Erik Horne: Russell Westbrook (left ankle sprain) and C…

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May 26, 2018 | 2:51 pm EDT Update
In terms of how the NBA Draft is trending, Kentucky’s Kiddie Cat program is not an outlier. UK’s fuzzy-cheeked players fit right in. UK Coach John Calipari suggested as much at the NBA Combine. When asked about his players’ draft status, he returned again and again to their relative youth. Patience and time will be required to properly assess his players’ value as draft picks, he said. More than ever, that’s true not just for UK players, but for many draft prospects. “This league has become a futures league,” Calipari said. “You’re not drafting for what they look like right now. . . . So you look at them and watch them, and this kid got the better of him. But you’re watching and you say, ‘That’s only because he’s three years older. Where’s this kid going to be in three years?’ That’s the challenge of what all these (NBA scouts) have to do.”
Likewise, NBA evaluators must project ahead when assessing, say, Kevin Knox, who turns 19 on Aug. 11. Calipari suggested Knox was young, even by the standards of a speculative draft pick. “There are some guys who would be 18 and have the beard,” Calipari told reporters. “And then there’s some guys who reach for the ball and you go, ‘You don’t have hair under your arms.’ OK? He’s one of those. . . . You look at some of these guys and they tell you he’s 19, and you go, ‘Get the hell out of here. I want to see his birth (certificate). That kid’s got two kids.’ Not this one. This one’s a normal kid. Someone’s going to take him and everybody’s going to say, ‘How did people pass on him?’”
May 26, 2018 | 2:17 pm EDT Update
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