Two of the newest NBA Kentucky Wildcats have signed their first pro basketball contracts!
The Milwaukee Bucks signed Chris Livingston to a record deal, while the Oklahoma City Thunder have signed Cason Wallace to his first NBA contract as well.
Wallace has been on fire in the Las Vegas Summer League, showing every bit of the potential that the Thunder hoped he would. Wallace scored a game-high 20 points against the Mavericks on Saturday.
Wallace was the 10th pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, while Livingston dropped to the final pick in Round 2, going 58th overall.
Livingston, a former 5-star recruit, really came onto the scene late for the Wildcats, and that might have hurt his draft stock, given he didn’t play at a high level throughout the entirety of the season.
The deal Livingston got is four years worth $7.7 million, and the first two years guaranteed, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Wallace’s contract is four years worth $24 million guaranteed, per Spotrac.
The Bucks are signing F Chris Livingston to a four-year, $7.7 million rookie deal, CEO of Klutch Sports Rich Paul and agent Brandon Cavanaugh tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. First two years guaranteed. It’s the largest ever total salary for the final pick in the NBA Draft. https://t.co/Oa14M5vPTg— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 9, 2023
Unfortunately, former National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe wasn’t drafted, so Livingston and Wallace were the only two Kentucky players to hear their names called.
While Wallace has an upward battle for minutes, despite being a lottery pick, it will be very difficult for Livingston to see the court as a rookie, given the depth in Milwaukee. The Bucks will also be expected to be a championship contender, so there will be ample leadership for the young forward to learn from.
Wallace sits second on the depth chart as the shooting guard for the Thunder, and given this strong summer league showing, he should expect to see some time to commence the season.
Coming from Kentucky, a program that has produced greats like Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns, the expectations for Livingston and Wallace will be high, but both having been 5-star recruits, they’ve been facing the pressure for quite some time.
Here’s to hoping this is the start of long and productive NBA careers for both Cats!