Report: Kentucky’s Kidd-Gilchrist will declare for NBA draft

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This is bound to cause controversy. In part because some passionate fans of Kentucky do not want to believe it.

Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will declare for the NBA draft, reports Chad Ford at ESPN (a pay-per-view article).

Multiple sources close to Kidd-Gilchrist told ESPN.com on Thursday that Kidd-Gilchrist will enter the 2012 NBA Draft after Kentucky’s season ends.

I hear you now — Kidd-Gilchrist said earlier this month that he was going to stay at Kentucky next season. He said he would graduate from the school. I know that. We hear the same thing every year. Guys say that and may mean it at the time but change their minds. There are the exceptions — Jared Sullinger last year who did stay last year at Ohio State — but for the most part guys say they will stay because it’s what people want to hear. Who wants to walk around campus after saying they are gone? Who wants to deal with local media and passionate alumni asking you about it or trying to change your mind every day? Say you’ll stay, then when you find out your actual draft status — ideally not what friends and agents tell you but rather what the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee tells you — make a decision.

In the case of Kidd-Gilchrist, DraftExpress has him going No. 3. It’s easy to see why — not only does he have skills but he has an incredible motor. This guy busts it for everything and can defend on the perimeter at an NBA level. He’ll not only help you in games, he’ll help you in practices because he will push everyone.

I think college players should be careful about declaring for the draft, but if you are a lock lottery pick like Kidd-Gilchrist there are financial risks to not coming out. And those are the kind of things that might change anyone’s mind.

Besides, maybe he will still get to play for John Calipari in the NBA.