Just two Kentucky Wildcats were included in the latest NBA mock draft from ESPN on Friday, and another UK player tumbled dozens of spots in the pro prospect rankings.
ESPN now lists freshman guard Tyrese Maxey as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2020 draft, going to the Washington Wizards. The five players listed ahead of Maxey in the new mock draft were, in order, Georgia guard Anthony Edwards, former Memphis post player James Wiseman, Australian league guard LaMelo Ball, Iowa State sophomore point guard Tyrese Haliburton, and Israeli wing Deni Avdija.
The only other Kentucky player on ESPN’s newest list is sophomore point guard Ashton Hagans, who has worked his way to the No. 29 overall spot in the draft. (ESPN is predicting Hagans to the Los Angeles Lakers with that pick).
Meanwhile, freshman forward Kahlil Whitney, who was listed at No. 17 overall in ESPN’s most recent update, is now out of the 2020 mock draft completely. He is ranked at No. 55 on the website’s Top 100 prospects list, which would be in the range of a late second-round pick, but his ommission from the mock draft itself suggests a prediction that Whitney would not leave Kentucky if he were going to be taken that late in the draft.
None of UK’s other active scholarship players — graduate student Nate Sestina, junior Nick Richards, sophomores EJ Montgomery and Immanuel Quickley, or freshmen Keion Brooks and Johnny Juzang — are listed among ESPN’s Top 100 prospects. The NBA Draft includes 60 total picks.
The Wildcats’ roster also includes freshman wing Dontaie Allen, who has not played this season as he recovers from a knee injury. UK’s incoming recruiting class consists of two projected lottery picks in 2021 — shooting guards Brandon Boston and Terrence Clarke — as well as five-star point guard Devin Askew, five-star forward Isaiah Jackson, and four-star forwards Cam’Ron Fletcher and Lance Ware.