Bam Adebayo confirmed Tuesday that he is hiring an agent and staying in the NBA Draft.
“After talking with Coach Cal, the staff and my family, I have decided it’s in my best interest to remain in the draft,” Adebayo said in a statement released by UK.
“This process we went through at Kentucky was a tough but a rewarding one. It was everything I wanted when I decided to come to Kentucky. It taught me a lot. It taught me how to be a better man on and off the court. I have improved so much since the beginning of the season thanks to the hard work of the coaching staff. They helped me with every step of the process along the way and they never gave up on me.
“I also want to thank my teammates. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to grow with. We were all like brothers. I also want to thank the fans for their support and everything they do for us. Their passion is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”
Also, Hamidou Diallo announced Sunday that he’s testing his draft stock, but has not yet signed with an agent to keep open the possibility of returning to Kentucky next season.
The Wildcats will also be without seniors Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis and Mychal Mulder next season.
Adebayo averaged 13.0 points and a team-high eight rebounds. He also led UK with 57 blocks.
The 6-foot-10 freshman from Little Washington, N.C., averaged a double-double during the Wildcats’ late-season 14-game winning streak.
“Bam has more perimeter skills than people know, and is someone with size and a physique that immediately translates to (the NBA),” UK Coach John Calipari tweeted after Adebayo’s initial announcement that he was testing his draft stock. Bam is a great kid with a ton of upside. Should he decide to stay in the draft, he will be an outstanding four-man in the NBA.”
The most recent mock draft by ESPN’s Chad Ford (from April 18) has Monk fourth, Fox seventh and Adebayo 17th. That mock draft only includes the first round.