You don’t have to convince Kentucky fans that Tyler Ulis is one of the smartest and safest picks in the NBA Draft. Over his two years in Lexington, Ulis made believers out of everyone, and he’s made a believer out of Huffington Post sports columnist Jordan Schultz as well. Yesterday, Schultz named Ulis one of the five “safest” picks in the draft, along with Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, Gonzaga’s Domantas Sabonis, Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine, and Cal’s Jaylen Brown.
What constitutes a “safe” pick, according to Schultz? A player whose skill set transitions well to the NBA game and doesn’t require more development than expected. Here’s why Ulis is the perfect example:
Ulis, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year, offers a sudden burst of explosive ability and creativity at the point guard position. At 5 feet 9 inches, his lack of size will always be a question mark, but his quick hands and surprising strength help compensate. Despite his high usage rate, Ulis rarely turns the ball over and almost always makes the correct basketball play. Whether he becomes a starter or third guard, we can expect the 20-year-old to enjoy a productive NBA career. Very few prospects can run an offense as efficiently.
Some NBA teams are reportedly waffling on Ulis because of his size and an alleged hip injury, but as someone who’s watched him play for two years, I totally agree with Schultz on this one. Whoever takes Ulis isn’t only making a “safe” decision, they’re making the right one.