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DraftKings Sportsbook is Coming Soon to Kentucky: Ranking the Top 10 NBA Players from UK (No. 8 Revealed)

Jeff Pratt ranks the top 10 NBA Wildcat products. Stay tuned, as a new player in the countdown will be revealed daily!

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rejoice, Wildcats, Cardinals, Racing Louisville, Kentucky Derby fans and everyone in between! The state of Kentucky is approving mobile sports betting and DraftKings Sportsbook will soon be available for residents. The launch date for the DraftKings Sportsbook App is September 28!

In honor of the upcoming launch, I will be counting down the top 10 NBA players from the University of Kentucky. It will be a little different from our past state launch articles, as this series will serve as a countdown from No. 10 to No. 1. Each day, a new player will be revealed!

These rankings are based on each player’s production IN THE NBA, not in college.


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Top 10 NBA Players from the University of Kentucky

No. 1: Revealed Thursday (KENTUCKY LAUNCH DAY), 9/28

No. 2: Revealed Wednesday, 9/27

No. 3: Revealed Tuesday, 9/26

No. 4: Revealed Monday, 9/25

No. 5: Revealed Sunday, 9/24

No. 6: Revealed Saturday, 9/23

No. 7: Revealed Friday, 9/22

No. 8: Antoine Walker

1996 Final Four

The first player who stayed in Lexington for multiple years makes an appearance! Walker is also the first retired player in these rankings, but he won’t be the last...

Antoine played two seasons for the Wildcats, really finding a rhythm in his sophomore campaign. The forward averaged 15.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game in that second season, helping lead Kentucky to an NCAA title!

Following that successful year, Walker declared for the 1996 NBA Draft and was selected sixth overall by the Celtics. It didn’t take him long to adjust to the pros, as the score-first big averaged 17.5 points right out of the gate.

Walker played seven seasons in Boston, averaging 20-plus points per game in five of them before being traded to the Mavericks in 2003. From there, he bounced around the league a bit, ultimately suiting up for five different franchises. However, he did play a significant role in the Miami Heat’s 2006 championship run, averaging 13.8 points per game in the Finals against Dallas.

Walker officially retired in 2012 following a successful career and a ring, and to this day is beloved in Boston, the city that drafted him.

No. 9: Bam Adebayo

Florida v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Another one-and-done — notice a trend here? — for the Wildcats, Adebayo was a dominant two-way player in his only season in Lexington. The versatile big man averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game for Kentucky, and his squad ultimately fell to UNC in the Elite Eight.

Adebayo was selected by Miami with the 14th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and it took him a couple years to develop into the elite big he is today. Bam broke out in his third NBA campaign, averaging 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists for the Heat in a significantly expanded role.

Since that season, Adebayo has only continued to improve, as the 26-year-old averaged a career-high 20.4 points per game last year. While he’s more than capable offensively, Bam makes his presence felt on the other side of the ball, boasting four NBA All-Defensive Second Team selections to go along with his pair of All-Star nods.

Adebayo has played a crucial role in Miami’s recent two runs to the NBA Finals in 2020 and 2023, and he’s still finding ways to improve every year.

No. 10: Julius Randle

New York Knicks v Miami Heat Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

One-and-done in Lexington, Randle left a mark in his only season with the Wildcats, finishing his freshman year with the 24 double-doubles, the second-most tally in a single season by any player in the program’s history. Kentucky ultimately lost in the national championship game to UConn, but Randle’s brief tenure at the school was certainly successful.

The versatile forward opted to forego his final three years of eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft, in which the Los Angeles Lakers selected him seventh overall.

Randle’s stint in L.A. was admittedly tough, as he never really found his footing over the course of four years with the Lakers. In the 2018 offseason, the sides parted ways, and Randle found a new home in New Orleans, where he broke out. In one season with the Pelicans, the young big averaged 21.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

After declining his second-year option, Randle became a free agent once again and landed with the Knicks in New York, where he has established himself as one of the most dangerous offensive players in the league. In his second season with the team, he won Most Improved Player, averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and six assists per game while shooting an extremely impressive 41.1% from three.

At 28 years old, Randle boasts a myriad of NBA accolades outside of his M.I.P win, including two All-Star appearances and an All-NBA Second Team selection. He is a strong start to these rankings at No. 10.

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