The Kentucky Wildcats have one of the most prestigious basketball programs in the nation, producing some of the NBA’s best players since John Calipari arrived in 2009.
They continue to produce top-tier NBA talent, which was evident by the number of Cats in ESPN’s 2023-2024 NBA MVP predictions.
Three Cats — Devin Booker, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Anthony Davis — all were listed in the top-10 players that will be contending for the NBA's most valuable player award.
Here’s how the ESPN panel voted on who would be the 2023-24 NBA MVP:
1. Nikola Jokić, Denver Nuggets: 77 points (42.3% of first-place votes)
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks: 58 points (23.1%)
3. Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks: 31 points (11.5%)
4. Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics: 13 points (7.7%)
5. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers: 12 points
6. Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns: 11 points (3.8%)
T-7. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns: 7 points (3.8%)
T-7. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors: 7 points
8. Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat: 6 points
T-9. Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves: 5 points (3.8%)
T-9. Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers: 5 points (3.8%)
T-10. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder: 1 point
T-10. Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers: 1 point
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Devin Booker, at +1800, has the best odds of any former Wildcats player to win MVP. That means a $100 bet would win $1,800 and have a total payout of $1,900 if he were to win the award.
SGA is tied for 10th with Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young at +2000. Anthony Davis is at +3500, which appears to be good value per ESPN’s predictions of him being a top-ten player.
The Suns, Lakers, and Thunder are all expected to be playoff-caliber teams, which should undoubtedly aid the likelihood of any of the former Cats being in the running for MVP.
That said, with the season still months away, fans will continue this onslaught of offseason content without much action. The new NBA season is scheduled to begin on October 24th.