By LARRY VAUGHT
It seems every day that Archie Goodwin is working out for a different NBA team. The former Kentucky guard opted to put his name into the NBA draft after his freshman season and is trying to show teams why they should select some. He’s been projected as anywhere from a late first-round choice to a late second-round pick destined for the NBA Developmental League next season.
“He had a list of teams he started working out for and then other teams called and wanted to add him to take a look at him,” said Datron Humphrey, Goodwin’s stepfather. “He has been getting positive feedback. He is enjoying this moment and we are just happy for him. He’s getting good workout reviews, so I guess good news travels to other teams to keep him busy.”
Goodwin, who still is only 18 and is the youngest American player in the draft, has the athleticism and wingspan (6-10) that NBA scouts like. Some do worry about his shot selection and consistency from 3-point range (26.6 percent last year) and the foul line (63.7 percent). He had 11 straight Southeastern Conference games without a made 3-pointer.
“He worked on his jump shot even when he came home from the (NBA) combine,” Humphrey said. “We will continue to work on it until he is drafted. That shot will get there. He’s just got to get his reps up.”
Kyle Nelson of DraftExpress.com thought Goodwin had a “solid” freshman season and praised his potential on the defensive end where he guarded three positions “primarily due to his good lateral quickness and excellent length.” Nelson cited consistency and focus as “significant issues” for Goodwin. “Scouts will be evaluating his ability to consistently stay in front of NBA-caliber shooting guards throughout the pre-draft process,” Nelson posted in his draft analysis.
He also noted it was “hard not to be intrigued the potential he brings” because of his “ability to get his own shot around the basket, his well above average physical profile and his upside as a defender.”
Humphrey says Goodwin is “excited” about the draft process and enjoying the various workouts in different cities.
“He likes showing what he is capable of doing,” Humphrey said. “Teams don’t say a lot. They kind of keep it between them and the player so not to tip their hand if they are considering picking him. But they are giving a lot of good feedback to his agent. I have not actually talked to teams myself. I just talk to him.”
Humphrey said Goodwin just he was “ready to make a move” when he put his name into the draft instead of returning to UK for his sophomore season even though UK coach John Calipari has indicated he felt Goodwin should have returned.
“He believes he can perform at that level (in the NBA). We talked and said, ‘Let’s follow your dream,’” Humphrey said. “Probably Kentucky fans have not had a chance to see the whole Archie. The times he went through at Kentucky and the criticism he took, we took that and learned from it. I guess you can say you take the bad and make a positive out of it. That’s what we did. Kentucky fans just need to continue to follow him and they will see the real Archie. They won’t be disappointed.”
Goodwin was the focal point of considerable criticism from Calipari and especially UK fans. However, after Nerlens Noel was injured, he also was often the focal point of opposing defenses.
“Most of his mistakes were from going too fast and being out of control,” one NBA scout, who cannot be named talking about specific players, said. “But you don’t mind that. You can teach a kid to slow down. It’s hard to get guys to go all-out who don’t play that way. He has to get his shot more consistent and work on his ballhandling, but you don’t question his effort.”