NBA Execs & Scouts talk Julius Randle, Young, Dakari, Poythress, and the twins

Rex Chapman asked 15 NBA executives and scouts from 15 NBA teams about 15 NCAA Underclassmen (15-15-15), and here’s what they said about Kentucky’s Julius Randle, James Young, Dakari Johnson, Alex Poythress, Aaron and Andrew Harrison.

julius randle

*Julius Randle – Kentucky PF

These guys believe that the league will ultimately draft the ferocious-rebounding-Randle anywhere from 4th to 9th in June’s draft should he decide to declare. I found it interesting however, that ONLY 3 of these 14 NBA-people say that they themselves would draft Randle in that 4-9 range. A majority of these guys like JR in the 10-14 range. What they’re saying about JR:

“While he’s a terrific rebounder, his defensive issues are frightening. Worst defensive big-man in the draft.”

“How many times can a guy catch the ball at the top of the key, drive into 3-defenders and give it to the other team?”

“I question his feel for the game and basketball IQ.”

“Seems like a good kid, but I saw them (UK) play 16-times this season and I still don’t know how “coachable” he is.”

“Will have to improve his face-up game (jump-shot), because in our league guys will just play behind, wait for him to jump, and then play volleyball when he releases it.”

“I wonder if he has a nerves-issue. He cramped in Kentucky’s biggest games.”


*James Young – Kentucky SF

Most of these NBA guys believe that the league will select the Wildcats’ smooth-shooting lefty in the 14-30 range. They say about Young:

“Made big shots when they (UK) needed them this season. Looked like Calipari trusted him most after time-outs and when the team needed a basket.”

“Not ready to play with our guys. Soft. Poor defensive player and mechanical issues with his shot would mean a lot of D-League for quite awhile.”

“A terrible passer. Only one current starting 2-guard in the NBA (Eric Gordon) had more turnovers than assists in his final season of college ball.”

“No right hand and no handle yet. Doesn’t finish at the rim, pass or defend. In time, maybe. Now, no.”

“His shooting and 6’6 size will intrigue teams enough to take him in the 20-ish range.”

“Improved as the season wore-on. Has some “gamer” in him. Shot under 33% from 3-pt line until March, but made big shots and plays down the stretch for your ‘Cats – finishing the year at 35%. Like him some.”

“This league is not friendly to guys who can’t pass the basketball or defend. And he can’t do either right now. But my biggest knock is that I just don’t think he’s tough enough. Another year on campus would likely do him wonders.”


*Dakari Johnson – Kentucky C

The NBA guys say Big Dakari would likely be drafted by the league in the 25-40 range. About DJ they’re saying:

“The big-fella has some upside. Great hands and excellent feel for the game.”

“Too raw to play anytime soon. Teams would put him in a million pick and rolls (defensively).”

“Very good instincts and a big-man who likes to put his big-ass on the box and play like a big-man. A throw-back.”

“Even if he returns to school, I don’t believe his athleticism will allow him to be a lottery-pick down the road.”

“Improved a bunch from October to April. Still has a ways to go. Seems like a conscientious young man who is coachable. I’m a fan.”

Has NBDL written all over him should he come out. A project. Has some skills to work with however, and at 7’0 – with great hands – someone will snatch him up in the late first.”


*Aaron Harrison – Kentucky SG

The NBA guys I spoke with believe that, should he enter, this big-shot taking AND making Wildcat would ultimately be drafted by the league in the 25-50 range. None of these guys indicated that they personally would draft “Double A-Ron” in the first round of the ’14 draft. About Aaron, they’re saying:

“The better of the twins. Better defensively and a better athlete. Still, not yet a good defender and just an okay handler. Should stay in school.”

“Gutsy player who plays hard. Much more consistent than his brother. Decent finisher with his left hand around the basket. Can’t beat anyone off of the dribble. Can’t keep people in front (of him).”

“Not a NBA athlete. You must have something on which to hang your hat. The D-League is loaded with 6’6 guys who don’t possess that one particular thing.”

“Not explosive enough. Can’t finish over the top at the rim. Like Harris (Gary), he has no in-between game. It’s either a “3″ or all the way to the rim. But unlike Harris Aaron doesn’t have those big hands, “juice” or bounce off of the floor.”

“Just another guy at this stage. Which sounds like more fun – playing at Kentucky another year – or playing in the D-League next year … you tell me?”

“You must separate the novelty of these two kids (Aaron and brother Andrew) being twins. If they weren’t brothers, one played at Texas Tech and the other played at UTEP – and both just had the years they had (at Kentucky) … would anyone be discussing these guys leaving college early to enter the NBA draft?”


*Alex Poythress – Kentucky PF

These NBA exec’s and scouts believe that the freakish Wildcat athlete , should he decide to declare for early-entry, would ultimately fall in the 30-60 range on draft-day. About Alex, they say:

“A terrific raw athlete. No real game to speak of, however.”

