During the 2017 preseason, college basketball prognosticators liked what they saw in the Cats, with one →
Cats in the NBA
Former Kentucky Players in the NBA
By Nick Roush on ©May 27th, 2017 @ 8:30pm
With the first pick in the NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics are expected to select point guard Markelle Fultz. That’s what is expected, but it could change.
Jordan Schulz of Bleacher Report shared some inside information about the former Kentucky point guard on Twitter: “There are multiple teams in the lottery who feel De’Aaron Fox — not Fultz or Ball — is the top PG in the draft. Continues 2 rise.”
If Fox doesn’t fly all the way up to No. 1, he still could surpass Lonzo Ball and head to Los Angeles with the second pick. According to Mark Medina, Fox will work out with the Lakers and the Sixers, who hold the No. 3 pick. The workouts are expected to take place between June 11 and the 17th, about a week before the draft.
Fultz has been the consensus No. 1 overall pick for months, but a lot can change before June 22.
Mock drafts are much more palatable now that we do not have see Hamidou Diallo in them. Normally I stick to Draft Express and Chad Ford, but on this slow news Saturday it’s time to broaden our horizons, starting with a mock draft that’s bullish on Bam Adebayo.
4. De’Aaron Fox – Phoenix Suns
8. Malik Monk – New York Knicks
14. Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat
I want to agree with this mock draft, but I can’t. Why in the world would the Suns draft another Kentucky guard? They already have seven (maybe even more). Monk probably won’t fall that far, and if he does, Lord help him. Getting drafted by the Knicks might be worse than a quarterback who gets drafted by the Browns.
While we’re at it, here’s a few more mock drafts from around the internets.
5. De’Aaron Fox — Sacramento Kings
8. Malik Monk — New York Knicks
28. Bam Adebayo — L.A. Lakers
3. De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings (via trade)
5. Malik Monk – Philadelphia 76ers (via trade)
4. De’Aaron Fox – Phoenix Suns
6. Malik Monk – Orlando Magic
27. Bam Adebayo – Brooklyn Nets
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 26th, 2017 @ 12:00pm
Just when we thought Enes Kanter’s wild week had come to a peaceful end, his tough situation with Turkey has apparently just begun…
After being detained at a Romanian airport last week after his passport was cancelled mid-flight, Kanter eventually found his way back to the United States safe and sound.
Now, word out of local Turkish newspapers is that there is a warrant out for Kanter’s arrest, accusing the OKC Thunder big man of being a member of a terrorist organization.
According to this Yahoo article, the Turkish government feels Kanter’s association with Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen means he supports an armed terrorist group named Fethullah Terrorist Organisation.
Gulen has adamantly denied the existence of said group.
Kanter allegedly used an encrypted messaging app called Bylock, which the Turkish government believes was created for Gulen supporters. They also believe several of his social media accounts indicate he “praises” the terrorist group.
“You cannot catch me. Hahaha,” he said on Twitter. “Don’t waste your energy. I am already going to come to (Turkey) to spit on all of your ugly, hate-filled faces.”
During his detainment at the Romanian airport last week, Kanter compared Turkish president Erdogan to Adolf Hilter, and his dislike for the man doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Once again, #FreeEnes.
By Nick Roush on ©May 25th, 2017 @ 9:55pm
Since the Lakers landed the second spot in the 2017 NBA Draft lottery, the De’Aaron Fox vs. Lonzo Ball chatter has been unavoidable.
Those in L.A. want to see the Lakers take the home town kid. LaVar Ball haters want nothing to do with him. In Kentucky, we saw what Fox did to Lonzo twice. For the BBN, the Lakers’ choice is simple. In an interview with Complex, Fox humbly denies the importance of his domination in their head-to-head matchups.
“People bring up the head-to-head a lot. If you were to go based off the head-to-head then why wouldn’t you pick me? But people don’t go off of two games. He had a hell of a season, I had a hell of a season. We’ll see where the chips fall.”
Still, Fox believes he’s the best player in the draft, period.
I feel like I’m the best player in this draft no matter what. But seeing the lottery and how things fell, I feel like I wouldn’t slot past five. And I feel like if I perform well in my workouts I could move up.
In a point guard heavy draft, Fox believes defense sets him apart from the pack.
“In college, I got to the basket whenever I wanted. I felt like I created better. Defensively, I feel like that really separated me. Those guys—Markelle is a great scorer, he’s able to distribute; Lonzo is a great passer; Dennis [Smith], his athleticism and being able to score is phenomenal. But I feel like defensively, that’s what sets me apart. But I can also create and I feel like I can create better than those guys and they’re all phenomenal players.”
De’Aaron discusses a variety of topics in the Complex interview, from his impending shoe deal to his meeting with Calipari before declaring for the Draft.
