Currently Kentucky has a total of 18 alumni spread over 14 NBA teams. Another 7 guys will be headed into the league next season. That is a possible 25 players at the beginning of the 2015-16 season. Of course, guys like Nazr Mohammed and Tayshaun Prince will have to see if they are signed to play somewhere as their contracts have expired. But the point is that Kentucky is beginning to dot a lot of teams in the professional ranks. But would it be possible to have a UK player on each and every NBA team? Below are all the NBA teams with players who are still under contract for next season PLUS the 7 potential draft picks at various locations based on mock drafts:
TORONTO: Patrick Patterson
BOSTON: James Young
PHILADELPHIA: Nerlens Noel
CLEVELAND: Dakari Johnson (#53 pick)
INDIANA: Willie Cauley-Stein (#11 pick)
DETROIT: Jodie Meeks
ATLANTA: Andrew Harrison (#50 pick)
WASHINGTON: John Wall
MIAMI: Trey Lyles (#10 pick)
CHARLOTTE: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PHOENIX: Archie Goodwin, Eric Bledsoe
SACRAMENTO: Demarcus Cousins
L.A. LAKERS: Julius Randle
HOUSTON: Terrence Jones
DALLAS: Aaron Harrison (#52 pick)
NEW ORLEANS: Anthony Davis
OKLAHOMA CITY: Devin Booker (#14 pick)
MINNESOTA: Karl-Anthony Towns (#1 pick)
That would be a total of 19 UK players on 18 different NBA teams. Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, Brandon Knight, Nazr Mohammed, Rajon Rondo and Enes Kanter are all free agents.
-Safe estimate: 4 of those 6 guys resign for next year. Let’s toss out Mohammed and Prince. That would be 23 UK players.
-UK will likely be adding Skal, Briscoe, and Marcus Lee to some NBA roster within the next 2 years. That’s 26.
-And then if Calipari stays another 3-5 years, you can expect another 2-4 draft picks every year.
I can envision a scenario where if things fall into place correctly and certain guys can last in the league, that Kentucky will have OVER 30 players in the NBA by the beginning of the 2018 season. And here is the great thing: most of the guys currently in the league and several of the ones projected to go into the league will be long-term NBA players.
So could it ever happen? Could Kentucky get over 30 NBA players playing at the same time in the league? Sure, it is very unlikely they would be spread out over the 30 NBA teams, but just focus on the number itself. 30 NBA players at the same time. Thoughts?