Tuesday night the league hosted their annual 'Draft Lottery' in which all the teams who have picks within the first two rounds of this years draft were informed of the order they'll be selecting. The top-five picks were awarded to the Orlando Magic (1st), Oklahoma City Thunder (2nd), Houston Rockets (3rd), Sacramento Kings (4th) and the Detroit Pistons (5th). I'm only telling you this information because a former Kentucky "player" is projected to get selected by one of these teams.
With the draft order officially being out, Shaedon Sharpe is being projected to go fourth overall to the Sacramento Kings. Now, this is only if he decides to remain in the draft and not withdraw from it. He has until June 1st to return to Kentucky or not, but if we're being honest with ourselves, we all know what he's going to do. This piece of news only further cements that with it being such a high projected pick that no one in their right mind could turn down.
As we all have seen the writing on the wall for quite some time now, Shaedon isn't coming back. At least, I don't think that he is. While he's been telling everyone he plans to since arriving on campus back in January, I just don't see how any of that isn't bluff. I mean, why would he? Of course we all desperately want him to but when you sit back and debate it, what does he gain from coming back? Right now he's projected as a top-four pick with some serious money to take home. The fourth pick is projected to receive an average of $6 million dollars once chosen. That's not even including endorsements and league incentives.
The sole reason he'd come back to Lexington would to be to improve his draft stock (outside of the experience) and jumping from 4th to the top-three means he would have to come back and have an All-American/NPOY type of year which isn't very easy to do, and definitely isn't something that's guaranteed to happen. Actually, the odds are more likely for it not to happen if we're keeping in real. Then what? His draft stock drops and he loses out on a lot of money and another 12 months of his basketball career for a level of basketball that he is already superior to skill-wise? It just doesn't make any sense to return and any logic tells us he won't outside of his camp consistently telling the media that he will.
Unfortunately, I'd bet the house on him going through with his draft process and becoming a none-and-done at Kentucky, and the first Wildcat to get drafted top-five since De'Aaron Fox in 2017.
Multiple reports from NBA scouts over the last few weeks just seem to be drooling over what they've seen from Shaedon Sharpe. A lot of smart individuals are confident in saying he's a lock for a franchise to take in this draft and to come back to college would be a waste of time. It's becoming only more clear that college was a waste of time the whole time as he's been ready for the NBA since his junior year of High School. That's why he left so early. He was wasting valuable time beating up on future W2 employees instead of developing his body somewhere that had the proper facilities to do so. Kentucky was the short term answer for 6 months to buy him some time in between his real senior year and the NBA Draft. No hate, I'm just calling it like I see it. I would've done the same thing if I was him and given those circumstances. It just sucks because we're getting the bad end of the stick in a time when we really would like to benefit from it.
In less than two weeks we'll know what his decision is, but take my word for it, don't get your hopes up on seeing him in Rupp Arena next year. His locker will be sitting in Sacramento.