Kentucky freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt has become the latest Wildcats underclassmen to confirm that he’s entering the 2018 NBA draft, announcing his decision today on Twitter. He won’t hire an agent at this time, so he’ll be eligible to withdraw later in the process and return to Kentucky for his sophomore year, the school confirmed (via Twitter).
“I know I have more to my game to show, but now I’ve got to figure out if the time is right for me to do it at the next level or if I would be better to return to school,” Vanderbilt said in his statement. “This wasn’t an easy decision, but I want to use this process to get an evaluation from the NBA and see where I’m at.”
Injury issues limited Vanderbilt, a 6’9″ forward, to 14 games in 2017/18. Even when he was healthy, the freshman was just a part-time player for Kentucky, averaging 5.9 PPG and 7.9 RPG in 17.0 minutes per contest. While he wasn’t able to make a major impact for the Wildcats in his first college season, his potential will intrigue NBA teams.
Currently, Vanderbilt is ranked as the No. 64 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.
Vanderbilt is the sixth Kentucky underclassman to declare for the 2018 NBA draft. Wenyen Gabriel and PJ Washington are also testing the waters, while Hamidou Diallo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Kevin Knox are going pro.