UK Men's Basketball

Report: Ex-Cat Ulis to sign guaranteed contract with Phoenix despite selection in second round

Former UK player Tyler Ulis, left, posed with Phoenix Suns first-round draft picks Dragan Bender, center, and Marquese Chriss the day after the NBA Draft.
Former UK player Tyler Ulis, left, posed with Phoenix Suns first-round draft picks Dragan Bender, center, and Marquese Chriss the day after the NBA Draft. AP

Former University of Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis elicited sympathy on NBA Draft night when he slipped into the second round and missed out on the guaranteed contract a first-round selection automatically receives.

However, visions of Ulis struggling to make a roster or make ends meet appear to have been premature.

A report by Paul Coro in the Arizona Republic says the Phoenix Suns will sign Ulis to a contract that will look much like that of a late first-round pick. The report said Ulis will receive about $1 million a year for two years, with both years guaranteed.

Ulis was selected by Phoenix with the 34th pick in the June 23 draft — the fourth pick of the second round.

He joins a Suns roster that already includes four guards who played at the University of Kentucky — Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Brandon Knight.

As a sophomore at Kentucky, Ulis was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

He was projected for much of the spring as a first-round selection but his stock slipped in the weeks leading up to the draft amid reports of a hip injury.

Ulis will make his professional debut in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from July 8 to 18. Ulis is joined on the Suns’ Summer League roster by Booker and former University of Louisville guard Kyle Kuric. Phoenix opens play Saturday against Portland.

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