Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
In the John Calipari Era, Kentucky has had 23 players drafted in the first round since 2010, the most of any school.
The Wildcats figure to add two more first-round picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kevin Knox — and possibly two second-rounders as well.
Calipari says after this draft the Kentucky players in the NBA will have contracts worth $1.5 billion. That’s billion, with a ‘B.’
“My guys, we’re going to end up having 30-some-odd in the league and $1.5 billion in contracts,” Calipari said on ESPN’s ‘Get Up!’ “Not from 1970, I’m talking right now, $1.5 billion. We’re not talking shoe contracts or endorsements, I’m just talking NBA.
In the latest sign of his escalating recruitment, Jaiden Delaire met Monday in North Carolina with Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Delaire is a 6-foot-9 power forward from Loomis Chaffee (CT) ranked No. 21 at his position in the Class of 2019 by 247Sports.com. He is currently in North Carolina with his NE6 AAU program, which runs on the Under Armour circuit.
“My understanding is that they’re evaluating him this summer,” Loomis Chaffee head coach Rock Battistoni said Tuesday by phone. “[Duke assistant Jon] Scheyer has been calling for a little bit. They’re going to keep an eye on him just like most staffs do with most kids.”
Ayton’s deal will be a four-year, multi-million dollar contract, Nick DePaula of ESPN reported, while Bagley’s deal is reportedly five years and in the neighborhood of Kevin Durant’s seven-year, $60-million deal with Nike in 2007.
Ayton, who could become the first Bahamian taken No. 1 since Mychal Thompson in 1978, joins the company’s list of notable Caribbean clients such as Rihanna and Usain Bolt.