New employee kits for some recent Kentucky college students who entered the the workforce Thursday night — by being selected in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft:
New employee: De’Aaron Fox
Hired by: Sacramento Kings (fifth pick, first round)
Starting salary: Slot value is $3,841,000
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Last year’s bottom line: 32-50, third in Pacific Division
The bosses: Tech mogul Vivek Ranadive, a Bombay, India, native, is majority owner of the Kings. Ex-Lakers and Kings center Vlade Divac is the primary basketball decision maker. Ex-Memphis Grizzlies Coach Dave Joerger (179-149 in four seasons as NBA head man) will be in his second year as Kings head man in 2017-18.
Key current employees: Fox will join former Kentucky big men Willie Cauley-Stein (8.1 points, 4.5 rebounds) and Skal Labissiere (8.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg). Former Oklahoma star Buddy Hield (10.6 ppg) was the key person who came to Sacramento from New Orleans when the Kings traded former franchise cornerstone (and UK star) DeMarcus Cousins midseason.
How new hire can fit in: As a franchise, Sacramento has long been dysfunction junction, but a point guard with Fox’s talent and engaging personality would seem ideal to help change a losing culture.
Career adviser: Agent is Happy Walters of Catalyst Sports and Media, whose other clients include Jimmy Butler, Monta Ellis, Iman Shumpert and Robert Covington.
New business attire: Team colors are purple, slate gray and black
New employee: Malik Monk
Hired by: Charlotte Hornets (11th pick, first round)
Starting salary: Slot is $2,420,400
Last year’s bottom line: 36-46, fourth in Southeast Division
The bosses: The team’s majority owner and chairman is a name you may recognize: Michael Jordan. Rich Cho, a native of Burma who came to the U.S. with his family at age 3, is the General Manager. Steve Clifford (160-168 in four seasons) is the Charlotte head coach.
Key current employees: Former Connecticut star Kemba Walker (23.2 points, 5.5 assists) is Charlotte’s best player. Ex-Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky (11.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and ex-Cat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (9.2 ppg, 7 rpg) are in supporting roles.
How new hire can fit in: Charlotte needs scoring and explosiveness, and Monk is well suited to provide both. Will be interesting to see if Walker and Monk can play together.
Career adviser: Agent is Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management. Among Schwartz’s other clients are Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tyson Chandler and Kemba Walker.
New business attire: Team colors are dark purple, teal, cool gray, black and light blue
New employee: Donovan Mitchell
Hired by: Utah Jazz (drafted 13, first round by Denver; traded to Utah for the No. 24 pick and ex-Kentucky forward Trey Lyles)
Starting salary: Slot is $2,184,400
Last year’s bottom line: 51-31, first in Northwest Division
The bosses: Gail Miller, widow of longtime Jazz owner Larry H. Miller, recently transferred ownership of the team to a Legacy Trust, though the Miller family will continue to run the franchise. Dennis Lindsey, a former Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs executive, is general manager. Ex-Duke guard and former Missouri Tigers head coach Quin Snyder (129-121 in three seasons) is the Jazz head man.
Key current employees: Star forward Gordon Hayward (21.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.5 assists), of Butler fame, is expected to decline a player option and become a free agent. Starting point guard George Hill (16.9 ppg, 4.2 assists) is also a free agent. At age 24, French center Rudy Gobert (14 ppg, 12.8 rpg) is a rising post player. Bryan Station High School product Shelvin Mack (7.8 ppg, 2.8 assists) is also an unrestricted free agent.
How new hire can fit in: With both last year’s starting point guard (Hill) and one of his key backups (Mack) free agents, Mitchell could have a chance to crack the rotation in Utah as a rookie if his point guard skills — which he briefly showed at Louisville when Quentin Snider was hurt last season — continue to develop.
Career adviser: Ty Sullivan of Creative Artists Agency is Mitchell’s agent. Kris Dunn, T.J. Warren and Elfrid Payton are among his other clients.
New business attire: Team colors are navy, yellow, green and gray
New employee: Bam Adebayo
Hired by: Miami Heat (14th pick, first round)
Starting salary: Slot is $2,075,300
Last year’s bottom line: 41-41, third in the Southeast Division
The bosses: Micky Arison, whose fortune was made as Chairman and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines, has been Miami Heat managing general partner for 21 years and overseen three NBA titles. Former Kentucky forward Pat Riley is the team’s president. Erik Spoelstra (440-282 with two NBA titles in nine seasons) is head coach.
Key current employees: Slovenian guard Goran Dragic (20.3 ppg, 5.8 assists) and ex-Marshall center Hassan Whiteside (17 ppg, 14.1 rpg) have become cornerstones of the post Big Three era in Heat history. In his second season, ex-Duke standout Justise Winslow raised his scoring average from 6.4 to 10.9.
How new hire can fit in: In an era when the NBA has become heavily perimeter-oriented, will be interesting to see if the Heat can play big men Adebayo and Whiteside together.
Career adviser: Agent is Alex Saratsis of Octagon Athlete Representation. His clients include Marc Gasol, Giannis Antetokounmpo (aka “The Greek Freak”) and Dennis Schroder.
New business attire: Team colors are red, yellow, black and white