The NCAA’s new rules allowing college basketball players to keep their names in the NBA Draft longer has caused more players to declare for the draft and test the waters than ever before. The NBA Draft Combine expanded its invites.
Despite the influx, there are still only 60 picks made in the draft and not everyone is going to get picked. It is as much a game of maximizing your value in front of NBA scouts than it is anything else. And there is always misdirection when it comes to the draft.
Players have until May 25 to decide whether to return to school or remain in the NBA Draft and forego the rest of their eligibility. This timeline should have some players sweating about their status in the draft.
For Kentucky freshmen Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee, that decision is getting more urgent as the deadline approaches. Neither have withdrawn their name from the draft, but scouts do not appear to be warming up to them.
One scout tells Adam Zagoria of SNY that both need to withdraw from the draft and return to Lexington for next season:
NBA scout on Kentucky's Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee: 'Neither one of them is ready. They both need to go back to school'
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 23, 2016
Briscoe averaged 9.6 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 43.9 percent from the floor. Lee averaged 6.4 points per game and 6.0 rebounds per game in a little more than 20 minutes per game. They both appear to have NBA talent and a chance in their future.
But it does not appear that their time is now.
DraftExpress, a Web site that covers the NBA Draft, has neither getting selected in the NBA Draft this year. DrafExpress projects Briscoe being selected 44th overall in their 2017 mock draft and they have Lee as the 29th best junior overall.
It seems expected that both these talented and key players will return to Kentucky. Briscoe, though, is still taking workouts with teams up until the withdraw deadline on Wednesday.
It seems pretty clear from the tea leaves and mock drafts available that both players would be better served developing their games at least another year at Kentucky.