We’re approaching mock draft season, and the number of Kentucky Wildcats that are on those lists are continuing to grow. We’re now up to three in the latest ESPN NBA Mock Draft.
In a series of mock drafts, five-star freshman TyTy Washington and 2022 reclassified to 2021, Shaedon Sharpe, both have made the cut several times. But this time, National Player of the Year candidate, Oscar Tshiebwe, has ‘entered the chat.’
In the latest mock draft, Shaedon Sharpe leads the way with a projected pick of 8th overall, which the San Antonio Spurs own the rights to.
Next up is TyTy Washington at 10th overall by the Portland Trailblazers.
Lastly, Oscar Tshiebwe is being (finally) projected to get picked late in the second round, around the 43rd pick by the Charlotte Hornets.
These projections are assuming they all actually enter the draft this summer, and I think the only ‘lock’ to do so is TyTy Washington. With a whole new batch of freshman coming in, and him performing as expected in his assumed one-and-done year in Lexington, he’ll be getting pushed on out the door. There’s no reason for him to come back - it’s without a doubt his time to go get drafted. A top 7-13th projection on most boards, why wouldn’t you?
Shaedon and Oscar are a different story. Over recent weeks, John Calipari has expressed very heavily that Shaedon Sharpe plans to return this summer and spend a full year in Lexington playing for his team next season. Now, if that actually comes true is something else. But, if you’re asking me, if I’m being projected a top-ten pick, like many others, I’m gone. There’s so much guaranteed money at that slot and the NBA is the ultimate goal for these guys, right?
For Oscar, he’s playing out of his mind this season, but he’ll have to weigh out what would be the best move for him this offseason when that time comes. There are a lot of questions surrounding a possible return. Can he come back and have a better season than a potential ‘player of the year’ season? I’m not entirely sure about that. But, he’s seems to be loving Lexington, and Lexington loves him a whole lot as well. Scratch that, this entire state loves him and we’re also seeing it carry over throughout college basketball. He’s becoming a fan favorite and also one of the best big men in the country. Then you add on top of that, him just getting approved this past weekend to start capitalizing on his name, image and likeness. In a period of three days, it’s been reported that he will have a multi-million dollar amount of deals waiting for him already, if he decided to come back. If you compare that to what he’ll get as one of the last picks of the draft - or maybe even going undrafted - then with either result expecting to spend some time in the G-League, I think I know which one is winning financially.
There’s a lot of time to keep discussing this, but it seems as evident as ever that TyTy and Oscar are only worried about making a deep postseason run, as they have stated through many press conference interviews, while all the NBA stuff will come afterwards.