The NBA Draft doesn’t occur until next month (June 23). But until then, speculation will run rampant among the Wildcat Faithful where the Kentucky prospects will be drafted. And according to several experts, very little is etched in stone.
Kentucky has four players who are draft eligible this summer. Senior Josh Harrellson, junior DeAndre Liggins, freshman Brandon Knight and Enes Kanter who sat out this past season.
Many projections put Enes Kanter in the top three of the draft, which places him with Cleveland, Minnesota or Utah.
Cleveland is expected to pick Duke point guard Kyrie Irving with the first pick, which puts them in line to take anybody they want at the fourth spot. Enes Kanter, if still available, makes sense for the Cavaliers because of his inside presence. However Cleveland also needs help at the shooting guard and the small forward spots. They could trade down for somebody else or they may go with Kanter.
Kanter could also wind up being the second pick in the draft as a compliment to Kevin Love at Minnesota. The Wolves don’t have much of an inside presence, except for Kevin Love. So Kanter’s presence could be a big benefit to Love and Minnesota. However, they may be more interested in Arizona combo forward Derrick Williams. Williams could be a superstar type player for Minnesota. And his versatility may be the reason they take Williams over Kanter.
Enes shouldn’t drop further than Cleveland at number four, barring something unforeseen.
Brandon Knight has been projected as high as number three to Utah, however the Jazz already have Devin Harris on the roster along with another veteran, Earl Watson. The Jazz have a solid group of inside players with Al Jefferson, Derrick Favors and Paul Milsap. Utah may want to add a player like Knight to the perimeter who can keep the defense honest with his three-point shot.
Should Utah pass on Knight, Brandon could see himself slip down to Sacramento at seven or Detroit at number eight. If Knight slips that far, he may be in a battle against Kemba Walker for the second point guard drafted that night.
Both teams need a point guard and the question comes down to whether they want a pure point guard or a scoring point guard.
DeAndre Liggins has been projected as high as 24 (to Oklahoma City) by one mock draft done by The Sporting News and has also been projected out of the draft as well.
Josh Harrellson is in a similar position. Most drafts have him late second round or out of the draft all together. However another mock draft by The Sporting News puts “Jorts” at number 29 to the San Antonio Spurs.
No matter what happens, draft night will be an eventful one to follow for Kentucky fans and at least two Wildcats will know their fates immediately.
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