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Karl Towns went No. 1, five others followed and Aaron Harrison has new motivation


It was a historic night for the Kentucky basketball program. First, Karl-Anthony Towns went No. 1 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, giving UK its third No. 1 overall pick in the last six years. That ties Duke for the most in the history of the draft.

Shortly after Towns shook the commissioner’s hand, Willie Cauley-Stein heard his name called at No. 6 to the Sacramento Kings. There was talk going into the draft that Cauley-Stein would slip out of the top 10, but the Kings selected him several picks ahead of where he was projected in the final mock drafts.

Then Trey Lyles and Devin Booker went back to back at No. 12 and 13, tying North Carolina’s record of four players from one team in the lottery. Lyles is now a member of the Utah Jazz, while Booker joins three other Wildcats in Phoenix. The new Suns backcourt features Booker, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight and Archie Goodwin.

We wouldn’t see another Kentucky player drafted until Andrew Harrison in the second round at No. 44 to Phoenix and then on to the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade. Dakari Johnson was the sixth and final Wildcat to go, at No. 48 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Aaron Harrison went undrafted in the lone heartbreak of the night for Big Blue Nation. It makes things a little bittersweet, honestly. He will have plenty of opportunities to sign with an organization as an undrafted free agent, but had he been picked, Kentucky would’ve set the record for most players selected in one draft. Oh well. Maybe next year.

Here’s a look at UK’s six draftees:

Karl-Anthony Towns
No. 1
Minnesota Timberwolves


Willie Cauley-Stein
No. 6
Sacramento Kings


Trey Lyles
No. 12
Utah Jazz


Devin Booker
No. 13
Phoenix Suns


Andrew Harrison
No. 44
Phoenix Suns (Traded to Memphis Grizzlies)


Dakari Johnson
No. 48
Oklahoma City Thunder


We will have a ton of discussion about each player and their futures tomorrow and on through the weekend, but for now, here are some very quick draft takeaways before I fall asleep:

— Philadelphia drafting three centers and two power forwards to go with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid will forever be included in my favorite NBA draft memories. When most of the league looks to the Warriors’ “small ball” success, the Sixers said f*** it and went bigger. Trades will be made, obviously, but I’m holding out hope they keep everyone and start five centers. There are currently six centers on the roster.

— Willie Cauley-Stein will never play with DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento. Sad, but likely true.

— I honestly forgot Utah still had an NBA team. Luckily, Trey can learn under great leaders like Karl Malone, Greg Ostertag and Olden Polynice. They’re still in Utah, right?

— Dakari Johnson and Enes Kanter in one frontcourt, yes please. Dakari lands on another championship-caliber team.

— Poor Montrezl Harrell.

— Memphis is going to love Andrew Harrison. It will take all of two weeks for him to move ahead of Nick Calathes in the backup point guard spot behind Mike Conley.

— Couldn’t be happier for Towns. Miss him already.

Good night, y’all.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

26 Comments for Karl Towns went No. 1, five others followed and Aaron Harrison has new motivation

  1. Mark Liptak
    1:01 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    Both Harrison’s (assuming Aaron eventually signs a free agent deal) and Johnson get non-guaranteed contracts. All three should have stayed at UK. Wish them well but they’ll have to live with their decisions now.

    • Mel Kiper
      9:03 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      The league minimum is over $500,00.00. I think theyll live pretty easily with their decisions.

    • J-Dub421
      10:24 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      Returning to school for a third year was NOT going to help any of their draft stock. Why do people not understand this??

    • Leuther
      3:12 pm June 26, 2015 Permalink

      Agree! All 3 would have benefitted from staying in school!

  2. Shawn Bockelman
    1:15 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    I can’t believe that nobody took a chance on Aaron. Other than Karl, he would’ve been the player that we could least afford to lose this year. Be honest, would you rather have gone without Devin or Aaron if you were forced to choose? ? not sayin Aaron is a better pro or anything, but we were going nowhere without Aaron. Just ask Louisville, Wichita St., Michigan, Wisconsin, and other teams he stuck daggers in their hearts if they think he shoulda got drafted. He’ll catch on somewhere and make em pay. I don’t care what kind of workouts he had. There’s only a handful of players that hit shots like that with that much on the line. He should be with his brothers celebrating right now. .. it’s a travesty. .

    • Leuther
      3:13 pm June 26, 2015 Permalink

      It was just a poor decision for Aaron, his brother, and Dakari to not stay in school…

  3. J
    1:57 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    Aaron will play for Charlotte’s summer league team, according to Jeff Goodman

  4. MJ
    2:04 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    @GoodmanESPN: Aaron Harrison will go to summer league with Charlotte, source told ESPN.

  5. Craig Sager's Suits
    3:04 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    Aaron shouldn’t have declared. Everyone knows if you’re a second round projection there is a high chance you won’t either be in the league shortly after being drafted or not drafted at all. Good luck though to him. Good luck to Dakari and Andrew as well.

    • Brandon
      8:01 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      You do know that second round picks get guaranteed contracts right? Jarnell Stokes went second round and got a guaranteed from the Grizzles last year.

    • Craig Sager's Suits
      10:42 pm June 27, 2015 Permalink

      Ask Darius Miller, and countless others who also were drafted second round and are now playing in Europe or Asia instead of the league. Thank you for calling.

  6. UK Freshmen
    5:53 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    The twins are the biggest failures in Cal’s career.

    • Rixter
      7:42 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      Yes, only 2 Final Fours in two years. Disastrous. They could of done so much better.

    • Ha!
      11:08 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      Meanwhile Blackshear will become Rick’s third consecutive 5-star to go undrafted.

  7. Red River Saga
    5:54 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    Tied UNCheat with 4 Lottery Picks … at least UK’s 4 went to actual Class.

  8. UK Freshmen
    5:55 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    ….oh….besides the fact that Val has won only one National Championship.

    • J-Dub421
      10:25 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      Go crawl back under your bridge Louisville troll. We own you.

    • Ha!
      11:05 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      And Rick only has one in the 14 years he’s been at UL. And don’t use the “he’s had less talent” argument – his job description includes recruiting high-level players to his school. Just like every other coach in the country.

  9. Gupta
    7:06 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    Great pick

  10. Franklinstein
    7:15 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    Many teams will be sorry that they didn’t pick the twins and instead picked all them foreigners

  11. Bill
    8:06 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    “Maybe next year” is that referring to setting the record for draft picks? You want to lose that many players next year? Is that you goal? Is John calapari writing this article? What an ignorant comment!
    “Maybe next year” our players and coach will show up in a big game (WCS) and not be out coached and out played by inferior opponents! Ridiculous idiotic comment!

  12. JohnnyCat
    8:50 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    Why “poor Montrezl Harrell”????
    From the looks of things Terrence Jones will be on his way out of Houston.
    Jones is on his last year of rookie contract and I’m gonna say this as a KY fan and believer in Jones as a solid PF in the league….but Harrell may have a higher upside and comes much cheaper for 4 years.

    • Ha!
      11:06 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      If you think Harrell is a better player with more upside than Jones, you are retarded.

  13. Jim
    10:05 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

    One title with 25 draft picks over 6 years.Wow.

    • J-Dub421
      11:45 am June 26, 2015 Permalink

      Yeah, 4 final fours in 6 years is so disappointing. You’re irrational.

  14. Blair T
    3:29 pm June 26, 2015 Permalink

    And a big shout out to Matt Hernandez at who took the pic of KAT that KSR altered to show the Minnesota tee shirt. Good work as always, Matt!!