Three players with ties to Kentucky were reportedly swept up in the events surrounding Wednesday’s blockbuster trade of All-Star point guard Chris Paul.
Former University of Kentucky players DeAndre Liggins and Kyle Wiltjer will be headed from the Houston Rockets to the Los Angeles Clippers along with former University of Louisville standout Montrezl Harrell, according to a sourced report by Adrian Wojnarowski, the renowned NBA writer moving from Yahoo Sports to ESPN.
The total package the Clippers will reportedly receive in exchange for Paul includes Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Darrun Hilliard, Liggins, Wiltjer, Harrell, a 2018 first-round pick and $661,000. The Rockets are now expected to pursue another All-Star, Indiana’s Paul George.
Liggins, who played at Kentucky from 2008 to 2011, was one of several players with non-guaranteed contracts the Rockets collected to help balance the trade, Wojnarowski reported. The Rockets acquired Liggins from Dallas. Liggins played 61 games with Cleveland in 2016-17 before being waived. He played one game for Dallas after being picked up late in the season. Liggins is averaging 2.1 points in 119 games across four NBA seasons.
Wiltjer played at Kentucky from 2011 to 2013 before transferring to Gonzaga for his final two college seasons. The Rockets signed Wiltjer last summer as an undrafted free agent. He spent the bulk of his rookie campaign in the NBA’s developmental league. In 14 games with the Rockets, Wiltjer totaled 13 points and 10 rebounds. He also appeared in one playoff game in which he made a three-point basket.
Harrell, who played at U of L from 2012 to 2015, was a second-round draft pick by the Rockets in 2015. Harrell appeared in 38 NBA games as a rookie and 58 this past season, including 14 starts. For his career, Harrell is averaging 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.