Three Kentucky Wildcats were listed in ESPN’s latest 2020 NBA Mock Draft, including two in the first round.
Freshman guard Tyrese Maxey was the first Wildcat off the board, going No. 8 overall to the Washington Wizards. There, he would team up with former Kentucky star John Wall.
Kahlil Whitney is the second Wildcat listed, coming in at No. 24 overall to Oklahoma City, where he would team up with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hamidou Diallo.
The final Kentucky player projected, Ashton Hagans, comes in at No. 55 overall to the Charlotte Hornets. There, he would join former Wildcats PJ Washington, Malik Monk, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
The top five is loaded with familiar names: LaMelo Ball (No. 1), Anthony Edwards (No. 2), James Wiseman (No. 3), Cole Anthony (No. 4), and RJ Hampton (No. 5).
Other players of interest listed as first-round talents? Nico Mannion (No. 7), Jaden McDaniels (No. 9), Isaiah Stewart (No. 17), Vernon Carey (No. 18), Jordan Nwora (No. 27), and Cassius Winston (No. 28).
Here is the entire mock draft:
If this were to come to fruition, it would mean Kentucky would return EJ Montgomery, Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley, Keion Brooks Jr., Johnny Juzang, and Dontaie Allen next season.
They would join Kentucky five-star guard signees Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, and Devin Askew, five-star forward Isaiah Jackson, and four-star forwards Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher.
While that would stand as arguably the deepest roster of the John Calipari era in Lexington, it’s important to note that EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards could have left this past offseason, with sources telling KSR that the staff expects both players to enter the NBA Draft at the conclusion of the year. And with Richards putting up career numbers through nearly a quarter of the regular season, along with Montgomery slowly making his way back from injury and finding success, it’s tough to envision either of them back for the 2020-21 season.
Still, though, a returning class of Quickley, Brooks, Juzang, and Allen, combined with Kentucky’s ridiculous 2020 recruiting class, should leave fans giddy.