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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander praises Kentucky, Coach Cal at NBA Draft Media Day

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has had an extremely quiet pre-draft process, with the former Kentucky guard not working out with many teams and keeping visits to an absolute minimum.

But his stock is spiking.

He started the process as a late-lottery/mid-first round selection. Now, however, it would be an absolute shock if he fell out of the top-11.

Charlotte has all but said they would take him at 11 if he dropped that far, but most believe he’ll go well before that.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Toronto Raptors are prepared to make a move into the top-10 to select the silky-smooth point guard.

Gilgeous-Alexander, a Hamilton, Canada native, told reporters at NBA Draft Media Day this afternoon that he would love to play in his hometown at the next level.

“I heard it,” the former UK player said. “A couple of guys mentioned it to me. That would be cool. Playing in Toronto would be fun. It’s my hometown.”

But the Raptors may not even get the opportunity, as another team is enamored with the former Wildcat.

According to several reports, the Cleveland Cavaliers are torn between Gilgeous-Alexander and Oklahoma’s Trae Young at No. 8, but they may be leaning toward the Kentucky guard.

He credits the hype surrounding his draft stock and his overall NBA preparedness to his time at the University of Kentucky, and more specifically, John Calipari.

“It prepared me a lot,” Gilgeous-Alexander said Wednesday of how UK impacted his NBA aspirations. “From Day One, Coach (John) Calipari has prepared us to be pros. That’s one of his main things. That’s what he does better than any coach in the country.”

As for Gilgeous-Alexander’s teammate, Kevin Knox, his stock is rising, as well. In fact, there’s a chance the Wildcats are taken back-to-back near the end of the top-10.

The New York Knicks are reportedly interested in the Kentucky forward with the ninth pick, and the Philadelphia 76ers are extremely interested with the tenth pick. He has worked out for both teams, including several others in the top-10. He has also worked out with Orlando at No. 6, Chicago at No. 7, Charlotte at No. 11, and the Clippers at No. 12. There’s a very slim chance he falls past there.

Knox said he has learned a lot through the pre-draft process, including the fact that he “can do so much more than (he) showed at Kentucky.”

“In college you kind of have a role on your team,” he said. “My role was a little bit different. It was to play off the ball but I think this summer I showed a lot of teams, a lot of coaches I can play on the ball, I really can do so much more than I showed at Kentucky. That’s kind of the mindset coming into this summer this year. I’m gonna keep proving people wrong.”

But the bright lights at Kentucky have prepared him for even the biggest of stages in the NBA. Even when it comes to New York’s Madison Square Garden.

“Kentucky is basically the New York Knicks of college basketball,” he said.

As for John Calipari’s role in tomorrow night’s NBA Draft, Knox says the Kentucky coach will be bouncing back and forth between his table and SGA’s.


Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

2 Comments for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander praises Kentucky, Coach Cal at NBA Draft Media Day

    10:32 pm June 20, 2018 Permalink

    If there’s any chance LeBron stays in Cleveland, and he has any say-so at all, I believe he’d prefer SGA over Trae Shooty McShooterson.

    • GM1978
      9:40 am June 21, 2018 Permalink

      Agreed……SGA projects as a better pro player than Young in my opinion