Kentucky guard Davion Mintz will test the draft waters and go through the NBA’s evaluation process, but is leaving the door open for a potential return to UK, the school announced this afternoon.
Under NCAA rules, Mintz can sign with an NCAA-certified agent, receive feedback and return to school. Mintz will have until July 7 (10 days after the NBA Draft Combine) to make a final decision as to whether he wishes to remain in the draft or return to Kentucky.
“These last two months for my family and I have been filled with a lot of reflection and a lot of personal evaluation,” Mintz said. “I have spent a lot of time reflecting on this past season at Kentucky, a truly unique and unforgettable experience, while also trying to figure out what the next step is for me and my career. My ultimate dream has always been to play at the professional level. 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.
“However, at this point in time, I believe it is in my best interest to officially submit my name for the 2021 NBA Draft to test the waters and go through a proper evaluation period. 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 joins freshman guards Brandon Boston Jr. and the late Terrence Clarke, along with senior forward Olivier Sarr and freshman forward Isaiah Jackson to declare for the draft this offseason. Mintz and Jackson both left the door open for a potential return to Kentucky.
Players have the ability to submit paperwork and receive evaluations from teams and participate in the NBA Draft Combine if an invite is on the table.
“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.”
The 6-foot-3 guard led UK in total points (288), 3-pointers (56), assists (77) and double-figure scoring games (17). He averaged 11.5 points per game, including 16.7 points per outing over the last six games. He shot 37.8% from behind the arc and dished out 3.1 assists per game.
Mintz began his career at Creighton, appearing in 97 career games with 79 starts for the Bluejays. In 2018-19, he started all 35 games in the backcourt, averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game. As a sophomore, in 2017-18, he led the Big East in assist-to-turnover ratio. He redshirted in 2019-20 due to an ankle injury.
The NBA Draft this season will be July 29.