Ex-Cats

NBA Draft recap: Four Cats selected, three traded, one left at home

Players who were invited to the NBA Draft room posed for a photo prior to the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21, 2018.
Players who were invited to the NBA Draft room posed for a photo prior to the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21, 2018. NBA

(Below is a running recap of the 2018 NBA Draft with breaking news, observations and commentary.)

12:34 p.m.: ESPN reported that Hamidou Diallo was traded again, this time from the Hornets to the Thunder, but the deal cannot become official until July 6.

12:10 a.m.: Wenyen Gabriel didn't wait long to comment on his undrafted status.

12:03 a.m.: The final tally for UK: two first-round picks, two second-round picks and one undrafted player.

Wenyen Gabriel, who went unselected, was listed among ESPN analyst Jonathan Givony's top undrafted players.

12:01 a.m.: Kostas Antetokounmpo, the brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo, was drafted by the Phildelphia 76ers with the 60th and final pick (which they reportedly traded to Dallas). He played at the University of Dayton last season.

11:53 p.m.: Ray Spalding, a Kentuckian who starred for Louisville after a standout career at Trinity High School, was selected with the 56th overall pick. The Philadelphia 76ers made the selection but reportedly traded it to Dallas.

11:52 p.m.: HOT TAKE!

The Charlotte Hornets selected Michigan State guard/forward Miles Bridges with the 12th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

11:49 p.m.: Shake Milton, drafted 54th overall by the Dallas Mavericks for the Philadelphia 76ers, wins my "Best Name of the Draft" award

11:41 p.m.: I'm tired.

11:33 p.m.: The Charlotte Hornets ended up getting a UK player tonight, after all. Charlotte will acquire Hamidou Diallo — selected 45th overall by the Brooklyn Nets — as part of a trade with Brooklyn for Dwight Howard it agreed to earlier this week.

Charlotte in the first round drafted Shai Gilgeous-Alexander but traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers.

11:26 p.m.: Vanderbilt was the second former Wildcat involved in a trade; Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was traded to the L.A. Clippers earlier in the night.

11:17 p.m.: Jarred Vanderbilt is the first UK player off the board in the second round — the Orlando Magic selected him with the 41st overall pick but traded him to the Denver Nuggets (for whom Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles play), according to Jeff Goodman. Vanderbilt is the first UK freshman selected in the second round during John Calipari's tenure.

11:04 p.m.: None-and-done? Mitchell Robinson, who signed with Western Kentucky University but never ended up playing for the Hilltoppers, was drafted 36th overall by the New York Knicks (which drafted Kevin Knox earlier).

11:03 p.m.: WKYT's Lee K. Howard went sockless in his interview with Kevin Knox.

10:55 p.m.: Herald-Leader reporter Jerry Tipton offered a comforting reminder for UK fans waiting to see where the remaining Cats in the draft may go.

Former Kentucky guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was drafted by the Hornets and traded to the Clippers, said foreign players are taking the U.S. by notice in the NBA. Gilgeous-Alexander is from Hamilton, Canada.

10:52 p.m.: UK has 48 first-round draft choices in program history, the second-most all-time. Do you know who's on top?

10:48 p.m.: Wonder what this year's draft choices will make next season? Look no further.

10:46 p.m.: A total of six Wildcats were selected in the first round, but only two were from UK. Omari Spellman was picked 30th overall by the Atlanta Hawks, the third Villanova Wildcat selected in this draft. Deandre Ayton, an Arizona Wildcat, was the No. 1 overall pick.

10:38 p.m.: One of the burning questions during Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's post-draft press conference was, of course, about his colorful suit:

"When I was getting fitted for my suit, I had no intentions of getting something like this," Gilgeous-Alexander said. "I wanted to look nice, but nothing this crazy. I noticed there was this square of fabric on the table next to me while I was getting fitted. It had this pattern and this color. I tried it on the trim of my jacket at first. I liked that a little bit and then I tried the whole jacket and figured out I really liked it. Then I put the whole suit together and fell in love."

10:30 p.m.: The Golden State Warriors — NBA champions in three of the last four seasons — selected Cincinnati's Jacob Evans with the 28th overall pick. It was just the Warriors' third draft pick during the years spanning their titles (Kevon Looney 30th overall in 2015, Damian Jones 30th overall in 2016).

