The 2020 NBA Draft is less than three weeks away, although it’ll take place roughly six months later than it has in the past.
Even if the hype has been dimmed by the clutter of COVID-19 and all major sports playing at the same time, the Draft is still relevant to the Big Blue Nation. As we know, five former Wildcats (six if you count Khalil Whitney, which we will in this scenario) will hope to hear their names called on Nov. 18, with Tyrese Maxey hoping to headline the group as a potential lottery pick.
Maxey recently caught the attention of the entire league after his agent Rich Paul organized a special Pro Day event specifically designed for the Kentucky product and fellow Klutch Sports client, Anthony Edwards out of Georiga. We can’t say at this moment if the production helped aid Maxey’s draft stock, but he was given an opportunity that his peers were not. Considering his status as a lottery-lock has shifted to just a first-round lock over the summer, any exposure is good exposure for him.
Over at ESPN, they recently updated their top 100 best available prospects list and Maxey came in at No. 15 and the third-best shooting guard. Along with Maxey, the rest of Kentucky’s NBA hopefuls–outside of E.J. Montgomery–made the top 100. Here’s where they landed.
No. 15: Tyrese Maxey
– Versatile guard who has the size, strength and length to play either backcourt position. Only 6-3 but has a strong frame and a near 6-8 wingspan. Has a feel for the game that allows him to contribute in a variety of ways. Played mostly off the ball for Kentucky but showed flashes of basic playmaking operating out of pick-and-roll, including the ability to manipulate a ball screen and get to his spots on the floor.
– Instinctive scorer who excels in transition and shows the ability to put the ball in the basket from all over the floor. Plays at different speeds and has an advanced floater game for his age. Finishes through contact. Confident shot-maker with range and touch.
– Physical player defensively. Uses his strong frame, length and anticipation skills to his advantage. Fearless player with toughness and swagger.
– Not a freakish athlete from a run/jump standpoint. Doesn’t have blazing speed. Game revolves more around changes of speed, strength and pace. Struggles to finish over length at times. Can’t always create high percentage shots for himself or others. Made just 49% of his 2-pointers at Kentucky.
– Shot-selection and decision-making are works in progress. Has demonstrated flashes of being able to make others better but was inconsistent in that area. Posted just a 1.4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
– Makes 3s with some volume, but has been streaky throughout his career. Made just 29% of his 3-pointers at Kentucky. Has a low release point on his jumper that hinders him at times when closely contested.
Projected role: Versatile two-way combo guard” – Jonathan Givony
No. 42: Immanuel Quickley
No. 65: Nick Richards
No. 68: Ashton Hagans
No. 75: Khalil Whitney