Phillip Hawkins | June 4, 2017
The 2017 NBA Draft just weeks away. Many Kentucky Basketball fans are wondering where this year’s crop of one and done’s will land.
The bigger question we should be asking is what team is the best fit for each individual player? With all of the talent Kentucky basketball has coming into the league there is a lot of opportunities to shine. They just need to find the right team.
This past season De’Aaron Fox was seen as one of the top guards in the nation. His highlight performance of the season was when he scored a career high, 39 points in the sweet sixteen against UCLA. He is widely seen as a top five pick in this year’s draft. According to DraftExpress.com Fox is the number five pick to the Sacramento Kings in their latest mock draft.
Sacramento is the best team for Fox in the NBA. After trading away Demarcus Cousins, the Kings picked up a lot of talented young players, one of which is Buddy Hield. A backcourt with Fox and Hield offers a lot of youth but are very talented. He would also be teaming up with two former Cats, Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. If the Kings indeed do take Fox, in a few years they would be a force to be reckoned with.
Monk is one of the best athletes and scorers in the draft. He averaged a team high 19.8 points a game but his best performance in a Kentucky basketball uniform came against the eventual national champs North Carolina. In the first match up between the teams he dropped an unbelievable 47 points which was also a Kentucky freshman record. Monk is widely seen as a top 10 pick in this upcoming draft, but according to the latest DraftExpress.com mock draft, Monk is the number six pick to the Orlando Magic.
Monk would be a great choice for the Magic. He fits well with the young core they have there but he could shine more on another team. I believe the team Malik Monk could significantly improve is the Philadelphia 76ers. Philly has the third pick in the draft. Many would see it as a risk, but his talent with the pieces the team already has, Monk could add a different dimension. With rumors of Ben Simmons being a point forward for the 76ers, he would love to be able to drive and dish it to a player with the shooting and athletic ability that Monk has. A young trio of Monk, Simmons and Joel Embiid would be a problem in the Eastern Conference for years to come.
Adebayo, who played a huge for the Cats this past season is going to be a steal in this draft. As the year went on his play got better and better. His best game of the year was when he scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a win against Missouri. In the DraftExpresss.com mock draft Adebayo is a second round pick falling to the Phoenix Suns who have the 32nd pick.
He would be a steal in the second round but Adebayo is most definitely a first round talent. The Suns are in need of an elite big man. Adebayo wouldn’t fit well with in Phoenix. The Los Angeles Lakers are the team for Bam. The Lakers gave Timofey Mozgov a ridiculous contract. He hasn’t lived up to his contract. The Lakers are in need of a franchise big man. The young Lakers are on the rise. He could play alongside former Wildcat Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, and possibly Lonzo Ball. Adebayo could add power and mobility to the big man position.
Kentucky Basketball fans will tune in to see the drama unfold. Although it ws only for a year, these guys made their mark in Kentucky basketball history. As the new crop of talent comes in the old is on their way out and we do it all again after next season. The 2017 NBA Draft is June 22 at 7:00 pm at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tune in to see where these future NBA Cats find their new home.