Grad transfer Reid Travis becomes college basketball's most coveted free agent

Stanford forward Reid Travis entered this offseason with three enticing options: He could turn pro, return to Palo Alto for his redshirt senior season or leave for another college program as a graduate transfer.

Travis made his choice Wednesday, withdrawing from the NBA draft hours before the deadline and opting to explore his options as a graduate transfer.

Who is Reid Travis?

An experienced, skilled interior scorer and rebounder who has expanded his shooting range over the course of his college career, Travis would be a massive addition for any program. The 6-foot-8 power forward averaged 19.6 points and 8.7 rebounds for a Stanford team that finished 19-16 last season and reached the second round of the NIT.

Travis earned McDonald’s All-American honors in high school and chose Stanford over national power Duke and home-state Minnesota. Injuries derailed his career during his first two seasons with the Cardinal, but Travis rebounded to make first-team all-Pac-12 both of the past two years.

Stanford forward Reid Travis (22) shoots as Utah forward David Collette, left, defends during the first half during an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Who’s the favorite to land Travis?

Villanova, Duke and Kentucky have all been long-rumored potential transfer destinations for Travis, but it appears John Calipari’s team is the one to beat. Multiple reports on Wednesday suggested that Kentucky is the favorite, though nothing is done yet.

For a freshman-laden Kentucky team, the appeal of Travis would be obvious. Not only would his production on the court be an asset, so would his leadership and experience.

Stanford failed to reach the NCAA tournament in any of Travis’ four seasons, so the chance to play for a national power would be refreshing and rewarding for him. He would join a deep, talented Kentucky frontcourt that will definitely include sophomore-to-be Nick Richards, five-star power forward EJ Montgomery and five-star small forward Keldon Johnson. Wenyen Gabriel, P.J. Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt could also be back depending on if they withdraw from the NBA draft prior to Wednesday night’s deadline. 

What does Travis’ interest in Kentucky mean for its draft prospects?

It’s difficult to see Travis joining a frontcourt that includes the incoming freshmen – Richards, Gabriel, Washington and Vanderbilt – because there’s simply not enough playing time available. More likely, Travis would only come to Kentucky if one or more of the group of Gabriel, Washington and Vanderbilt chooses to remain in the draft.

An NBA team could potentially take a chance on drafting Washington or Vanderbilt in the second round next month. Gabriel would be more likely to have to try to play his way into the NBA through the G-League.

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Jeff Eisenberg is a college basketball writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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