When the Phoenix Suns decided to part ways with former Kentucky standout Tyler Ulis, it was heartbreaking news for the Big Blue Nation. We saw the kind of relationship he had developed with former Wildcat teammate Devin Booker in Lexington, and it was great to see that continue in the NBA, with both players in the starting lineup at various times.
But life goes on, and Ulis has a professional basketball career to focus on. And he’s hoping to make the most of that opportunity in Golden State.
On September 21, the Warriors signed Ulis to an Exhibit 10 deal, meaning he’ll have the opportunity to join the team throughout the preseason and potentially sign a two-way contract going into the regular season.
In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Ulis admits it wasn’t quite the way he expected his NBA career to go, but he’s going to make the most of his time with the defending champions.
“I was a little surprised, but I understand you have to take things as they come,” Ulis said. “It’s a business. This hasn’t been the worst step in my journey. Things could be a lot worse.”
The former Kentucky star, just 22 years old, is just getting started as an NBA player. There will be adversities along the way, but his time will come.
“I understand this team has won two championships in a row, but my time will come,” Ulis said. “I just have to wait it out, grind and work on my game.”
Ulis highlighted his offseason training regimen with Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype:
Last year, Tyler Ulis started 43 games for the Suns. Now, he's a member of the Warriors on an Exhibit 10 contract (which means they can turn his non-guaranteed contract into a two-way deal). Ulis gave us a behind-the-scenes look at his offseason training: pic.twitter.com/CHzrNgyOXG
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) October 5, 2018
When training camp came along, footage leaked to the public of Ulis locking down former MVP point guard Steph Curry in practice:
Is Steph still a Top 5 NBA player if Tyler Ulis signed anywhere else?
— #Mickstape (Scary Hours) (@MickstapeShow) October 1, 2018
In just one preseason game for the Warriors, Ulis finished with two points (1-2 shooting), four rebounds, and one assist in nine minutes of action.
Ulis and the Warriors will take on Sacramento tonight at 10:30 ET, where he should be able to see more time on the floor with Curry sitting out due to personal reasons. From there, the former Wildcat will have three more preseason opportunities to make an impact and earn a spot on the roster.
Go get ’em, Ulis.