clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The highest-paid former Wildcats in the NBA

A look at the former Wildcats who are drawing the largest salaries.

West Virginia v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Former Kentucky Wildcats serve as the faces of several NBA franchises, and as the face of a franchise, you’re entitled to big-money contracts.

In the nine seasons at Kentucky, John Calipari-coached players have totaled more than $1.5 billion in NBA contracts. In just the 2018-19 season alone, former Wildcats will make almost $190 million.

While they aren’t at the top of the payroll, these are the highest-earning former Wildcats in the NBA.

Anthony Davis

For the 2018-19 season, Davis will be bringing in the most amount of money among Kentucky players. He’ll make nearly $25.5 million, equaling players like Bradley Beal and Andre Drummond. That amount will grow to $27 million for the 2019-20 season before Davis can utilize his player option to opt out and potentially sign what will be the league’s largest contract ever in the summer of 2020.

John Wall

The 2019-20 season will be the first year of Wall’s massive four-year, $170 million extension with the Washington Wizards, in which he will earn $37.8 million in the first year. By the time he reaches his player option in 2022, Wall’s annual earning will top out at nearly $44 million. That would currently rank as the fifth-highest salary in the entire NBA.

Karl-Anthony Towns

This summer, Karl-Anthony Towns signed the most recent large-scale contract in the NBA when he agreed to a five-year $190 million extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The extension will kick in for the 2019-2020 season, and will net an average salary of $38 million a year. Town has been every pit the prodigy that warranted him being draft top overall in 2015, and got a max deal because of it.

Devin Booker

The 2019 season will also be the first of Booker’s five-year, $153 million max contract with the Phoenix Suns. He will earn $27.25 million that year, and in the final year of his contract in the 2023-2024 season, Booker will be making just under $36 million. After averaging 24.9 points per game in just his 3rd NBA season, he will be living lavishly in Phoenix for the long foreseeable future.

Enes Kanter

The next-largest current contract among Kentucky players is Kanter’s $18.6 million contract that expires after this upcoming season with the New York Knicks. Based on how well he’s played in New York, his next contract could pay him over $20 million annually.

Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe’s $15 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks also expires after this upcoming season. He too is in for a big payday next year, though he’s a little harder to project. His current 25.53 PER this season would be the highest of his career, so he may be able to get $20+ million in his next contract as well.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft is making $13 million with the Hornets this season. He’s slated to earn that amount again in 2019-20, but he has a player option for next year he can opt out of if he thinks he’ll get a bigger payday.

Other notables

  • Rajon Rondo (Lakers): $9 million in 2018-19
  • Julius Randle (Pelicans): $8.6 million in 2018-19
  • De’Aaron Fox (Kings): $5.4 million in 2018-19
  • Patrick Patterson (Thunder): $5.4 million in 2018-19
  • DeMarcus Cousins (Warriors): $5.3 million in 2018-19