Vaught’s note: Jessica Jones doesn’t pretend to be a basketball expert, but she is a die-hard Kentucky fan who certainly knows her basketball. She’s a vaughtsviews.com contributor and done her homework to provide her insights on the upcoming NBA Draft. This is part three of a four-part series on UK players hoping to be drafted June 23.
By JESSICA JONES
Kentucky has four young men who have potential to be drafted in the 2016 NBA draft: Jamal Murray, Skal Labissiere, Tyler Ulis, and Alex Poythress. All four have been participating in pre-draft workouts. John Calipari thinks the three early entrants will all be lottery picks. Here’s a look at how they may fair in this month’s draft:
Outlook: Skal was once projected as a top two draft pick alongside Ben Simmons. However, Skal wasn’t impressive in his freshmen season at Kentucky. Some even criticized his decision to leave. Skal is still projected in the lottery, from 7th to 15th in most mock drafts. He has been working out in Florida at IMG Academy where he has been impressive.
He has shown his range with 3-point shooting and his athleticism. I see Skal as a stretch four at the next level. He can be a role player, like Harrison Barnes, with the right team. Skal has to get better at rebounding and put some muscle on his frame to get minutes in the NBA but he can do that if he works hard. Denver has the 7th and 15th picks and could be a good place for Skal. He’s also been mentioned at 13 to Phoenix and 11th to Orlando.
Best Fit: Skal is going to fit in with any of those teams mentioned. The best place for him would be Phoenix, in my opinion. Phoenix is in need of bigs. Skal would be a project for a big but Phoenix might just take that gamble. The Suns have an all Kentucky backcourt already with Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Archie Goodwin, and Devin Booker. Phoenix has a good chance to be a really good team next year by adding three first round picks.
Prediction: 11 Orlando Magic
Next: Jamal Murray.