Good morning BBN! Happy Friday to each and every one of you!
Let’s take a look at what’s happening in the world of UK Athletics to get your day started…
Former Wildcats could be on the move during NBA Free Agency
NBA Free Agency is officially set to begin on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. ET, and several former Wildcats will likely be on the move.
Yesterday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Oklahoma City center Nerlens Noel will not pick up his $1.9 million player option with the Thunder for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent. While he hasn’t completely closed the door on returning to OKC, he wants to see what other teams have to offer. Among those teams that may be interested? Noel’s hometown Boston Celtics, who are desperately looking for a solid starting center with a tight budget after reportedly becoming the runaway favorites to land All-Star point guard Kemba Walker.
Noel joins DeMarcus Cousins, Julius Randle, Enes Kanter, and Willie Cauley-Stein as former Kentucky big men set to explore the open market once free agency opens on Sunday.
Yesterday, there were two separate reports that the New York Knicks were interested in offering contracts to Cousins and Randle if they strike out on other big-name free agents. Could they both sign together to create a dynamic 1-2 punch in the frontcourt at Madison Square Garden?
Outside of free agency news, LeBron James is reportedly doing his best to make former Wildcat Anthony Davis feel at home in Los Angeles. On Thursday, Yahoo Sports reported that James is giving Davis his jersey number, No. 23, to wear with the Lakers. James later tweeted that he would be switching back to No. 6, the same number he wore with the Miami Heat.
De’Aaron Fox will play for Team USA’s Select Team
While other former Wildcats may be on the move, De’Aaron Fox has become the franchise cornerstone for the Sacramento Kings moving forward.
And now, he’ll have the opportunity to represent the United States with Team USA.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Fox has been invited to join Team USA’s Select Team at training camp in Las Vegas this August.
Last year with the Kings, the former Kentucky star averaged 17.3 points, 7.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds. Fox also finished in third place for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award.
Reid Travis is working out again
After sitting out all of the NBA pre-draft process with a knee injury, the official Kentucky men’s basketball Twitter account posted a few images of former Wildcat forward Reid Travis working out again at the Joe Craft Center.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 28, 2019
Despite going undrafted in last week’s NBA Draft, Darren Wolfson of KSTP in Minneapolis is reporting that Travis will play for the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Summer League starting in July
In 32 games played, Travis averaged 11.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest for the Cats this past season.
Makayla Epps gets into coaching
On Thursday evening, former Kentucky women’s basketball star Makayla Epps announced that she will be joining the women’s basketball coaching staff at Woodford County High School as an assistant.
Oddly enough, Epps will be joining fellow Kentucky basketball alumni Erik Daniels – the school’s head coach – and Antwain Barbour for the Yellowjackets.
“For those who do not know, I have accepted a coaching position at Woodford Co. HS alongside former UK alumni Erik Daniels and Antwain Barbour,” she wrote on Twitter. “Blessed to be put in a position to move up the ranks in my coaching career. Woodford County, let’s get it.”
Benny Snell is an Old Spice man
Former Kentucky star Benny Snell hasn’t played a single game in the NFL yet, and he’s already raking in the endorsement deals.
Last night, the newest Pittsburgh Steeler posted his first sponsorship ad as an official endorser of Old Spice.
Never have I felt more prepared to get on the field than when I've got @OldSpice Fresher Collection by my side! The Moisturize with Shea Butter body wash helps me "Snell like money. #SmellcometotheNFL #MenHaveSkinToo #AvailableatWalmart #SponsoredObviously #snellyeah pic.twitter.com/U0ByERaVmM
— Mr SNELL YA LATER?? (@benny_snell) June 27, 2019
I like “Snell like money,” but I feel like it was a missed opportunity to say “Snellcome to the NFL” instead of “Smellcome.”
Either way, good on ya, Benny.
KSR in an hour
Matt Jones will be back in an hour on the radio show to close out his very first week back from vacation.
10 a.m. to noon. You won’t want to miss it.