Kentucky junior Marcus Lee still has the option to return for his senior year, but told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that it’s just a fallback plan and that his mind is firmly set on going pro.
“I haven’t hired an agent,” Lee told Goodman. “Because I want to keep my eligibility just in case I decide to come back, but my plan is to go to the NBA. That’s the only goal.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari encouraged his entire team to declare for the NBA draft because of a new rule that allows players to withdraw in May and return to college, so long as they haven’t hired an agent.
Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere each signed agents, ruling out a return to the Wildcats, but Lee made it clear that coming back to Kentucky is unlikely even if he’s still eligible.
“I want people to know I am serious about this,” Lee told Goodman. “I’ve talked to Coach Cal about this, and he definitely understands that I’m going to the NBA this year.”
Lee broke the Kentucky single-season record for field-goal percentage (with a minimum of 150 attempts) by shooting 68 percent from the floor this season. The 6-foot-9 forward averaged 6.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.