By Nick Roush on ©May 24th, 2017 @ 11:00am
John Calipari’s NBA players are the best. We know this. Sometimes it takes a little more persuasion to convince outsiders, but numbers do not lie.
In the heart of tobacco road, the Greensboro News & Record took a closer look at one-and-done players from North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky since the collective bargaining agreement in 2008 prohibited high schoolers from jumping straight to the NBA. We all know nobody can compete with Kentucky, but the numbers are even more shocking than you’d think.
North Carolina has sent two players to the NBA after one year, Brandan Wright and as of today, Tony Bradley. Duke has sent seven one-and-done players to the NBA Draft. Kentucky has 18.
If you want to throw a monetary figure in a Dukie’s face, Duke players have earned $114,660,073. That’s impressive, but it’s almost four times less than the $410,565,491 Kentucky’s departing freshmen have earned in the NBA. That’s not counting players like Patrick Patterson, Tyler Ulis, Terrence Jones and Willie Cauley-Stein who played more than one year under Calipari.
To see a breakdown of all 18 UK freshmen to leave for the draft after one year, click here.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 22nd, 2017 @ 10:45pm
No one knows the New York amateur basketball scene better than Adam Zagoria, so you have to trust everything he says and reports about anyone from the area, including Hamidou Diallo.
Therefore, we must listen when Zagoria says a source told him Diallo’s decision may not come until Wednesday, the deadline for making that decision.
“It’s going to the wire on Wednesday,” Zagoria’s source told him. “A decision could be made before Wednesday but right now it’s looking like Wednesday.”
That may be the case, but we’ll keep refreshing the Diallo newswire every minute between now and Wednesday at midnight, just to be safe.
Dominique Hawkins’ NBA dreams are alive and well. After spending weeks preparing with De’Aaron Fox on the west coast for NBA Draft workouts, Hawkins has earned an opportunity to show off his skills in front of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers announced on Twitter that Hawkins is one six players working out for the team today, joining Thomas Bryant and Nigel Williams-Goss among others.
Hawkins will have another chance to impress an NBA team later this week. His high school coach told KSTV he will also work out for the Indianapolis Pacers later this week.
With De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk climbing the boards, Bam Adebayo’s fringe projection, Isaiah Briscoe’s comments and all things Hamidou Diallo, we’ve forgotten to check in on another NBA hopeful, Isaac Humphries.
Things have been pretty quiet on the Isaac Humphries front since he announced he is leaving for the pros, but today we have an update: Humphries has an NBA workout.
According to NBA writer Cody Taylor, Humphries has a Monday workout with the Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee has the No. 17 and 48 picks in the upcoming draft and I assume Humphries’ workout is for consideration for the 48th pick.
North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks will also be working out with the Bucks today, so maybe Humphries will have the workout of his life and hits jumpers all over Meeks. Again.
Enes Kanter made a special guest appearance on “CBS This Morning” to explain his crazy weekend. He said the trouble began in Indonesia, telling CBS, “I was sleeping around 2:30 or something and my manager knocked on my door. He said the Secret Service and the Indonesian army were looking for me because the Turkish government told them I was a dangerous man… We didn’t know what we had to do. We escaped the country and went to Singapore, then we came to Romania.”
Meanwhile, back in America, the Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Players Association and many others were working hard to get Kanter back in the United States without a passport, because his had been canceled. He eventually made it to London and then flew back to the U.S. with help from Homeland Security and the State Department.
Hear it all for yourself:
Kanter now plans to become an American citizen.
After his debacle of a day getting detained in a Romanian airport, Enes has finally made his way back stateside, and seems more patriotic than ever before:
The most beautiful country in the world.
The United States Of America 🇺🇸 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FBPurW17AT
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 21, 2017
It’s certainly more beautiful than whatever Eastern European holding room he was stuck in yesterday.
After Kanter made it out of Romania, he announced his intentions to hold a press conference to give the full details of his encounter at the airport. Now that he’s back in the US, we await to hear what he has to say.
By Eli Mitchell on ©May 21st, 2017 @ 12:00pm
For the last two years the Phoenix Suns have brought special needs children to the NBA Draft Lottery, this year former Kentucky guard and current Suns star, Devin Booker was accompanied to the lottery by Noah Smith. Adi Joseph, For the Win, gives us a behind the scenes look at Noah’s special day in the Big Apple.
Noah, an 11 year-old Special Olympian, has been a fan of the Suns and Booker since he was drafted to the team in 2015.
Booker, Noah, both of their brothers, and a few Suns staff members had quite a day in New York City playing basketball, eating pizza, and visiting the One World Observatory.
