Tennessee Vols guard Kennedy Chandler clearly made a big mistake.

Chandler wasn’t selected in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft on Thursday night.

Instead, Chandler was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round (No. 38 overall) and then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Memphis native declared for the NBA draft after a true freshman season that saw him lead the Vols in scoring at 13.9 points per game. Chandler also led Tennessee in assists per game (4.7) and steals per game (2.2).

Vols Chandler
Mar 16, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Kennedy Chandler (1) during NCAA practice at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Chandler likely slipped past the first round because of his height (6-foot), though he makes up for his lack of height with his impressive wingspan (6-foot-5).

If Chandler is a couple of inches taller, I think there’s a chance he’s a lottery pick. He proved as a true freshman last season that he’s a great defender, a tremendous playmaker, and a good passer. The only downside to Chandler’s game — aside from his height — is that he could stand to improve from the free-throw line (which isn’t something that should’ve kept him from being drafted in the first round).

Chandler’s true freshman numbers were similar to Chris Paul’s true freshman numbers at Wake Forest in 2003-04. Paul is a good comp to Chandler due to their similar height.

It’s tough to pass up an opportunity to go to the NBA, but Chandler likely cost himself a lot of money by not returning to Tennessee for another season.

Another solid season at UT could’ve led to Chandler being a lottery pick in next year’s draft.

Featured image via USA TODAY Sports