The NBA draft combine is in full swing, and Kentucky players have already received plenty of press for their work in Chicago.
Three Wildcats — Jamal Murray, Skal Labissiere and Tyler Ulis — could potentially land in the Top 14 of this June’s draft as “lottery picks.” Marcus Lee, a projected second-round pick, is also in Illinois, while senior post Alex Poythress is being held out of pre-draft workouts due to a nagging knee injury.
After an All-American season, Murray doesn’t feel he has much to prove before the draft; he opted out of measurements, 5-on-5 scrimmages and the media interview session. Some mock drafts have him going as high as No. 3 overall.
Labissiere could be creeping up draft boards, too.
He reportedly impressed scouts during a Thursday workout. Respected NBA draft analyst Jonathan Givony of Yahoo.com gave a glowing review of the 7-foot Haitian’s performance:
His skill level was extremely impressive. Labissiere made shots from all over the floor, both off the dribble and with his feet set, and showed range out to the NBA three-point line. His footwork and balance was excellent in the post and on the perimeter, and his fundamentals were outstanding for someone who only started playing basketball as a teenager. It’s incredibly rare to see a player his size with that type of touch.
Meanwhile, Ulis measured in at 5-foot-8 and 3/4 inches without shoes and 5-foot-10 inches with shoes, according to Courier-Journal.com‘s Kyle Tucker. That makes him the second-shortest player in the draft class after Oakland’s Kay Felder (5-foot-8 1/4 and 5-foot-9 1/2, respectively).
The former Wildcats point guard showed off an excellent vertical leap (38 inches) and 3/4-court sprint (3.20 seconds), with both measurements unofficially landing him in the top six before testing wrapped up.
“I keep a good attitude because my confidence is high,” Ulis told NBA.com‘s Scott Howard-Cooper this week. “I don’t really think about what people say. Everything’s always worked out well. I was this small at the high school level and it worked out. Obviously it worked out in college. And I feel like it’s going to keep working out.”
Lee, who has left the door open for a return to Lexington, told reporters he’s “87 percent” sure he will sign with an agent and officially enter the draft. He also showed off a new hairstyle:
Lee said Cauley-Stein got wind of his new blonde hair. WCS has experience. pic.twitter.com/XfibRvp8fF
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) May 12, 2016
The NBA Draft Lottery takes place next Tuesday night at 7:45 p.m. ET (ESPN). The draft itself will kick off June 23 on ESPN.