For some former Kentucky Wildcats, fitting in with an NBA team and earning a big contract comes easy. Players like Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and John Wall dominated both high school and college, and when the time came for the NBA, the transition was smooth.
For others, you have to fight tooth and nail to even earn a roster spot, let alone make the big bucks on a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract.
Wenyen Gabriel fits the latter scenario.
When he announced he would be keeping his name in the NBA Draft, most assumed the end goal was to play professionally overseas. His draft stock was non-existent, with only a few teams even bringing the former Kentucky forward in for a workout. When he earned a summer league roster spot with the Sacramento Kings, one of the few teams Gabriel got a workout with, most thought it was only for short-term purposes.
This morning on Kentucky Sports Radio, however, John Calipari dropped a bit of interesting information on the 6-foot-9 forward…
“Four of our kids got drafted, and the fifth got a guaranteed deal in Sacramento,” Calipari said in passing.
A guaranteed deal, eh?
After a slow start this summer, Gabriel had two strong performances this week when more minutes came his way.
He had a nine-point, ten-rebound outing on Sunday.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) July 9, 2018
And then in tonight’s loss to the Cavaliers, Gabriel finished with 15 points (5-6 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 3-3 FT), three rebounds, two steals and one block in 18 minutes of action.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) July 11, 2018
If Calipari is right, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski needs to watch his back. Coach Cal is coming for his job.
Let’s hope he’s on the money with this one and Wenyen gets an opportunity to shine in Sacramento.