De'Aaron Fox Will Declare for 2017 NBA Draft After 1 Year at Kentucky

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2017

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 11:  De'Aaron Fox #0 of the Kentucky Wildcats dribbles the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the semifinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 11, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In an expected move, Wildcats star guard De'Aaron Fox declared for the NBA draft on Monday, the University of Kentucky announced

Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports first reported the news. 

Fox, a freshman, was one of the top players in college basketball this season, averaging 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 1.5 steals per contest. His playmaking ability, understanding of the game, impressive athleticism and strong defense make him a likely candidate to be a top-10 pick.

Frankly, the only thing keeping Fox from being a top-five consideration is the lack of a consistent jump shot. He shot an abysmal 24.6 percent from beyond the arc this season, a major concern in the modern NBA, where floor-spacing and a reliance on perimeter shooting has become the norm.

After he put up 28 points against Alabama in an SEC tournament semifinal game, Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report broke down Fox's upside:

And it only will take one NBA team falling in love with Fox for him to jump way up the board:

If Fox can add that jumper, the sky truly is the limit for his upside at the next level. His ability to break defenders down off the dribble, finish at the basket or scorch teams in transition is already elite. Fox is one skill away from being the complete package at point guard, a tantalizing prospect for teams picking in the lottery.

Barring an injury before the NBA draft, he should be off the board in the first 10 picks.