The NBA Draft Combine begins this week in Chicago, with Kentucky sophomore-to-be PJ Washington one of the players scheduled to participate in anticipation of the June 21 draft.
Washington has not signed with an agent, meaning the Texas native has until May 30 to withdraw his name from the draft pool and return to school.
ESPN draft analyst Jonathon Givony ranks Washington 51st on his list of top 100 prospects for the 2018 draft. That would put Washington as a late second-round choice.
But Jeremy Woo of CBS Sports is already looking ahead to the 2019 NBA Draft. And he ranks Washington No. 19 on his list of top 30 prospects for next year's selections.
"Washington will have a chance to solidify his stock at the combine, but seems more likely to land in the early second round than the first, which could lead to another year of school," Woo writes. "He doesn't have crazy upside, but his skill level on the interior and explosiveness off the floor could make him a quality role player."
In my Sunday column, I wrote about the Combine and how Kentucky's roster for 2018-19 will be shaped by what happens this week in Chicago. Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt are both participating. Neither has signed with an agent.
My H-L colleague Jerry Tipton writes about the interview process at the Combine and how saying "please" and "thank you" count when it comes to making an impression with NBA teams.
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report says that Vanderbilt is one of the players with the most to gain at the Combine.
"From a draft-stock perspective," writes Wasserman, "Jarred Vanderbilt may have been better off missing the season instead of returning from a foot injury midway through to play 17.0 minutes per game and average 5.9 points on 42.6 percent shooting. More questions popped up once he took the floor."
Vanderbilt also missed the entire postseason because of an ankle injury. Should he return to UK to prove he can stay healthy? Or would he better off to go ahead and jump to the pros, even if it means playing in the G-league?
ESPN2 is showing parts of the Combine and you can catch it streaming on WatchESPN.
The NBA Draft Lottery will be held Tuesday night in Chicago.