One of the biggest selling points of Kentucky basketball is putting players in the pros. Now no other school can claim to have more NBA players than Kentucky’s 20. And before long, it seems likely former Wildcats will be making the most dough too.
Duke currently leads the way, with its former players bringing in more than $77 million. Kentucky still has most of its draft picks under rookie contracts, which lowers the total dramatically from what it will be in several years.
Here is the breakdown of the top five schools’ former players making the most money in the NBA.
Almost half of the Bruins’ total comes from superstars Russell Westbrook ($13.7 million) and Kevin Love ($13.7 million).
Kentucky’s two highest paid players come from the pre-Caliapri era, with Rajon Rondo ($11 million) and Tayshaun Prince ($6.7 million) making the most. The Cats have 18 other players in the league, and are still under their rookie contract. In the next few years, Kentucky will skyrocket on this list.
David Lee, Al Horford, and Joakim Noah made a combined $36 million, which is more than all but eleven schools’ total figure.
Rudy Gay, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, and Caron Butler all made over $8 million this season.
Duke has three players making over $10 million, incuding Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, and Corey Maggette. Also consider a future NBA star Kyrie Irving only made $5.3 million. Once his rookie contract is up, his salary will increase dramatically.
In the conference round-up, the ACC leads the way with four schools in the top-15, including the top team. The Big East and SEC are next-best with three teams each. The Pac-12 and Big 12 each have two schools in the top-15, and the Big Ten has one team.