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Former Wildcats set to hit NBA free agency

PJ Washington and Trey Lyles will be a few of the names to keep an eye on over the next month.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

While some former Kentucky Wildcats like Cason Wallace and Chris Livingston are about to start their respective NBA journey, several players that used to be in Lexington will be continuing there with decisions to make in the near future.

The free agency period will commence at 6 pm ET on Friday, June 30th.

Trey Lyles, Hamidou Diallo, and Wenyen Gabriel will be the unrestricted free agents, open to re-signing with their current team or heading elsewhere.

Lyles will be the most high-profile name of the group, as he helped the Kings earn the 3rd seed in the Western Conference this past season. Lyles averaged 7.6 points per game and shot 45.8% from the field. He stands 6-foot-9 and can space the floor with his shooting which will be a sought-after skill set on the market.

PJ Washington, Olivier Sarr, and Johnny Juzang are restricted free agents. A restricted free agent is a type in which the current team can match an offer by another organization in free agency.

Washington, Sarr, and Juzang are respectively with the Hornets, Thunder, and Jazz.

The most notable is Washington. He is a 24-year-old forward who was the 12th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Washington was part of the All-Rookie team his first season and averaged a career-high 15.7 points per game, shooting 44.4% from the field. He can also space the floor which, like with Lyles, will be a skill set teams looking to compete will look for.

Kevin Knox is the only former Wildcats’ standout with a club option.

One other note: While Tyrese Maxey isn’t set to hit free agency, there was hope he’d get a long-term extension with the Philadelphia 76ers this summer.

But for now, that isn’t happening, according to ESPN reporter Ramona Shelburne.

Here’s to hoping this doesn’t keep Maxey from signing a nine-figure extension over the next year. He’s more than earned it.