NBA Draft – UK Players

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Anthony Davis- #1 pick — Davis is the sure fire #1 pick and looks to help resurrect the New Orleans Hornets.  The Hornets traded starting Center Emeka Okafor to help open up more minutes for Davis.  It will be interesting to see if they try and play Davis at C or PF.  I think he can play both throughout the course of a game, but still needs to add bulk to match-up with a player like Lakers Center Andrew Bynum.  Plus the Hornets have a more than capable center in former All-Star Chris Kaman to help shoulder the heavy lifting down low.  I have yet to see anything on the basketball court that Davis can’t do and is only going to get better and stronger.  Davis projects to be the surest player to have a great career out  of this strong draft and I project him to be in numerous All-Star games.  The West is deep at the power-forward position, but when you are being compared to Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan you are going to have a great career.  It will be interesting to see how the Hornets build around this pick and develop the rest of their team.  They have stud SG Eric Gordon coming back from injury and the #10 pick to help add another young piece.

 

 

 

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist- Lottery Pick — Often times overshadowed because of Davis and also because of UK’s wealth of talent.  MKG played his role and didn’t have to take over games, which he could have if he was on just about any other team in the nation.  All you need to see is the 24 point 19 rebound game he posted against Louisville in the regular season to know that this guy is a gamer.  He has all the intangibles and only cares about winning.  Honestly watching him for Kentucky he reminds me of John Wall in the open court. When he gets a defensive rebound the defense has to get back or he will get to the rim in a hurry.  With his speed and long strides no one can get in front of him… Still has to work on jumper but dude is a beast and is being compared to Gerald Wallace at the pro level.  Early in the draft process he was projected as high as #2 to Charlotte, but it is reported he had less than stellar workouts and teams looking for a small forward would rather take the more NBA ready and better shooting Harrison Barnes over MKG. Still he has potential landing spots in Cleveland (#4), Sacramento (#5), or Golden State (#7).  I think he would be a great fit for Golden State, but I have a feeling Sacramento is going to snatch him up and pair him with fellow UK alums Demarcus Cousins and Chuck Hayes and former Louisville players Francisco Garcia and Terrence Williams. What an awesome team that will be to root for!

Terrence Jones- Mid-First Round — Has all the talent in the world and an NBA body, but just can’t put it all together consistently. Sometimes loses focus and energy which has hurt his stock (ie: the Indiana regular season loss in which he had only 4 points, 1 rebound, and 6 turnovers in 28 minutes). I think he is too predictable and mechanical in his moves, but was really been a force down low when paired with Davis.  In his freshman year he played soft in the post, but I have been impressed with his strength down low this past year. He is a bit of a Tweener who will prob get minutes at both forwards. I see him having a mediocre NBA career floating around for years as more of a rotation player.  He measured well at the combine and impressed some, but rumored to have not stood out as much in individual workouts. On mocks he has been as high as #7 to Golden State to as low as #23 to Atlanta.  Golden State was apparently one of the teams he didn’t wow so I don’t expect him to go that high.  I expect him to fall somewhere in the 14-22 range with Boston, Denver, or Dallas being probable landing spots.

 

Doron Lamb- Mid/Late Rounder– Even in what people are calling a strong draft class, I think that UK’s all time 3 pt fg % leader (48.47% for career) will be selected first round.  He is really not getting a lot of buzz in war rooms, but the guy knows how to play the game.   He is a lights out spot up shooter, demonstrated ability to create own shot this year, and is not as small as people try to make him out to be. With his stroke he can def find a niche in NBA much like Jodie Meeks/Leandro Barbosa have done.  I think he could go as high as #18 to Minnesota who are in desperate need for shooting from the wings as Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington, and Martell Webster are just not cutting it.  That is a little high for him though.  I think a couple even better and more likely destinations would be #24 to Cleveland to line-up next to Kyrie and possibly Barnes or MKG (if they pick one of them at #4) or Chicago at #29 where he can learn from Rip Hamilton and play next to Derrick Rose.

 

Marques Teague- Late/Mid First Round— With a weak PG class, a team in need of a point guard could jump at the opportunity of Teague’s potential.  Damian Lillard is the top point guard in this draft, but after that there are mixed opinions on the second best between Teague, Kendall Marshall, and some even like the potential of Tony Wroten who is very raw with a broken shot, but is an athletic freak.    To me, due to Marshall’s lack of speed and offense, Teague is the next best PG prospect.  His jump shot is unorthodox, but given the space can knock it down. His strength lies in his quickness, allowing him to get to rim at will.  He is one of the best at the collegiate level at finishing at the rim in traffic. When the shot clock was running down for Kentucky he usually had the ball and was the one to make the play even with all the above mentioned talent on this past years team.  He almost always gets free and gets a good shot or if the defense collapses throws it at the rim for Davis. He won’t be able to do that as well in NBA but he is smart player and will find a way to get the job done. Also was only a freshman so plenty of room to grow. I have seen him being drafted as high as #16 to Houston, which is very possible considering their need for a PG with Dragic a free agent and Lowery sometimes getting in Kevin McHale’s doghouse.  Some other possible destinations are Dallas #17, Denver #20 (replace Andre Miller as Ty Lawson’s back-up), Atlanta #23 (back-up his brother),  Indiana #26, or Golden State #30.

 

Darius Miller- Early/Mid Second Rounder– You know what you are getting with Miller. He is a long wing player who can shoot the spot up J. He can defend decently and is ok off the dribble, but best as a catch and shoot. Biggest weakness is when he is forced to dribble the ball up the court or against pressure and make decisions. In the NBA, the PG will handle just about all those responsibilities so he can focus on spotting up and crashing boards. He has NBA size and if he applies himself can become a rotation player. I think the best scenario would be some playoff team looking to add a player with his strengths will snag him early/mid 2nd round.  Looking at teams with earlier second round picks, Cleveland #33 and #34, Golden State #35, and Atlanta #43 could be potential landing spots.

Vargas- Senior — Calipari answer when asked about Vargas NBA potential -“What I say is you’ve got a 6-10, 6-11 player who can rebound and run the court and is more skilled than you think,” Calipari said. “You know, you look in the NBA, how many big guys are there? They’ve got 30 teams. You look at all these teams in Europe, if he chooses to do this, he’ll continue to play.”   Thanks for the support coach, but in all honesty, Vargas will be playing in Europe or NBDL.