2016's version of the NBA Draft had no shortage of excitement.
Boston held eight (EIGHT!) of the sixty picks. Philadelphia was so desperate to trade up for Kris Dunn, they offered the kitchen sink to several teams—and still didn't get him. Jaylen Brown went third to the Celtics, a move that many would not have expected (but ASOB's own Justin Hodges did!). Sacramento dropped 20 spots to have Phoenix draft Skal Labissiere for them.
And I'm pretty sure ESPN's Jalen Rose compared a 2nd round pick to Larry Nance Sr.
As a nice complement to this madness, the University of Kentucky saw its own share of excitement- once again having a strong presence in the NBA Draft.
While it wasn't UK's strongest draft year, the Wildcats still produced 3 draftees. Here are some historical notes following Kentucky's 2016 draft night:
-Jamal Murray picked 7th by Denver. Kentucky's highest scoring freshman ever will be the fifth Wildcat to suit up for the Nuggets. Others: Dan Issel, Dwight Anderson, Mark Pope, Ron Mercer.
-Skal Labissiere picked 28th by Sacramento (via Phoenix). Skal will presumably join the Kings, whose 2015-16 starting lineup included fellow Wildcats Rajon Rondo, Willie Cauley-Stein and DeMarcus Cousins. Labissiere will be the 16th former Wildcat to be drafted by or play for the Kings (NBA's oldest franchise).
-Tyler Ulis picked 34th by Phoenix. Kentucky might pull a monopoly on the Suns’ backcourt. Barring trades, Phoenix could have Ulis, Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin, Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe as its 2016-17 guards. This is getting ridiculous. Ulis will be the 15th former Wildcat to be drafted by or play for the Suns.
-With Murray and Skal both making the first round, John Calipari now has 17 one-and-dones at Kentucky, ALL OF WHICH WERE DRAFTED IN THE FIRST ROUND. The streak continues.
-In seven years at Kentucky, Calipari has now seen 29 of his players get drafted or play in the NBA.
-The NBA Draft Lottery began in 1985. Since then, Kentucky has produced 19 lottery picks.
-All-time, Kentucky has 131 players drafted/played in the NBA. 49 of these players were first round draft picks*. 24 players were drafted in the top 10.
It's Kentucky Basketball's world; we're just living in it. Let's finish up with highlights of a recent Kentucky draftee:
*Tom Payne was a 1st Round Pick in the 1971 Hardship Draft.
**As the NBA has expanded, the number of picks per round has gradually increased over time.
Sources: Basketball-Reference, ESPN, Kentucky Statistics Main Page