Posted by Royce Young
Much like the Kentucky trio of players that played one year in Lexington and then took their talents to the NBA, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones have declared for the draft.
Neither has hired an agent as of yet, leaving the door open to return to school. However, with both projected to go in the lottery, I'd imagine they'll stick. They have until May 8 to withdraw from the draft and return to Kentucky.
(Also declaring is DeAndre Liggins, junior. He didn't hire an agent yet either.)
With this draft class seen as universally weak, Knight and Jones help things a bit. Knight will likely be the second point guard chosen behind Kyrie Irving with some projections have him going as high as three. Jones is a bit on the fringe of the lottery, but as a versatile, big swingman in a weak draft, he'll probably find a spot in the lottery.
However, neither of these two Kentucky super-freshmen look near as NBA ready as DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall or even Eric Bledsoe did. Knight has some clear holes in his game. There are a lot of concerns that he is the type of point guard that can step in and take over a team and run it. He's a solid scorer, but doesn't posess the same floor generalship that Irving does.
Jones is just inconsistent. He's incredibly skilled for his size (6-8 with a 7-2 wingspan). He can handle, pass, score inside and out, rebound and defend. His biggest issue is not doing all those things at once. He shot the ball poorly in the NCAA tournament and for most of the conference season. He just seems to have problems bringing it consistently, which in a league with 82 games and a game nearly every other night, is a bad thing.
Like I said, I'm assuming Knight and Jones will stay in the draft. Liggins might pull out, but he could see an opportunity to sneak into the first round with this being a weak draft. His stock rose with a solid NCAA tournament where he hit some big shots. Players like Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger likely influenced these decisions a bit with their decision to stay in school. Especially for Jones who is almost a lock for the lottery now.