Adebayo declares for NBA draft, but not hiring an agent


Kentucky Wildcats forward Bam Adebayo slams home a dunk against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament South Regional Elite 8 at FedExForum in Memphis, TN on Friday March 24, 2017. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff

Kernel Sports Staff

After UK men’s basketball’s freshman frontcourt duo of De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk declared for the NBA draft earlier this week, freshman forward Bam Adebayo has decided he will declare for the NBA draft himself, but will not hire an agent.

Not hiring an agent gives Adebayo the option to return to UK if he decides now is not his time to play in the NBA. Adebayo will have over a month to make a decision on if he should stay in the draft, or return to UK.

“I feel I’m making the right step in declaring for the draft, but I want to be absolutely sure that I’m making the right decision for me and my mom,” Adebayo said.

Adebayo is projected to be a middle to late first-round pick in all major mock draft sites. If Bam does stay in the NBA draft, the Cats will have a major hole to fill in the post next season.

Adebayo was the best post player for the Cats this season, averaging 13.0 points and team-leading 8.0 rebounds per game. Adebayo also set the record for most dunks by any UK player in a season under John Calipari, finishing at 101 slams.

Adebayo finished the season strong, recording five double-doubles in his last 11 games. Adebayo was named to the All-SEC Second Team and is also a member of the All-SEC Tournament Team this season.

“Bam was our hardest worker this season,” Calipari said. “You’re talking about a player who can guard all five positions, has more perimeter skills than people know, and someone with size and a physique that immediately translates to that league.”

The NBA combine will be in Chicago on May 9-14. From there, Adebayo will have 10 days to decide on where he wants to play basketball next season, the NCAA or NBA. No matter what route Adebayo chooses, Adebayo will always be remembered for his rim-rattling dunks, and his great rebounding skills.

“I’m looking forward to the process and I appreciate the support of the coaches, my teammates and the fans,” Adebayo said. “No matter what happens, it’s been an unbelievable ride.”