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Former Kentucky forward Marcus Lee still searching for NBA home



Kentucky’s five NBA Draft entrants have each found their new homes. Kevin Knox is a Knick, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a Clipper, Jarred Vanderbilt is a Nugget, Hamidou Diallo is with the Thunder, and Wenyen Gabriel is a King.

Even past Wildcats looking for jobs such as Derek Willis (Pelicans), Aaron Harrison (Wizards), and Kyle Wiltjer (Trail Blazers) have homes for the summer league.

Former Kentucky forward and Cal-Berkeley Bear Marcus Lee, however, is still searching. And he knows his future depends on it.

“I’m looking for a job. I need to pay rent,” Lee told Rusty Simmons of the San Franciso Chronicle. “Either I get this job, or I’m living on the streets. That’s the way I’m feeling right now.”

Lee worked out with the Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors, and the Phoenix Suns were also interested. When the draft came, however, his name was never called and no one has taken a shot on him for the summer league.

“For me, it wasn’t about moving up the draft boards. I was trying to get on the draft boards,” said Lee. “But summer league is still a chance to battle. I have no idea what’s happening, but I’m excited for the opportunity to battle. The summer league is a chance to show why I should have been picked.

The 6-foot-11 forward out of Antioch, CA averaged 11.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game with the Bears last season, and then averaged 10 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocked shots in April’s Portsmouth Invitational.

Though it hasn’t come yet, Lee will almost certainly earn a spot with a team in the NBA Summer League coming up in July. If he earns a training camp invite, he’ll keep fighting for his NBA dreams. He even said he’s comfortable playing in the G-League for a while to climb his way up the ladder. With his ability to defend all five positions on the floor and versatility on the floor, Lee believes he has a shot at making an impact for an NBA team sooner rather than later, similar to Golden State’s Jordan Bell this past year.

If the NBA doesn’t work out, however, he’s comfortable playing overseas to make a living.

“I’m the kind of person who loves having a plan, a backup plan and a backup to the backup plan, but with this, I feel like I need to be all-in,” Lee said. “This is the only plan. If it doesn’t work, I’ll figure it out, but it’s the only thing I’m thinking about right now.

[SF Chronicle]

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

11 Comments for Former Kentucky forward Marcus Lee still searching for NBA home

  1. BigBlueBass
    7:51 pm June 25, 2018 Permalink

    He should have stayed…. for more than one reason.

  2. Cincy Cayt
    8:02 pm June 25, 2018 Permalink

    I’m confused, but maybe I’m misremembering. Didn’t he leave UK for Cal to be closer to home – not to further NBA resume? I wish him the best and hope he makes it, but if I’m pretending I’m making the NBA or living on the streets, then I’m pretty sure I’m coming back to Lexington for my Sr year in 2016-17 and helping boost a front court badly needing depth…

  3. nybrasky
    8:06 pm June 25, 2018 Permalink

    I thought he went to Cal because he wanted to do something other than play professional basketball?

  4. KatsKlaws
    9:30 pm June 25, 2018 Permalink

    He has a degree from Berkeley to fall back on…I think he will be fine

    • Luether
      11:10 pm June 25, 2018 Permalink

      Not worth the paper it’s printed on…

    • UK Big Board Update
      9:26 am June 26, 2018 Permalink

      Well, its obvious Luether didn’t go to college.

      Not that that surprises anyone….

  5. Headhurts
    9:39 pm June 25, 2018 Permalink

    Come back to Lexington and sell cars.

    • fireants25
      9:52 pm June 25, 2018 Permalink


  6. DrewP
    9:40 am June 26, 2018 Permalink

    Should have stayed in Lexington, Marcus!