Mark Story

Here are 'new-employee kits' for Kentucky's latest NBA Draft picks

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander spoke with the media in New York after he was drafted by the Hornets and traded to the Clippers.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander spoke with the media in New York after he was drafted by the Hornets and traded to the Clippers. Photo by Los Angeles Clippers

New-employee kits for some recent Kentucky college students who entered the workforce Thursday night — by hearing their names called in the 2018 NBA Draft:

Kevin Knox

Hired by: New York Knicks (ninth overall pick, first round).

Starting pay: Slot is $3,090,110.

Company's bottom line: 29-53, fourth in the Atlantic Division.

The bosses: James L. Dolan, Executive Chairman and CEO of the Madison Square Garden Co., is the Knicks' owner. Steve Mills, team president, and General Manager Scott Perry, the former Eastern Kentucky University head coach, make the basketball decisions. Ex-Memphis Coach David Fizdale is the new Knicks head man.

Key current employees: Star Kristaps Porzingis (22.7 points, 6.1 rebounds) was limited to 48 games last season after tearing an ACL. Ex-Michigan standout Tim Hardaway Jr. (17.5 points), former UK recruit Enes Kanter (14.1 points, 11 rebounds) and French point guard Frank Ntilikina (5.9 points, 3.2 assists) are the Knicks' supporting cast.

How new hire fits in: The Knicks hope Knox, who will turn 19 on Aug. 11, will join with the 7-foot-3 Porzingis, 22, and the 6-5 Ntilikina, 19, as franchise cornerstones.

Career adviser: Agent is Aaron Turner of Versus Management Team, whose other clients include ex-Louisville Cardinals Terry Rozier, Mangok Mathiang, Ray Spalding and Deng Adel, among others.

Office dress code: The Knicks' team colors are blue, orange, silver and white.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Hired by: Los Angeles Clippers (was chosen by Charlotte Hornets with 11th overall pick of first round, then traded to the Clippers).

Starting pay: Slot is $2,788,800.

Company's bottom line: 42-40, second in the Pacific Division.

The bosses: Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer owns the Clippers. Ex-Nets Coach Lawrence Frank is team president with NBA icon Jerry West as a consultant. Doc Rivers, who coached the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship, is head coach.

Key current employees: Center DeAndre Jordan (12 points, 15.2 rebounds) has a player option of $24.1 million for 2018-19 but is expected to opt for free agency. Veteran guard Lou Williams (22.6 points), ex-Tennessee forward Tobias Harris (18.6 points, 5.5 rebounds) and former Louisville forward Montrezl Harrell (11 points, 4 rebounds) were bright spots last season.

How new hire fits in: The Clippers hope they drafted their backcourt of the future in point guard Gilgeous-Alexander and ex-Boston College shooting guard Jerome Robinson, taken with the No. 13 pick.

Career adviser: Agent is Thaddeus Foucher of Wasserman, whose other clients include ex-Cats Anthony Davis and Skal Labissiere and former U of L big man Gorgui Dieng.

Office dress code: The Clippers' team colors are red, blue, silver, white and black.

Jarred Vanderbilt

Hired by: Denver Nuggets (was drafted No. 41 overall in the second round by the Orlando Magic, then traded to Denver).

Starting pay: The minimum rookie salary for 2018-19 is $582,180.

Company's bottom line: 46-36, fifth in Northwest Division.

The bosses: Ann Walton Kroenke, Walmart heir and wife of Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, is the Nuggets' owner. Tim Connelly runs the front office as team president. Former Sacramento Kings Coach Mike Malone is head man.

Photos of Jarred Vanderbilt from the 2017-2018 Kentucky Wildcats basketball season. Music: www.bensound.com

Key current employees: Serbian center Nikola Jokic (18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds), former UK guard Jamal Murray (16.7 points) and ex-Michigan State guard Gary Harris (17.5 points) give Denver three foundation players all 23 or younger.

How new hire fits in: If Vanderbilt can overcome the foot injuries that plagued him at Kentucky, he could eventually become a replacement for ex-Morehead State star Kenneth Faried as Denver's "engery guy." Faried, 28, fell out of the Nuggets' rotation last year and will be in the final year of his contract in 2018-19.

Career adviser: Agent is Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management, whose other clients include DeAndre Ayton, Stanley Johnson, and Darren Collison.

Office dress code: The Nuggets' team colors are navy blue, powder blue, gold and white.

Hamidou Diallo

Hired by: Oklahoma City Thunder (was drafted No. 45 overall by the Brooklyn Nets. Was then traded twice, first to the Charlotte Hornets, then to Oklahoma City).

Starting pay: The minimum rookie salary for 2018-19 is $582,180.

Company's bottom line: 48-34, second in the Northwest Division. Lost to Utah, four games to two, in Western Conference playoffs first round.

The bosses: Financier Clay Bennett is chairman of the ownership group that moved the Seattle Supersonics to Oklahoma City in 2008. Ex-San Antonio Spurs executive Sam Presti runs the front office. Former Florida Coach Billy Donovan is the head coach.

Key current employees: Triple-double machine Russell Westbrook (25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 10.3 assists) is the face of the franchise. All-Star forward Paul George (21.9 points, 5.7 rebounds) is an unrestricted free agent. Aging star Carmelo Anthony (16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds) is in decline at 34.

How new hire fits in: For Diallo, an athletically gifted guard who needs to refine his basketball skills, a chance to study Westbrook up close would seem ideal.

Hamidou Diallo, with former Wildcats Kevin Knox and Bam Adebayo nearby, walks the Kentucky Derby red carpet and gets an ear tickle. "We've been hearing about horses all year."

Career adviser: Agent is Kevin Bradbury of BDA Sports Management, whose other clients include Frank Kaminsky, Aaron and Andrew Harrison and Evan Turner.

Office dress code: Oklahoma City's team colors are blue, navy blue, orange, yellow and white.

Mark Story: 859-231-3230; Twitter: @markcstory

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