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BBNBA: Updated NBA Mock Drafts

With Kentucky’s season officially over, it’s now that nerve-racking time of the year where Wildcat fans obsess over which players will be staying and which ones will be spending their immediate future in the big leagues.

Nothing has been made official yet, but the consensus seems to be that P.J. Washington and Keldon Johnson are likely heading to the NBA Draft. Both are considered first-round locks and should benefit from what is being publicized as a historically weak draft. Reid Travis will obviously audition for a spot in the draft while the decisions for Tyler Herro and Ashton Hagans are still up in the air.

Below I am going to compile the numbers and predictions from five different sources that have evaluated these players and ranked them according to their research. The mock draft rankings will be pulled from ESPN, NBC Sports, Sporting News, Tankathon, and The Athletic.

Let’s start with the two players expected to be drafted the earliest; Washington and Johnson.

P.J. Washington

ESPN: 13th – Miami Heat

NBC Sports: 12th – Charlotte Hornets

Sporting News: 16th Brooklyn Nets

Tankathon: 24th – Philadelphia 76ers

The Athletic: 14th

Conclusion: Washington is going to be a borderline lottery selection. Him going anywhere in the top 10 would be a shock at this point, unless he does incredibly well with individual team workouts. The top of this draft is littered with wings/guards and Washington might actually be one of the two or three best frontcourt prospects along with Jaxson Hayes (Texas) and Brandon Clarke (Gonzaga), but his 6-foot-7 frame is going to hurt his draft status more than anything. However, shooting over 42 percent from three as a sophomore gives him a massive boost in his potential as an undersized forward. The NBA is thriving off of players like that right now.

Tankathon slotting Washington at 24th is low. Any team would scoop him up before he hit the mid-20s, in my opinion, but somewhere in the 11-19 range sounds about right for what he brings to the table. I doubt there’s a multiple time All-Star lurking inside of Washington, but a rotational NBA role player could very well be in his future.

Keldon Johnson

ESPN: 15th – Orlando Magic

NBC Sports: 20th – Indiana Pacers

Sporting News: 15th – Miami Heat

Tankathon: 21st – Indiana Pacers

The Athletic: 18th

Conclusion: The consensus on Johnson is a bit more clear than Washington. All five sites have the 6-foot-5 wing going in the 15-21 range. He’s much more raw in terms of overall talent than Washington, but is clearly a bonafide scorer from most areas of the court and was a massively underrated rebounder during his freshman year. Johnson’s NBA ceiling is far superior to Washington in that the NBA is built around big wing players like Johnson who can create their own offense. He should be more of a “work-in-progress” type of prospect, but one that some team in the late-teens will take a chance on if they missed out on a wing player earlier in the draft.

Ashton Hagans

ESPN: 41st – Atlanta Hawks

NBC Sports: N/A

Sporting News: N/A

Tankathon: N/A

The Athletic: 53rd

Conclusion: Personally, I hope Hagans comes back for another season, but I would easily understand why he’d choose to try his hand in the NBA after just one year. Hagans has the benefit of being younger than most of his peers, which could result in him having a “longer leash” of sorts once he does make it to the next level. The back end of this draft is nothing special. Hagans could very easily sneak into the second round and if an NBA team gives him a guarantee, I think he should take it.

Hagans could just as easily come back and boost his stock to the moon with an improved season as the lead guard on another elite Kentucky team, but his overall play dwindled towards the end of this season and could happen again. In my opinion, Hagans is the riskiest prospect from an NBA perspective. There’s a lot to love about his defense but way more to question about his offense. If next year’s draft is better than this one – as it is expected to be – Hagans could improve and still find himself in the second round. A lot of it is going to come down to what he hears from the NBA Combine in mid-May.

Tyler Herro

ESPN: 20th – Oklahoma City Thunder

NBC Sports: 17th – Detroit Pistons

Sporting News: 26th – Philadelphia 76ers

Tankathon: 20th – Boston Celtics

The Athletic: 24th

Conclusion: If you’re hoping and praying that Tyler Herro returns to Kentucky for his sophomore season, you might want to avert your eyes from any and all NBA mock drafts. The Bucket is going to get a first-round guarantee by some team. His defense improved enough throughout the season that it can no longer be held against him and his offense has been a proven trait of his since December.

Anywhere outside of the lottery and into the late first-round appears to be the consensus from the media. There’s guaranteed money as a first-round pick and Herro could face a similar decision that Hagans is feeling: would he find himself in the position again next season? If Herro comes back, Kentucky can kick off the season as a title favorite. But will there be more draft-eligible players in next year’s draft that could surpass him even if he shines again as a sophomore? These are surely things he’ll want to try and get a better idea of come the Combine. If I’m Herro (and I very clearly am not), I put my name in the draft and don’t look back.

