As expected, Kyle Wiltjer didn't hear his named called during the 2016 NBA Draft, but he still ended up on an NBA team by night's end.
The former Gonzaga All-American and Kentucky Wildcats champion reached a deal with the Houston Rockets Thursday night. It turns out it's a three-year contract, and 50% of the first-year salary guaranteed, according to KREM 2.
Nothing but joy in the Wiltjer house so hyped right now! Thank you @HoustonRockets for the opportunity https://t.co/mnefXed9lq— Kyle Wiltjer (@kwiltj) June 24, 2016
Wildcats fans will remember Wiltjer for helping UK win the program's eighth national title in 2012. As a freshman that year, Wiltjer averaged 5.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg and sank 35 three-pointers. He scored five points in a Final Four win over Louisville and made a three-pointer in four straight NCAA wins in the tournament.
As a sophomore, Wiltjer took on a bigger role while averaging 10.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, and was named SEC Sixth Man of the Year. It was after that season that Wiltjer opted for a transfer to Gonzaga, where he sat out in 2012-13.
When he returned as a redshirt junior, Wiltjer was a key player on a Gonzaga squad that fell to eventual champion Duke in the Elite Eight after averaging 16.8 points per game.
This past season, Wiltjer averaged a team-high 20.4 points to go with 6.3 rebounds as a senior. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound forward shot 43.7 percent from behind the three-point line while helping the Bulldogs reach their sixth Sweet Sixteen in program history.
The Portland native now gets to join a Rockets team with fellow Portlander and Wildcat Terrence Jones. Both Wiltjer and Jones were part of that memorable 38-2 UK squad that cut down the nets. Jones layer declared for the 2012 draft before the Rockets took him in Round 1.
Now, those two former Cats get to team up with a Rockets team that's been to the playoffs four straight years.