Mark Story: What ex-Cats can expect at their new jobs

What ex-Cats can expect at their new jobs

mstory@herald-leader.comJune 25, 2010 

New-employee kits for some recent University of Kentucky students who entered the workforce Thursday night:

New employee: John Wall

Hired by: Washington Wizards (first pick, first round of 2010 NBA draft).

Last year's bottom line: 26-56, fifth (last) in Southeast Division.

The bosses: Owner is former AOL executive Ted Leonsis; one-time Tennessee Volunteers star Ernie Grunfeld runs the front office; Flip Saunders is head coach.

Key current employees: High- scoring guard Gilbert Arenas; emerging big man Andray Blatche; former Florida State star Al Thornton; Wizards have team option on former Mavericks forward Josh Howard.

How new hire fits in: As the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, Wall becomes the face of a franchise starting anew. Pivotal early question will be what Wizards do with Arenas, who spent much of last season under suspension after bringing a gun into the workplace. It's not at all clear that Wall and Arenas, two guards used to having the ball, can successfully co-exist.

New employee: DeMarcus Cousins

Hired by: Sacramento Kings (fifth pick, first round).

Last year's bottom line: 25-57, fifth (last) in Pacific Division.

The bosses: Brothers Joe and Gavin Maloof run the team that their family owns; Geoff Petrie, an NBA All-Star guard in the 1970s, makes the basketball decisions; one-time Phoenix and Seattle head man Paul Westphal is coach.

Key Current Employees: Reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans; emerging forward Carl Landry; power forward Jason Thompson; ex-Louisville Cardinal Francisco Garcia.

How new hire fits in: Sacramento is rebuilding from the ground up, and Cousins might be the most talented player in the draft. The Kings recently acquired defensive-specialist center Samuel Dalembert from Philadelphia so they can be patient with Big Cuz if they so choose.

New employee: Patrick Patterson

Hired by: Houston Rockets (14th pick, first round).

Last year's bottom line: 42-40, third in Southwest Division.

The bosses: Owner is Les Alexander; Daryl Morey, an MBA from MIT, makes the basketball decisions; Rick Adelman is head coach.

Key current employees: Center Yao Ming is attempting a comeback from season-ending injury; shooting guard Kevin Martin; former Duke standout Shane Battier; point guard Aaron Brooks.

How new hire fits in: If Yao returns healthy, Houston could make a dramatic improvement, and that means Patterson could end up as a contributor on a good team. The Rockets have a team option on former Kentucky standout Chuck Hayes. Will the drafting of Patterson cost his fellow former Wildcat a roster spot?

New employee: Eric Bledsoe)

Hired by: Los Angeles Clippers. Bledsoe was picked by Oklahoma City (18th pick, first round), but his rights are reportedly being traded to the Clippers.

Last year's bottom line: 29-53, third in Pacific Division.

The bosses: The controversial Donald Sterling owns the Clippers; Neil Olshey was calling the shots in the draft; the Clippers head coaching position is vacant.

Key current employees: Last year's No. 1 overall pick, Blake Griffin, missed all of last season with an injury; veteran point guard Baron Davis; center Chris Kaman; former Indiana Hoosiers guard Eric Gordon.

How new hire fits in: If Bledsoe is going to the Clippers, he will have a chance to learn the NBA point guard ropes from the veteran Davis. On paper, this should be an improving team. But under Sterling's ownership, Murphy's Law always seems to apply to the Clips.

New employee: Daniel Orton

Hired by: Orlando Magic (29th pick, first round).

Last year's bottom line: 59-23, first in Southeast Division.The bosses: Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway, is team owner; Otis Smith makes the basketball decisions; Stan Van Gundy is head coach.

Key current employees: All-Star center Dwight Howard; mercurial swingman Vince Carter; forward Rashard Lewis; point guard Jameer Nelson.

How new hire fits in: This could be a perfect spot for Orton. As a first-round pick, he will get a two-year guaranteed contract and a chance to improve by working against Howard in practices and watching how Superman does things in games.

Reach Mark Story at (859) 231-3230 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3230, or Your e-mail could appear on the blog Read Mark Story's E-mail at

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