Kentucky basketball: 3 Wildcats invited to NBA Draft Combine

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

A trio of Kentucky basketball stars will participate in the 2023 NBA Draft Combine from May 15-21.

As usual, Kentucky basketball will have a big hand in the NBA Draft Combine. Carson Wallace, Chris Livingston, and Oscar Tshiebwe will all be a part of the three-day showcase in Chicago.

It will be a very important week for all three Wildcats. They all have different projections for this year’s draft, and in turn, hard decisions will need to be made.

Carson Wallace could solidify lottery status

Heading into this year’s combine, Carson Wallace is projected as a fringe lottery pick. The 6-foot-4 freshman point guard showcased scoring, playmaking, and defensive abilities in one season in Lexington. The former five-star was also an efficient shooter, leading Wildcats guards in field goal percentage.

If Wallace has a strong combine performance, he should be a lock for the lottery and could even make his way into being a top 10 pick. Kentucky basketball has had at least one first-round pick in every draft since 2010 and Wallace should keep that streak going.

Chris Livingston should use the combine as a learning tool

For some players, the NBA Draft Combine can be used as a means of evaluation instead of improving draft stock. For Livingston, this is mostly true. While a very strong combine could help Livingston to be selected in the draft, it’s more important for him to learn how to improve his game.

Livingston could be either an undersized small forward or a physical shooting guard at the next level. He’ll need to improve his three-point shooting after only hitting 30.5% of shots from deep in his freshman season. Livingston should get some quality tips that can help him to have an even better sophomore season, or potentially stay in the NBA Draft.

Oscar Tshiebwe faces a difficult decision

Oscar Tshiebwe is one of the top college basketball players with an impending decision as big as this. If he returns to school, Kentucky basketball is a legitimate threat to contend for the national championship. However, Tshiebwe would be a graduate senior if he returned. Running it back may mean totally giving up on the dream of being drafted given his age.

For Tshiebwe, the combine will all be about understanding his NBA potential. As a traditional big man, his NBA outlook isn’t bright, but it doesn’t mean there won’t be any value for him on the court. It’ll all be about the right fit and unlocking his potential at the next level.

While Wallace is already committed fully to the NBA Draft, Livingston and Tshiebwe have until May 31 to decide if they are officially staying in the draft or returning to Kentucky basketball.