Reid Travis

Only ESPN and The Athletic had mock drafts that also included the second-round. Neither of them had Reid Travis listed. I’m not entirely sure where Travis sits right now with NBA front offices and scouts, but we’ll definitely have a better idea of that after the Combine. With Travis, there is no returning to UK. Preparing for the NBA draft is all he has left as a college athlete. Travis has a solid wingspan, a massive frame, and great instincts around the basket. Extending his range to the perimeter towards the end of the season surely did him some favors with scouts, but at 23-years old, his potential isn’t going to be as promising as the 19 and 20-year olds. He’s a below average passer and not quite the shot blocker NBA teams would like. He’ll find his way onto a team somehow, whether it’s through the draft or being picked up as a free agent, but it could come with a lengthy stint in the G League first.

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Recruiting reporter for KSR. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

19 Comments for BBNBA: Updated NBA Mock Drafts

  1. bwise
    7:08 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Hagans should look at marquise Teague….enough said

    • CatfaninCinci
      7:35 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Teague was a much more polished offensive player. NBA covets offense. Hagans will wash out of the league just like Teague did if he goes.

    • Irish son
      8:50 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

      Any GM that drafts Hagans should and will get fired

  2. CoachCat
    7:15 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Lol. Keldon Johnson in the first round is crazy. He’s still a kid and it showed more than once on the court. I like him. He’s got the makings of a NBA player but if he goes it will be G league for a couple years

  3. Glock
    7:20 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Great analysis by u both

  4. Glock
    7:20 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Teague was waaaaay better than Hagans

  5. UKinIN
    7:51 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Hagans is actually older than Herro and Johnson.

  6. michaelb
    7:58 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Reid is fully capable of playing in the modern day NBA . He plays good , rebounds & has a nice 3 pt shot. Plus he a professional off the court. Disciplined.

  7. Catcasey1
    8:19 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Hope Hagan goes He is and will always be a bad shooter just is what it is

  8. Kyceltsfan
    8:29 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Honestly other than PJ and Reid no one else is ready for the NBA in my opinion. I hope they all stay as I enjoy watching them play and grow.

  9. kjd
    8:35 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Hagans is a bust if he goes. Poor ball handling, no outside shot. Needs a lot of work.

    9:33 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Not a fan of this article. The analysis on Hagans is ridiculous, esp mentioning his age which is not accurate. He is simply going by his reclass and assuming he is young. Look up his age writer.

  11. tfordstyle
    9:38 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    took me longer to spell goeghggahhan than to look up how old hagans is

  12. dgtuk
    9:44 pm April 7, 2019 Permalink

    Horrible take that Hagans could and or should go or that it is understandable. Quite frankly if he does it will be a horrible decision for only one person Hagans. He will be forgotten and lost within 2 years. Come back and have a better chance to secure a spot.

  13. CatManDo
    6:30 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

    Agree with those that say Hagans has no business going. I would have to think he would improve his situation by coming back. Even if he didn’t he would be better off as a free agent than a second round pick.
    I hope Keldon doesn’t become another James Young-I believe he is more level headed than Young though.

  14. makeitstop
    8:16 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

    The Teague comparison is actually pretty close. He seemed far better offensively bc he was surrounded by more talent but his per 40 minute adjusted numbers were similar. Assist to turnover 6:3 (actually Hagans a smidge better), Hagans about 11pp and Teague about 12.5. Hagans a little better FT shooter. Hagans rebounded a bit better but that’s bc Teague didn’t have to… biggest differences are that Hagans played better D and Teague was a way better 3 pt shooter… not great but both volume and percentage, accounting for the point per game diff. He was just under 33% but u had to guard him, they don’t even pretend to crowd Hagans. Point is he played in about half the Bull’s games his first year then they gave up, and he’s been a mostly G-League player since, playing maybe 20 games a year in the NBA for a couple years then 3 last year. Also drafted end of 1st round. Hagans needs at least another year or that’s about his trajectory. Riding busses waiting for a 10 day call up, and 3 minutes per game. He has to decide if he can beat Maxey our though. That’s his dilemma.

    • IheartRex
      11:52 am April 8, 2019 Permalink

      The difference between Teague and Hagans is that Teague improved consistently throughout the year especially in decision making. Hagans on the other hand didn’t improve his decision making at all.

  15. Glock
    1:12 pm April 8, 2019 Permalink

    And Teague could make a layup.