stock considerably.

    Boston it seems is gone regardless. I think he’ll eventually play himself into late first. Jackson would be great to have coming back but thank goodness we have Damion Collins coming in who is almost a clone and maybe even better.

    Hopefully next year we can do better than this. Been a tough, tough year to be a Cats basketball fan.



  4. BallDontLie
    1:04 pm February 26, 2021 Permalink

    Jackson will go late lottery. 20 is too low for him.



    • Cats N Pats
      1:53 pm February 26, 2021 Permalink

      Not really. You need to have an outside game in today’s nba even as a big man. Jackson is definitely our most talented player RIGHT NOW, but he’s not lottery worthy either. He’s getting better offensively but still has a long way to go for nba standards.



  5. 2andToodleLoo
    3:06 pm February 26, 2021 Permalink

    These projections don’t really seem affect decisions at all. Hell last year three guys declared pro who weren’t even projected to be drafted. Oh well.