Evans was Cincinnati's first selection in the draft since 2010, when Lance Stephen was taken 40th overall by the Indiana Pacers. The Bearcats' last first-round pick came in 2005, when Detroit drafted Jason Maxiell 26th overall.

10:23 p.m.: Credit to Dylan Burkhardt of umhoops.com with his observation: Mo Wagner is the seventh first-round pick out of Michigan since 2013. John Beilein, who took over the program in 2007, has never signed a McDonald's All-American during his time in Ann Arbor.

10:22 p.m.: Texas A&M's Robert Williams became the fifth Southeastern Conference player selected when Boston chose him with the 27th overall pick.

10:17 p.m.: Philadelphia entering the draft had six picks, the most of any team. The 76ers chose Wichita State's Landry Shamut.

10:10 p.m.: The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Michigan's Mo Wagner with the 25th overall pick. What are the chances he's still part of the team if the Lakers land LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George later this summer?

10 p.m.: In a media conference following his selection by the New York Knicks, Kevin Knox was asked about the first thing he'd like to do when he gets to town:

"I've been here a lot of times, but one thing I haven't done is tried the pizza," Knox said. "I heard they're really known for their pizza. I haven't had pizza in New York, so that's something everyone is telling me to do. I'm really looking forward to getting some pizza."

9:57 p.m.: Portland drafted Anfernee Simons with the 24th overall pick. Not heard of him? That's because he didn't play college basketball or overseas; Simons graduated high school but then spent the last year at IMG Academy, which he felt better prepared him for the NBA.

9:55 p.m.: Yahoo's Dan Wetzel noted that John Calipari has coached 26 first-round picks at UK, the same amount Nick Saban has coached for Alabama's football team. The title count is not favorable for the Wildcats' coach, though.

9:49 p.m.: Grayson Allen was picked by the Utah Jazz with the 21st overall pick. Here's hoping he has a nice "trip."

Also, it looks like future teammate Donovan Mitchell once ... slapped him?

9:43 p.m.: Kevin Knox's suit jacket wasn't so normal afterall: the interior was printed with a "Fortnite" logo.

9:34 p.m.: With its second pick in the first round, the Atlanta Hawks select Maryland's Kevin Huerter 19th overall.

9:33 p.m.: Double ouch.

9:29 p.m.: Ouch.

9:25 p.m.: Donte DiVencenzo of Villanova and Lonnie Walker of Miami (Fla.) were drafted 17th (Milwaukee) and 18th (San Antonio) overall.

9:17 p.m.: Oregon's Troy Brown was the first non-lottery selection by the Washington Wizards. Phoenix selected Texas Tech's Zhaire Smith with the 16th pick but reportedly will trade him to Philadelphia for Mikal Bridges — the 10th pick in this draft — along with Miami's 2021 first-round pick, which they own.

9:05 p.m.: Kevin Knox is ready for New York.

9:01 p.m.: UK has had 19 players selected among the top 14 picks of the NBA Draft — the "lottery" portion — since John Calipari's tenure began in 2010. That's by far the most of any college program during that span.

8:58 p.m.: Michael Porter Jr., a star freshman out of Missouri whose draft stock took a tumble because of injury concerns, was the final lottery pick of the 2018 NBA Draft. The Denver Nuggets — Jamal Murray's team — selected him with the 14th overall pick.

8:51: Boston College's Jerome Robinson was the penultimate lottery pick. He was drafted by the L.A. Clippers.

8:50 p.m.: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander finally speaks about his suit!

8:49 p.m.: Enes Kanter provided some commentary on his new teammate, Kevin Knox.

8:43 p.m.: Michigan State's Miles Bridges is the 12th overall pick, selected by the L.A. Clippers for the Charlotte Hornets.

8:40 p.m.: Charlotte selected Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the 11th overall pick but he was dealt immediately to the Los Angeles Clippers for the 12th pick and two second-round picks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

8:37 p.m.: Raja Bell on Kevin Knox: "He can turn into a nice shooter at the next level. He's gotta get better of the bounce."

