The Utah Jazz selected Trey Lyles with the No. 12 pick in the NBA Draft Thursday night, giving them another ex-Cat after shipping one out of town last season.
The Jazz traded Enes Kanter to Oklahoma City ahead of last season's NBA trade deadline.
Lyles was an All-SEC Freshman Team selection after averaging 8.7 points and 5.2 rebounds. He won the league's Freshman of the Week award twice. He started 14 of the Wildcat's final 15 games.
He was the third UK player selected in the lottery. Devin Booker, next at No. 13 to the Phoenix Suns, was the fourth.
Never miss a local story.
"That just shows our team was special," Lyles said to the Herald-Leader's Jerry Tipton. "Like none other. And we still have three other guys who will go."
Lyles was asked about a competition for Rookie of the Year among Kentucky players next season.
"We haven't talked about it," he said, smiling. "But I'm sure it'll be in the back of our minds."
ESPN's Shannon Spake asked Lyles what fans will get to see from his game that he didn't get to showcase as much at Kentucky.
"Just my playmaking ability offensively," he said. "I didn't need to do a lot of it at school because we had it at other positions. But now I'm at another level and I'll be able to do more.
"I'm a guy who can come and contribute right away and a guy who does anything that he needs to do help his team win."
Lyles, 19, could fill a stretch-four role one day, though he shot just 13.8 percent from three-point range. He knocked down 25 of 40 corner three-point shots during his workout with the Jazz.
Lyles has the mobility to guard multiple positions and the pick-and-roll while his length is something the Jazz covet. Point guard Trey Burke is the only player projected to be in the top-eight rotation, not including Lyles, that is under 6-foot-6.
A former Indiana Mr. Basketball in 2014, Lyles led Arsenal Tech to a state title during his final season and finished his career as the school's leading scorer and rebounder.
The Jazz had the sixth-best win percentage (.655) after the All-Star break and aspire to be in the playoff race next season. The five teams in front of them — Warriors, Clippers, Cavaliers, Spurs and Rockets — were all playoff teams.
Defense was Utah's calling card during its post All-Star success. The Jazz ranked No. 1 in the league, holding teams to 89.0 points per game and No. 2 in opponent field goal percentage (42.2) during that period. The emergence of 7-foot-1 shot blocker Rudy Gobert after Kanter was traded solidified the defense.
.@TreyMambaLyles will wear #41 with the Jazz.— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) June 26, 2015