Six Kentucky players participated in last week’s NBA draft combine in Chicago in preparation for the draft later this month, but Ed Isaacson of www.NBADraftBlog.com has been evaluating the Wildcats’ NBA prospects for months.
Isaacson predicted well before Kentucky’s national championship season ended that Anthony Davis was clearly the No. 1 pick in the draft, with no player even a close second. He shared these insights on UK’s other players going into the draft before the players were measured and evaluated at the combine:
Have the impressions of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist changed any, and do you think there is a chance he could be in the top four picks?
“No, my impression of Kidd-Gilchrist has remained much the same, and I think more people are starting to see things in a similar fashion to me:¿He will be a great role player for a team, but you don't spend a top-five pick on role players.
“The intangibles are impressive, but they will only get you so far. He can absolutely go in the top four picks, but I think the teams picking two through five have better options.”
What positives and negatives are you hearing about Terrence Jones? Has he helped himself any since the end of the season?
“The concerns with Jones have remained largely the same since the season ended: 1. Will he play with a consistent effort?¿Two: He needs to realize he is effective around the basket, not shooting jumpers, and Three: offense is fun, but he needs to put a lot of work into becoming a better defender.
“The positives also have remained similar:¿He has an NBA body, he is a skilled scorer around the basket, he runs the court very well for his size, and he is a strong rebounder when he puts in the effort.
“Jones is really just getting started on his pre-draft tour of teams, but he is one player that is really going to need to make a good impression during interviews with team personnel.”
Where does Marquis Teague seem to be fitting into the draft projections now that teams are taking a close look at him? What are seen as his weaknesses?
“Teague has settled into the 18 to 25 range in most draft projections, but that could still fluctuate in the next few weeks, especially because of his weaknesses.
“He is an average shooter and has difficulty creating his own shot; his decision-making, while improved, is still far way from that of an NBA point guard; and while he was running the dribble-drive offense very well by the end of the season, he really needs to show that he can more complex offenses.”