Kentucky's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander declares for the NBA Draft | Zagsblog
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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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Monday / July 6.
  • Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander declares for the NBA Draft

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Kentucky has lost one guard but could gain another within the next 48 hours.

    Freshman guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander announced his plans to enter the NBA Draft and sign with an agent. He is currently projected at No. 12 to the Los Angeles Clippers, per ESPN.com.

    “I will be entering my name into the 2018 NBA Draft and I will be signing with an agent,” he said on SportsCenter.

    Gilgeous-Alexander, who averaged 14.5 points and 5.1 assists this season, becomes the latest Canadian to head to the NBA.

    Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 20.7 points, 6.3 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals in the postseason.

    “Shai’s development is a story I’ll tell our players for the rest of my career,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “When we talk about building your own confidence and conquering yourself, Shai is the perfect example. You’re talking about a kid who had the physical tools and had the potential to be in this position, but he elevated his game because he woke up at 7 a.m. every day to work out, was the best in the weight room, watched film and never missed class.

    “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’ve never met a kid who is undisciplined off the court be disciplined on it. Shai’s entire life is disciplined, and it’s not forced by others around him. He’s done this because he’s put in the work, and it’s that attitude and mindset that will ensure his success at the next level. I couldn’t be more proud of him and I know that whatever team gets him is going to get a young man that will bring a winning mentality.”

    Kentucky freshman forward Kevin Knox already declared he would sign with an agent and enter the Draft, while freshman forward P.J. Washington will test the waters.

    Meantime, Ashton Hagans could reclassify and announce his college plans this week, potentially on Tuesday, with all signs pointing to him picking Kentucky and filling Gilgeous-Alexander’s slot.

    If so, Kentucky would have landed two players in about 48 hours, having already landed a pledge from 6-10 forward E.J. Montgomery, who joins point guard Immanuel Quickley, wing Keldon Johnson and shooting guard Tyler Herro in Kentucky’s 2018 class.

    “Hopefully, he said he likes it a lot,” Herro told FloHoops.com of Hagans. “He might reclassify to 2018, so we always got room for another guy.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.