Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to enter draft

Updated: March 24, 2012, 4:10 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN.com

Kentucky freshman forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will enter the 2012 NBA draft after the Wildcats' season ends, multiple sources told ESPN.com on Thursday.

"He hopes he'll be able to announce right after they win the NCAA championship," one source said. "But even if they don't win it all, he's coming. He knows he's going to be a top-five pick. He can't pass that up."

Kidd-Gilchrist responded to ESPN.com's report on Twitter later Thursday.

"I don't know where this is coming from. This is MY decision. Right now all I'm focused on my Teammates and winning Games," Kidd-Gilchrist wrote. "After the season Ill make a decision that's best for me and my family!

"Big Blue Nation Has nothing to worry about! Let's get (national championship) NUMBER 8"

Kidd-Gilchrist's mother, Cindy Richardson, told the Newark Star-Ledger the report was a "lie" and said "it was terrible timing and in bad taste."

Back in early March, Kidd-Gilchrist told reporters he would forgo the lures of the draft and stay in school.

"I'm graduating here," he said. "I'm not going anywhere. I'm staying at Kentucky."

The 6-foot-7 Kidd-Gilchrist is averaging 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game.

"He's the type of kid that you always want on your team," one NBA general manager said. "Coaches love him, his teammates love him and he does all the little things that matter on the court. He cares about winning and that's it. I doubt he ever looks at a box score."

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider