After getting a good look at many of the top high school basketball prospects at this past weekend’s Hoophall Classic, the NBA Draft team at ESPN updated its projections for 2021.
A couple of future Kentucky Wildcats landed in prominent spots.
ESPN is projecting that shooting guards Brandon Boston and Terrence Clarke will go No. 8 and No. 9 in the 2021 NBA Draft, respectively, after playing next season at Kentucky. The ESPN rankings for the class of 2020 were also updated this week. Boston was No. 6 on that list, while Clarke was ranked No. 8.
Former UK target Cade Cunningham, an Oklahoma State signee, is projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft by ESPN, which placed uncommitted high school senior Jalen Green at No. 2, Southern Cal signee Evan Mobley at No. 3, uncommitted high school forward Jonathan Kuminga at No. 4, and uncommitted high school senior Ziaire Williams at No. 5.
Kuminga is currently in the 2021 class, but he is widely expected to reclassify to 2020 following the Nike season later this year. Kentucky is thought to be one of his top options — along with Auburn, Duke and Louisiana State — if he does make the jump to college next season.
Boston and Clarke were the only Kentucky players or recruits listed in the 2021 mock draft. ESPN has only two current UK players listed in its most recent 2020 mock draft — Tyrese Maxey and Ashton Hagans — suggesting that the Wildcats could have some more continuity on the roster in future seasons. Freshman Kahlil Whitney was previously projected as a first-round pick in 2020, but the struggling UK forward is now no longer listed in either of ESPN’s mock drafts.
Also missing from both mock drafts are current scholarship players Nick Richards, Immanuel Quickley, EJ Montgomery, Keion Brooks, Johnny Juzang and Dontaie Allen, as well as 2020 signees Devin Askew, Cam’Ron Fletcher, Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware.
Wildcats target Greg Brown is listed as the No. 12 pick in the 2021 mock draft. Brown is still considering UK, Auburn, Memphis, Michigan and Texas in his recruitment.