With the NBA Draft less than a week behind us, it's not too early to start looking at 2014, when multiple Kentucky players are expected to be first-rounders.
And could a Wildcat end up No. 1, even with Andrew Wiggins holding a seemingly virtual lock on the top spot?
Chad Ford (who has seven UK players in his top 30 for next year's draft) thinks so, as discussed in his latest open chat, when asked if there's a chance Julius Randle could end up being No. 1:
Sure. In any other draft, he'd be the consensus No. 1 pick. He's a beast of a low post player -- blessed with strength, athleticism, and a very polished inside/outside game. As long as Calapari can convince him not to fall in love with his jump shot, he's got a chance to be the most dominant big man in the country. Teams always covet players like Randle and if Wiggins stumbles, they'll jump.
Ford also said that Andrew Harrison could have been the No. 2 pick this year if he had been eligible in that class, and that he could vie with Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart to be the top point guard taken next year.
As for Nerlens Noel's slip to No. 6, Ford hears it wasn't the knee that led teams to pass on him:
Doesn't sound like from all the intel I can gather. I've talked to a number of teams that passed on him and none mentioned long-term concerns with the knee. I think they WERE worried about drafting a guy who might not play for them next year. Even the GMs that WANT to be bad next year were worried that their jobs might be in jeopardy if they didn't have their top draft pick for the year. That's the sort of short term thinking that put a lot of these teams in the lottery to begin with.