After a disappointing season for the Kentucky Wildcats, two of their best players may move on to the NBA.
Big man Isaiah Jackson and guard Brandon Boston Jr. have announced they will put their names in for the upcoming NBA draft.
Jackson, projected to be chosen near the end of the lottery/in the teens, was the first to announce. However, he is not hiring an agent and could return to the Wildcats (although players considered first-round locks tend to stay in the draft).
Jackson averaged 8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.6 blocked shots a night for Kentucky this season, although he started slow and played much better for the Wildcats by the end of the season.
Jackson is incredibly athletic and those 2.6 blocks a game are what caught scouts’ eyes — he should be a quality NBA rim protector who can switch onto smaller players on the perimeter. On offense, he has great hands and the potential to face up and show off a jump shot but likely will start as more of a rim runner — which is not a bad thing. Jackson has an obvious fit as a big man in the modern game — a defensive force on one end and a guy who can set a pick then roll-hard to the rim and draw defenses on the other. That has real value in the NBA.
Boston made his announcement this weekend.
Boston, a 6’7″ wing player, projects as a late first/early second-round pick — quite a tumble from the lottery projection he was coming into this season (maybe he climbs up the board with good workouts). He averaged 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game but struggled with his shot, hitting just 30% from three-point range.
Boston has the prototypical size and athleticism of a shot-creating wing in the NBA, but he struggled with both his shot and the college game’s physicality (which only increases in the NBA). With an NBA team that can develop his strength and improve his handles and shooting (both at the rim and from deep), he has the potential to be a quality NBA player at a position of need across the league.
Kentucky’s Terrence Clarke also has announced he would go into the NBA draft. He is projected as a second-round pick at this point.
The date for the NBA draft and the process leading up to it this year have not been finalized and made public by the league.