Scout/Jeff Drummond

Kentucky Wildcats' Bam Adebayo declares for NBA Draft, but won't hire agent

Freshman center joins UK's Fox, Monk in declaring for draft.

Kentucky's Bam Adebayo made it three-for-three for one-and-dones on Wednesday.

The Wildcats' freshman center became the third UK star to declare for the NBA Draft in as many days, joining classmates De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Unlike the other two, however, Adebayo does not plan to hire an agent, providing an option to return to Lexington if he's not satisfied with his draft status. 

“This process we went through at Kentucky was a tough but a rewarding one,” Adebayo said in a statement released by UK. “It was everything I wanted when I decided to come to Kentucky. It taught me a lot. It taught me how to be a better man on and off the court. I have improved so much since the beginning of the season thanks to the hard work of the coaching staff. They helped me with every step of the process along the way and they never gave up on me.

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

The 6-foot-10 North Carolina native is currently projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick. Only players who are selected in the first round receive a guaranteed three-year contract. 

Adebayo will have until May 24, 10 days after the draft combine, to leave his name in the pool or remove it.

As a freshman, Adebayo averaged 13.0 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. He shot 59.9 percent from the field, including a Calipari-era best 101 dunks.

“Bam was our hardest worker this season,” UK head coach John 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. Bam is a great kid with a ton of upside. Should he decide to stay in the draft, he will be an outstanding 4 man in the NBA. Every organization needs character and Bam is a high-character kid who only cares about winning.”

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