The headlines they each hoped for as former five-star recruits signing with John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats, right?
It’s been a long journey, but we now have clarity on the program’s stay/go decisions, specifically for those pursuing their NBA Draft dreams. We already knew Cason Wallace‘s path, choosing to enter the draft and forgo the remainder of his eligibility in Lexington. Now, Chris Livingston and Oscar Tshiebwe have done the same, both deciding to keep their names in ahead of the withdrawal deadline.
Where do things stand now just three weeks away from the 2023 NBA Draft on June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn? Wallace is a projected first-rounder, while Livingston has slid back in at the tail end of the second. As for Tshiebwe, he remains on the outside looking in.
ESPN has Wallace going No. 17 overall to the Lakers, joining former Wildcats Anthony Davis, Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel in Los Angeles.
“Wallace measured better than expected at the draft combine but appears to have a bit of a wider range on draft night than other lottery candidates, as some teams don’t view him as a surefire point guard or primary creator and others question his scoring credentials,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony said of the Kentucky product. “Still, there aren’t many better defenders in the class than Wallace. His strong dimensions (comparable to multipositional guards like De’Anthony Melton, Bruce Brown and Tyrese Maxey) give him significant versatility to tap into when paired with his excellent instincts and intensity level, especially when surrounded with talent on a playoff team.”
As for Livingston, he jumped back into the back of the second round, projected to go No. 56 overall to the Memphis Grizzlies. Givony singled him out on social media following the update, saying the former five-star had a “solid showing in the drills portion of the NBA Draft Combine” and adding some footage from his Klutch Pro Day workout in Los Angeles last week.
Tshiebwe sits just outside of draft position in ESPN’s list of best players available, coming in at No. 65 overall at the conclusion of the withdrawal deadline. That’s good for No. 9 among centers.