The NBA regular season starts tonight, and to no one’s surprise, Kentucky once again leads all college basketball programs with 27 former players on opening-day rosters. The next closest program? Duke with 20 former players and North Carolina and Kansas with 16 each.
Kentucky players are now on 15 of the league’s 30 teams and make up more than 5.5 percent of the league’s 489 players. Seven NBA teams feature multiple Wildcats, with New Orleans and Phoenix accounting for four each, followed by Sacramento with three.
|Malik Monk||Charlotte Hornets|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Charlotte Hornets|
|Nerlens Noel||Dallas Mavericks|
|Jamal Murray||Denver Nuggets|
|Trey Lyles||Denver Nuggets|
|Alex Poythress||Indiana Pacers|
|Julius Randle||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Andrew Harrison||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Bam Adebayo||Miami Heat|
|DeAndre Liggins||Milwaukee Bucks|
|Karl-Anthony Towns||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|DeMarcus Cousins||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Anthony Davis||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Darius Miller||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Rajon Rondo||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Enes Kanter||New York Knicks|
|Dakari Johnson||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Patrick Patterson||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Eric Bledsoe||Phoenix Suns|
|Devin Booker||Phoenix Suns|
|Brandon Knight||Phoenix Suns|
|Tyler Ulis||Phoenix Suns|
|Skal Labissiere||Sacramento Kings|
|Willie Cauley-Stein||Sacramento Kings|
|De’Aaron Fox||Sacramento Kings|
|Jodie Meeks||Washington Wizards|
|John Wall||Washington Wizards|
Using figures compiled by basketball-reference.com and spotrac.com, Calipari-coached players (which includes Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans but not Jodie Meeks or Rajon Rondo) have amassed nearly $1.5 billion in career NBA contracts ($1.455 billion). In the eight seasons Calipari has been the head coach at Kentucky, his players have totaled more than $1.09 billion in NBA contracts. In just the 2017-18 season alone, UK players are slated to make more than $178 million. Calipari-coached players only (which includes Rose and Evans but not Meeks or Rondo) will make more than $177 million.
That’s a whole lotta money.