“A four (PF) stuck in a three’s (SF) body.”

“He fooled me. I thought he would become a 3/SF with ease at the college level. Looks the part. But decision-making just does not come easy for him on the basketball floor.”

“Huge hands, long arms, great body and great athleticism. Can’t shoot, dribble or pass at this stage. Does something once every other game that makes you think he has a chance. Those kinds of guys get you fired.”

“D-League’er if he comes out now. Must develop either a post game, a perimeter game – or both. Right now, his athleticism is the only thing that would get him on the floor in the NBA. What will keep him on the floor? Too inconsistent.”


*Andrew Harrison – Kentucky PG

These NBA folks feel that, should he elect to come out early, “Andy” would ultimately be selected in the 30-60 range on draft day. About Andrew, they say:

“Not a point-guard in the NBA. Not now anyway. Can’t blow-by anyone. Most college point-guards blew-by him this season. Couldn’t contain the ball. Vital at our level.”

“Became more unselfish over the course of the year. Not surprisingly, the more unselfish he became – the better your Wildcats played. Still, not enough “pop” in his body to compete nightly with NBA-players at this juncture.”

“A tough kid who improved greatly as the season wore on. I question his speed and athleticism. Won’t bully guys at this level.”

“D-League if he comes out now.”

“Not sure how much better he can become. Physically, he and his brother (Aaron) are both already very physically mature for their age. What you see now may just be what you get down the road.”

“As of today we have him ranked as the 13th-best point-guard in the draft.”


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  1. Young can’t finish at the rim? Did they miss the championship game?

    • One awesome dunk does not a career make. He’s had a lot of points inside over the season, but if we look at how many of his at the basket shots that didn’t go in, I’m betting we would find a lot of them. A lot of his points in the paint were teardrops and such.

      Basically what I’m hearing is MAYBE Randle goes, everyone else just should stay put. Fine by me. Hell, Kentucky could have them all come back. Then we would have the wonderful problem of what do we do with our scholarships? Our team would be stacked like firewood tho.

  2. I am having a hard time believing the credibility of Rex Chapman at this point. He seems to have some sort of issue with the UK basketball program lately. Move on Rex- move on

  3. I really don’t get Rex’s recent issues with UK basketball. Did someone forget his birthday or something?

  4. I think for the most part all the mini scouting reports are spot on. So some of them had a nice little 3-4 game run. All of the mentioned we inconsistent as hell. All with the exception of Randall will be playing in the D league. Or they might want to pursue a career in Europe or overseas somewhere. The Harrison twins are okay. Took them a while to get it. With at least one other year they could be something special. As far I know if your drafted in the lower 30-40 positions then there is no guaranteed money.
    WCS is the smart one. So far. I’ll for any UK player that plays in the NBA. Not wanting any of them to fail. Just being realistic.

  5. All of these kids projected as first rounders but yet Mr has been can only share negative quotes? Chapman has credibility in the BBN. He needs to go get a life.

  6. I personally agree with rex on this and I am a uk fan

  7. Big UK fan here, but I agree with everything Rex reported these scouts as saying. Randle will slip in the draft for lack of fundamentals, no defense, and short arms, but ultimately have an NBA career (not all-star level).

  8. None of us should now, or ever, believe a thing that comes out of Rex Chapman’s; blogs, tweets, articles, and/or any of his orifices which include his “I got a college degree but I am still absent common sense and/or loyalty and I have a chip on my should about UK” mouth ramblings.
    Has anyone forgotten his attempt to justify his Nostradamus (i.e. see into the future) quatrain of “do you want your Monday news on Tuesday or Monday – personally I like mine on Monday”. Well Monday and Tuesday have come along and Rex Chapman should be put at a distance by any respecting fan.
    He played a part in the 2013-2014 team losing the NCAA Championship as the team DID KNOW ABOUT IT during halftime. Coach Cal has been very determined to say that “I’m glad we didn’t know about it before the game”.
    Rex is not about anything more than trying to bring ratings to his show. Now, on the surface, there is nothing wrong with that however when you start to lie AND lie with the intent to adversely affect the 2013-2014 NCAA Men’s Championship you should not be rewarded….especially at the expense of UK – Coach Cal – and every UK fan.

  9. remembersRexington

    he does have a problem and admitted it. he left uk early due a personal issue that affected his life. he has not forgiven that “era”. Move on

  10. Rex you have lost alot of your credibility with your Lakers post. It did not have nothing with us getting beat by UConn too quick and should have came out in a zone, but that is over with.You are right on the head with these kids. However I can’t see any of them coming back and improving next year, yes alot of D league players.

  11. The analysis of these players I tend to agree with 100% except for the comments surrounding Alex Poytress

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