CatsIllustrated - Kentucky's Davion Mintz to test NBA Draft waters
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Kentucky's Davion Mintz to test NBA Draft waters

Davion Mintz drove to the basket in last season's matchup with Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena.
Davion Mintz drove to the basket in last season's matchup with Vanderbilt at Rupp Arena. (Chet White/UK Athletics)

Davion Mintz is moving closer to a decision on his basketball future.

Kentucky's graduate senior combo guard announced Monday that he is submitting his name for the 2021 NBA Draft and will go through the evaluation process. He is leaving the door open, however, for a return to the Wildcats.

Under NCAA rules, Mintz can sign with a certified agent, receive feedback on his stock, and still return to school. He will have until July 7 (10 days after the NBA Draft Combine) to make a final decision.

"My ultimate dream has always been to play at the professional level," Mintz said in a release from UK. "I believe at some point, whether that is now or down the road, that is where I will be. Figuring out when that time is right while weighing my love for Kentucky and thinking about the possibilities of next season has not been easy, and to be fully honest and transparent, I have not come to a decision yet of what I will ultimately do.

“... I am looking forward to the process and I am going into this stage in the decision-making process with an open mind. I appreciate the support and honesty Coach Cal and the staff have shown me throughout this decision and I want to thank Big Blue Nation for your love and your patience as I take this next step.”

Mintz is the fifth player from UK's 2020-21 roster to declare for the draft, joining freshman guards Brandon Boston Jr. and the late Terrence Clarke, who each opted to forfeit their remaining college eligibility. Senior center Olivier Sarr will bypass the extra year of eligibility that Mintz may take advantage of this season. Freshman forward Isaiah Jackson is also testing the draft waters while leaving the door open for a possible return.

“I am in total support of Davion testing the waters to find out what his options are based on how he finished the year,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “He is doing the right thing by taking his time with his decision, going through the workouts and evaluations, and really getting all the information out there that is afforded to him through the NBA Draft process.

“From his leadership to his shooting to how much he improved over the course of the season, I really enjoyed coaching Davion this last season. I really believe if our team had been better and got into the NCAA Tournament somehow, his path would be clearer. As I told his mom and dad, he is a young man I could coach for 10 years. Whatever he ultimately decides, he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Mintz, who transferred from Creighton to UK prior to the 2020-21 season, averaged 11.5 and 3.1 assists points per game. The 6-foot-3 guard shot 37.8% from the 3-point arc.

Kentucky's roster remains in flux with the early departures and players testing the draft waters. The Wildcats currently do no have a point guard on the projected roster after the transfer of freshman Devin Askew and the de-commitment of 2021 recruit Nolan Hickman.