Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Archie Goodwin admits that he wonders what it would be like to play with Kentucky’s loaded 2013-14 team, a team that features a slew of future NBA first-round picks.
“Yeah, that’s going to be a great team,” the 6-foot-5 Goodwin said following a closed workout with the Knicks on Monday.
“They’re definitely going to make a championship push with the talent they have and the guys they got coming in so it definitely would’ve been fun being a part of that.”
Goodwin declared for this year’s NBA Draft, which is considered much weaker than the loaded 2014 Draft that will feature Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and future Wildcats Julius Randle, Andrew and Aaron Harrison.
Despite the relative weakness of this draft, Goodwin is currently projected as the No. 39 overall pick by DraftExpress.com.
A veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv Wednesday morning he would draft Goodwin, “second round, 35-45.”
“He’s very talented, very young, he can really run the floor, has long arms and is a good driver,” the scout told SNY.tv. “His jumper needs a lot of work and he has a long, hard road ahead of him. He will have to be mentally tough. He chose to play against men rather than boys. Stay tuned.”
Goodwin will work out Tuesday for the Utah Jazz and also has Sacramento and Portland coming up.
The Knicks own the No. 24 pick and are unlikely to take Goodwin, but he is aware they have a need in the backcourt now that Jason Kidd has retired and become the coach of the Brooklyn Nets, for whom Goodwin also recently worked out.
“They have Raymond Felton here, who’s a great player,” Goodwin said. “To be able to come in behind him and learn from him, the ins and outs of the game, and a lot of vets around here, that would be a good help for me if I was to be able to play here.”
A natural two guard, Goodwin says he can play both guard spots.
“I see myself probably between a one and a two at this level because I can use it to my advantage as far as my athletic ability and my length and my size,” he said.
It remains unclear how much Kentucky coach John Calipari influenced Goodwin to leave early, knowing that he had a loaded backcourt coming in with the Harrison twins.
Still, Goodwin said Calipari “texts me every day, telling me he’s praying for me and hopes everything is well.”
“If I need him, just let him know,” Goodwin said Calipari told him.
Looking ahead to Kentucky’s season, Goodwin said he believes that the incoming frosh will benefit from having older players like Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer returning.
“It’s going to help because it can help them adjust to Coach Cal quicker,” Goodwin said. “Coming from high school and going to him, it’s going to be a big adjustment for them. So being under their tutelage is definitely going to help them.”
Asked if he was picking Kentucky to win it all next year, Goodwin said, “Yeah, definitely.”
That may be, but Goodwin won’t be with them.
Where he ends up remains unclear.
He said he stays in touch with projected No. 1 pick Nerlens Noel, his former Kentucky teammate, but doubts he will spend draft night with Noel at the Barclays Center.
“It depends if I go down there,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m going down there or not yet.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.