8:33 p.m.: The Charlotte Hornets reportedly are selecting Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with the 11th overall pick but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the pick possibly could be traded to the Phoenix Suns.

8:29 p.m.: Mikal Bridges, a junior out of Villanova, is the 10th overall pick by Philadelphia. The two-time NCAA champion is the first non-freshman selected in the 2018 NBA Draft.

8:22 p.m: Knox, the ninth overall pick and the ninth freshman selected in the draft, is the latest first selection from UK in the Calipari era. He received a mxed reception from the New York faithful as the announcement was made.

8:20 p.m.: Kevin Knox is the first Kentucky player off the board! He'll be playing in Madison Square Garden as a member of the New York Knicks.

8:17 p.m.: Collin Sexton, the former Alabama star, will be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers. (Josh: I like it!)

8:13 p.m.: The Cleveland Cavaliers — my favorite team — are on the clock! (*Fingers crossed*)

8:08 p.m.: Seven freshman in a row now — the Chicago Bulls will take Wendell Carter Jr., the second Duke freshman selected in this draft.

8:04 p.m.: Mohamed Bamba, a center out of Texas, is the sixth overall pick. Orlando Magic makes it six freshman in a row to start the draft.

8 p.m.: The Mavericks selected Trae Young, one of the biggest names in college basketball last season, with the fifth overall pick. He's reportedly heading to Atlanta for the third pick, Luka Doncic. Young was the fifth straight freshman selected.

7:57 p.m.: Megan Ann Wilson, a designer, shared her thoughts on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's fashion.

7:55 p.m.: Jaren Jackson Jr. of Michigan State, the Big Ten Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year, was selected fourth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies.

7:46 p.m.: TRADE ALERT! Marc Stein of the New York Times first reported that Atlanta and Dallas will swap the No. 3 and No. 5 picks with the Mavericks sending the Hawks a future first-round pick. The Hawks will draft Luka Doncic for the Mavericks, who are expected to draft Trae Young for Atlanta.

7:45 p.m.: Marvin Bagley III, a forward out of Duke, will join De'Aaron Fox in Sacramento after the Kings select him with the second overall pick. That, too, was expected.

7:43 p.m.: Several UK media members reminded their followers of how Ayton fared against Reid Travis, who joined the UK basketball program as a graduate transfer earlier this week.

7:41 p.m.: Ayton is the ninth straight one-and-done player to be selected in the NBA Draft. Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story shared a barb on Twitter: "So I watched the Buffalo Bulls run the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft out of Boise back in March"

7:39 p.m.: It's official — Devin Booker's newest teammate is Deandre Ayton! He's the first No. 1 overall pick in the history of Arizona's program.

7:34 p.m.: Adam Silver's done talking and the Phoenix Suns are on the clock. Arizona big man Deandre Ayton is widely expected to be drafted first.

7:29 p.m.: Matt Taibbi approves of Shai's floral ensemble.

7:19 p.m.: John Calipari was spotted with New York Knicks superfan Spike Lee during the ESPN broadcast.

7:10 p.m.: Did you see what Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox wore to New York for the NBA Draft?

7:07 p.m.: ESPN's Brian Windhorst said on ESPN Radio in Cleveland that "it doesn't seem likely" Shai Gilgeous-Alexander wants to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the No. 8 pick.

7:02 p.m.: Kevin Knox earlier during an interview earlier Thursday talked about the New York Knicks and said "we got a new coach" before quickly following that up with "they got a new coach." The Knicks have been tabbed in many mock drafts as Knox's likely landing spots.

On Wednesday, Knox said, "Kentucky is basically the New York Knicks of college basketball."

6:55 p.m.: The 2018 NBA Draft is about 30 minutes away from beginning. We'll soon learn the fates of five former University of Kentucky stars — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Wenyen Gabriel, Kevin Knox and Jarred Vanderbilt — who entered their names into this year's edition.

Every player except Gabriel was a freshman last season. UK freshmen are 21-for-21 on having their names called in the first round, a streak that's expected to end this year; only Gilgeous-Alexander and Knox are expected to be picked in the first round.

UK has had 31 players drafted — more than any school — since John Calipari took over the program in 2010. The Cats' 24 first-round picks and 17 lottery picks also are the most in that span.

Pre-draft links

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