"If he wants to make money, and a lot of it, this will be the most important decision he will make," said Scott Padgett, who is set to join John Calipari's coaching staff at UK next week.
"Ask Joe Crawford. He is a hell of a player. Ask him how hard it is to get in the league if you are not drafted. There are some guys now in the league who can't play with Joe, but they are already there. It's a whole lot harder to get in the league than it is to stay in. Jodie has to remember that."
Crawford was a second-round draft pick of the LA Lakers. He was cut and played in the developmental league before signing with the New York Knicks near the end of the season.
Meeks is not yet projected as a first-round draft pick and Padgett says if someone tries to tell him there will be guaranteed money in the second round, he shouldn't believe it.
"He can do a survey of general managers in the league and they will be honest with him," Padgett said. "If they say first round and he goes, fine. But if they don't say first round, he shouldn't listen to what anyone else says.
"Don't listen or read mock drafts. They told me and Nazr (Mohammed) we would both be in the top 15 (of the first round) and that didn't happen. The only thing that matters is if a GM is ready to call your name out in that first round."
Padgett says NBA personnel might question Meeks' decision-making with the ball, ability to create shots for others and how he would play at point guard.
"He has looked great in practice (under Calipari) and he could make a major jump in the draft next year if he comes back. He might have worse stats but have a better year because of the people around him," Padgett said. "That's why he just has to be careful about what he decides."
Padgett to Meeks: Ask Crawford about Draft
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