Over the last several seasons, the Kentucky Wildcats have had a plethora of big-name talents come out of Lexington. Including multiple drafts with numerous first-round picks, Kentucky has many household names that came through its program.
The biggest couple of names are Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns, two of the best big men in the NBA. However, while many may know those two, the Wildcats have also had talents that weren’t the most notable on draft night.
That’s why they have two land on NBA.com’s top-10 biggest draft steals. One of the top steals was Devin Booker, who barely cracked into the lottery and is now putting on a show on the league’s biggest stage.
Booker averaged over 25 points per game for his third straight season this past year and is now averaging over 27 points per game in his first postseason. He’s also evolved as a playmaker and defender.
Originally, Booker was the 13th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Booker didn’t even start at UK but is now one of the biggest names in the league. Here’s what NBA.com’s Michael Wright wrote on Devin Booker.
“He was the 13th pick in a 2015 class that saw his college teammate Karl-Anthony Towns go No. 1 overall. Booker came off the bench at Kentucky, but is now leading the Phoenix Suns on a magical postseason run as a two-time All-Star. He is a study in perseverance considering all the losing seasons he endured over his first five seasons to get to this point,” Wright said.
It wasn’t just Booker that played at Kentucky and also cracked the list.
Bam Adebayo, the 14th overall pick via the Miami Heat in the 2017 NBA Draft, was named an honorable mention. He joined Domantas Sabonis, Pascal Siakam, Nikola Vucevic, and Zach LaVine as players breaking into the top 15 but not quite in the top 10.
As for Adebayo, he averaged 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds this past season along with being named to the All-Defensive team yet again. In his four-year career, he’s cracked the All-Defensive team twice and was an All-Star once.
Adebayo and Booker, along with Tyler Herro and P.J. Washington, make up an up-and-coming class of former Wildcats prepared to take over as the NBA is ushering in a new generation of talent.