Wed May 15 06:29pm EDT
Archie Goodwin won't be a part of next year's loaded, national title-favorite Kentucky team.
Instead, he's heading into murky NBA draft waters, where evaluations of him range from mid-first round possibility to second-rounder.
John Calipari said that he gave Goodwin the information he knew when the two sat down to discuss the guard's future. When Goodwin said he was entering the draft, Calipari threw his support behind the decision.
But Calipari knows that Goodwin's draft stock is unsettled. He noted, however, that a team picking Goodwin would be getting an 18-year-old, one year removed from high school, a raw but talented player who has room to grow.
"The whole point with him is where do you project him?" Calipari said. "Would it have been better for him and maybe for us if I had played him at point at the start of the year? Maybe, but at his age they're going to have a chance to mold him as a wing guard, point guard, whatever they want him to be."
Goodwin is listed at No. 17 on Sports Illustrated's latest Big Board, where NBA writer Chris Mannix said he's a likely first-round pick for a team willing to take a project player:
Kentucky's ballyhooed incoming freshman class forced Goodwin out of Lexington before he was ready, but superior athleticism, a 6-10 wingspan and an ability to score in bursts will make him a first-round pick. But what position will he play? Goodwin struggled as a point guard at Kentucky and will need to bulk up to defend the 2. Still, scouts see good defensive skills, and a team willing to wait for him to develop could give Goodwin a top-20 look.
ESPN's Chad Ford isn't so sure, saying that almost all feedback he's received from NBA personnel is trending downward and puts Goodwin on the first-round bubble.
Goodwin's stock is in flux and his combine performance will be a crucial part of where he ends up. But, regardless of where he ends up, Calipari thinks it will work out for him.
"Workouts will be important for him but I think he'll be fine, because if you have a good attitude and you truly have a huge work capacity like a Brandon Knight you're going to be fine," Calipari said. "There may be bumps in the road but you will be fine. Someone will take him in a good position and he'll be fine."