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Potential first-round pick Alex Poythress tears ACL, out for season

Alex Poythress

Alex Poythress


If Alex Poythress had declared for the NBA draft after his freshman year, he would have been a first rounder and possibly a lottery pick.

If Poythress had declared for the NBA draft after his sophomore year, he would have at least gotten drafted.

Instead, Poythress returned to Kentucky both times.

Now a junior, Poythress’ NBA prospects are slipping even further despite some hope he could work his way back into the first round during a weaker draft than 2014.

Kentucky release:

University of Kentucky men’s basketball junior Alex Poythress will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in practice on Thursday.

A date for surgery has not been set yet. The normal timetable following ACL reconstructive surgery is six to eight months.

Perhaps, this causes Poythress to return to Kentucky once again to rehabilitate his draft stock. Or maybe he realizes his window to make NBA money could close in an instant (if it didn’t already with this injury), and he turns pro.

If he enters the 2015 draft, his surgery will likely keep him sidelined – or at least hampered – during the pre-draft process. For a borderline first-round pick, that’s a huge setback.

Poythress’ stock peaked between the end of his high school career and early during his freshman year at Kentucky. If the NBA’s age limit hadn’t prevented him from turning pro – a rule players union executive director Michele Roberts wants to change – maybe Poythress would have avoided this predicament.