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Former Cats Earning NBA Workouts

Now that draft decisions are finalized, here’s a list of former Wildcats working out for NBA teams.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Last week was full of headlines regarding members of the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team. Jarred Vanderbilt and Wenyen Gabriel elected to remain in this year’s NBA Draft while P.J. Washington decided he would return to the Bluegrass for another season under John Calipari.

Vanderbilt and Gabriel added to the trio of Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of former Cats who will hope to hear their name called on June 21st.

This week, multiple Wildcats who remained in the draft are reportedly working out for NBA clubs.

Hamidou Diallo

Diallo was expected to be a late first round pick last summer before he opted to return to Kentucky to play his freshman year under John Calipari. Following a disappointing season, Diallo has seen his stock take a dip but not all the way out of the draft.

Per AJ McCord, Diallo was in Portland on Monday for a workout with the Trail Blazers. The Blazers do not own a second round pick and their lone selection falls in the 24th slot.

Portland won’t be all, though, as he’s reportedly set to work out for the Kings in Sacramento on Wednesday.

As previously mentioned, Diallo was rumored to go late in the first round of last year’s draft. The team showing the most interest in him was the Brooklyn Nets.

With the Nets owning the 29th pick in this year’s draft, Tom Dowd of believes Diallo has a chance to land with the club.

Wherever he goes, it’ll certainly be an upside reach rather than a pick based on floor production.

Kevin Knox

Knox had one of the better Wildcat seasons, probably second only to Gilgeous-Alexander. However, being second isn’t keeping him from being first in almost every mock draft. Most analysts believe Knox’s comp to be Tobias Harris. A good (not great) starting small forward or “small-ball” power forward.

Today, though, Knox worked out for the Orlando Magic. It’s interesting because Harris played three seasons in Orlando.

It’s also very interesting because the Magic select sixth overall in the draft this year and picking Knox would be beyond a reach. To do so, they’d likely pass on players such as Trae Young, Colin Sexton, Mikal Bridges, Wendell Carter Jr., etc.

This reportedly isn’t Knox’s first workout, though, as he’s apparently worked out for the Cleveland Cavaliers (own the 8th pick). He will also reportedly work out for the New York Knicks (9th pick) and the Chicago Bulls (7th pick) on later dates.

With Knox landing in the late end of the lottery via most mocks, early-mid lottery teams showing interest is a good sign for the 18-year old.

Wenyen Gabriel

Gabriel hasn’t been mentioned in any mocks to date, but that doesn’t mean he won’t hear his name called on draft night.

While a workout doesn’t bring any guarantees, it certainly proves interest.

Gabriel reportedly worked out for the Phoenix Suns on Monday, a team that has had their share of acquiring Kentucky Wildcats in recent past. Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis both taken by the Suns in 2015. Phoenix has also formerly acquired guards Archie Goodwin, Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe via trade.

Gilgeous-Alexander’s absence came as a bit of a shock. However he will surely have his fair share of workouts before draft day. The player drawing questions is Vanderbilt, though, as his decision to leave school was unpredicted.

For the latest on former Wildcats in the NBA, check back with A Sea Of Blue.