Draft Declarations | Jarred Vanderbilt Declares For 2018 NBA Draft

04/20/2018 01:25 PM

On Friday, University of Kentucky men’s basketball freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt announced he will submit his name for the 2018 NBA Draft, but will not hire an agent. As long as Vanderbilt doesn’t hire an agent, he will have until May 30th (10 days after the NBA Draft Combine) to make a final decision on remaining in the draft or returning to Kentucky.

“This season wasn’t easy for me,” Vanderbilt said in a statement. “God works in mysterious ways and presented me with a number of challenges to overcome. I believe I became a better man and player because of them, but it’s also made me think about my future and what’s best for me. At the end of the day, my goal has always been to make it to the NBA. I knew Coach Cal and the staff would challenge me and prepare me to make that step better than anyone else.”

Vanderbilt is the sixth underclassman from the 2017-18 Wildcats to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft, which will be held June 21 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Freshmen Hamidou Diallo, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox have all declared for the draft and plan to sign with agents, ending their collegiate careers. Freshman forward PJ Washington and sophomore forward Wenyen Gabriel have also entered their names in the draft but do not plan to hire agents at this time, meaning both players could return to Kentucky.

“We would certainly welcome Jarred back with open arms and I would love the opportunity to coach him for a full season, but I know he needs to go through this process and see where he’s at,” UK head coach John Calipari tweeted shortly after Vanderbilt announced his intentions. “He has the type of skills and talent that NBA teams love; now we have to figure out if now is the time or if he needs another season. Either way, Jarred’s best days are ahead of him and I can’t wait to see him back on the court.”

Vanderbilt, a 6-foot-9 McDonald’s All-American was considered a potential lottery pick heading into last season, but his season was slowed by two separate injuries. Even with only playing 14 games, he averaged 5.9 points, 7.9 rebounds in 17.0 minutes.

Calipari and many others in the media have compared him to former NBA star Dennis Rodman.

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