A real connection was quickly formed between Noah and Booker as the two have more in common than Booker expected. Noah suffered from a similar Micro-deletion syndrome that Booker’s younger sister Mya Powell also suffered from.
“I know how important it is to the families,” Booker said. “I know my mom would do anything to make my sister smile, anything to make her happy. So in my role as a brother, I try to make her happy. So for this to be a good experience for him, to see him smiling, it’s really relatable. And it’s easy to deal with. They have the same disorder, so it’s very similar, and I’m very comfortable with it all.”
Booker knows the influence that he can have as the celebrity that he is and plans to continue giving back to the community in the best way he knows how.
“I wish I could do this with every single kid in Phoenix.”
Read the full story here.
Unlike the first Free Enes campaign, this one actually worked. The New York Times reports Kanter has left Romania after his canceled travel documents kept him from entering the country.
“Today at around 1 p.m. local time an individual arrived from Frankfurt,” Mr. Fabian Badila, a spokesman for the Romanian border police, said in an interview. “My colleagues established that his travel documents weren’t valid, that they had been canceled by his home country, so he wasn’t allowed to enter the country.
“At around 5 p.m., he left the airport on a flight to London,” Mr. Badila continued. “While he was at the airport he wasn’t detained or locked up, he was allowed to wander around, but he couldn’t enter the country.”
Kanter’s 25th Birthday got off to a rough start. Traveling to basketball camps and clinics around the world for the Enes Kanter Foundation, he had been to eight or nine different countries, most recently Singapore, to help grow the game of basketball. With plans to finish the tour in four Scandinavian countries, his international trip was cut short when he arrived in Romania.
Targeted for his outspoken political beliefs against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the government has arrested thousands of Fethullah Gulen supporters like Kanter since a failed coup in December. One of Kanter’s representatives told Brett Dawson the country will report passports as stolen or missing in order to have them confiscated in foreign countries. Once the documents are confiscated, they are usually deported, only to be arrested once they return to Turkey.
Luckily, Kanter’s birthday will not end with an arrest in his home country. Kanter has yet to confirm the Times’ report with a social media post, but right now we’re just glad Enes is Free.
Enes Kanter’s offseason travels around the world hit a roadblock in Romania. The former Kentucky big man shared this message with his followers.
I’m being held at Romanian airport by Police!! pic.twitter.com/uYZMBqKx54
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 20, 2017
Kanter’s opposition to the Turkish government and president, who he so lovingly referred to as “the Hitler of our century,” has put him in a pickle. It’s already put him between his family. Kanter’s father disowned him for his beliefs last August. Now he’s stuck in an airport without a valid passport.
Through it all, Enes still has a smile on his face.
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) May 20, 2017
In the video Enes shared with the world, he used phrases like “canceled my passport” and “deportation.” The ambiguous allegations provided little detail, but now we have some clarity.
According to Mahir Zeyalov, a journalist who covers Turkey, the country has revoked his passport. He faces deportation to Turkey where he will likely be arrested.
Back home, Kanter’s assistant told Brett Dawson he’s “pretty optimistic” about Kanter’s chances of returning to the United States.
Sam Vecenie of The Sporting News spoke with Catspause.com recently and he said, Malik Monk is now “seriously in play” with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Last week, at the NBA Draft Lottery, the 76ers got the third overall pick and, Monk is projected to go third in many mock drafts. This could be a match made in heaven for Philly – a team that REALLY struggles with shooting. Considering Monk scored a total of 754 points (the most ever by a UK Freshman) last season, I’d say drafting him would fix the 76ers shooting problem.
The 76ers are built around Joel Emiid at the post and Simmons on the interior. Monk could really give them some perimeter depth and play well with Simmons. The only downside to Monk going to Philly? I’d have to actually watch some 6ers games – which means watching Ben Simmons play. But I doubt the 76ers’ franchise owners will take my qualms into consideration on this.
A quick twitter search of Monk’s name shows that 6ers fans REALLY, REALLY want him – I mean who wouldn’t right? If he does go third, that’d be Cal’s seventh top-five pick during his time at UK. Yeah, he’s pretty good at this getting kids ready for the NBA thing.
If we’re to believe Isaiah Briscoe’s Instagram story, which he is very active on, the former Kentucky guard was at the Houston Rockets practice facility in Houston earlier today.
I’d say it’s safe to say he was there to work out for the team, although I cannot confirm that outside of his social media postings.
Houston has two second-round picks in the draft at No. 43 and 45.
As for the other NBA hopefuls, Bam Adebayo is continuing his workouts out in Arizona; last we heard from De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk, they were wearing fancy suits in New York City yesterday; and Hamidou Diallo is trying to make up his mind on his basketball future.
This was your Friday night UK-NBA update.