Over the past several years, the Kentucky Wildcats have helped produce some of the NBA’s best talent. From Anthony Davis back in the early-2010s to Devin Booker in the mid-2010s, Kentucky’s talent has continued to shine.
While their teams have struggled at the collegiate level over the past half a decade, they’ve certainly been able to continue that trend of keeping talented players at the sport’s highest level.
That said, Bleacher Report recently did three articles, re-drafting the 2016 NBA Draft through the 2019 NBA Draft, all with multiple Wildcats taken at some point in the 60-pick event. In the re-draft, the Wildcats had a top-five pick in all three years.
Jamal Murray was selected No. 7 overall in the 2016 draft. De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, and Bam Adebayo were originally lottery picks in 2017 with only Fox in the top five. Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were the only two lottery picks for the 2018 draft. For 2019, it was PJ Washington and Tyler Herro who were taken in the top 14.
Fox was the only one taken in the top five, but in the three re-draft articles, was far from the only Wildcat that was re-drafted as a top-10 pick (he fell to No. 6 in this redraft).
Let’s dive into which Wildcats were ranked in the top five of the BR re-drafts.
Jamal Murray - 2nd overall in 2016 draft
“The Denver Nuggets scored 7.2 more points per 100 possessions when Murray played with Nikola Jokic than when the MVP played without the combo guard. Because of his ability to dominate as an on- or off-ball threat, Murray could fit in a variety of lineups. And while he isn’t a defensive stopper, he fights on that end,” wrote Andy Bailey.
Bam Adebayo - 3rd overall in 2017 draft
“Having a center who can run possessions can work wonders for everyone else on the roster. Those extra off-ball possessions increase efficiency for guards and wings, and forcing bigs to defend a variety of actions in space can wear them out or get them into foul trouble,” Bailey wrote.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - 5th overall in the 2018 Draft
“On the other end of the floor, SGA hasn’t shown himself to be a lockdown defender, but he has the length (at 6’6”) and athleticism to guard multiple positions. And there’s plenty of time for the 23-year-old to develop the habits necessary to make more of an impact there,” Bailey wrote.
Tyler Herro - 5th overall in 2019 Draft
“He may not develop into a bona fide No. 1 scorer like Booker, but he could very well have an All-Star ceiling,” Bailey wrote.