Sports

How John Calipari’s NBA Draft picks have played in the league

John Calipari’s reputation of getting his players to the NBA is commonly cited in college basketball.

From his time as a head coach at Kentucky, Memphis and UMass, Calipari has been the head coach for a bevy of NBA Draft picks.

How many of these picks have gone on to be All-Stars? Champions? MVPs? Earn other NBA accolades?

Here’s a look at the history of the players to date who have been selected in the NBA Draft after playing for Calipari (as a head coach) at the college level.

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The Suns’ Devin Booker dunks against the Lakers’ LeBron James during the second half of the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 20 in Cleveland. Ron Schwane AP

NBA All-Stars

Eight former Calipari-coached players have gone on to be named NBA All-Stars (which has a changing, complex and controversial selection process).

Bam Adebayo (2020).

Devin Booker (2020, 2021, 2022).

DeMarcus Cousins (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).

Anthony Davis (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). Davis was named All-Star Game MVP in 2017.

Julius Randle (2021).

Derrick Rose (2010, 2011, 2012).

Karl-Anthony Towns (2018, 2019, 2022).

John Wall (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).

NBA champions

Surprisingly, for all the NBA Draft success enjoyed by Calipari, only one of his NBA Draft selections has gone on to win an NBA championship.

Anthony Davis (2020).

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Kentucky head coach John Calipari, center, stands with former players Anthony Davis, left, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, right, before the NBA Draft on June 28, 2012, in Newark, N.J. Davis was selected the No. 1 overall pick by New Orleans, and Kidd-Gilchrist was selected No. 2 by Charlotte. Bill Kostroun AP

All-NBA First Team selections

Three former Calipari-coached NBA Draft picks have gone on to be named All-NBA First Team selections.

Devin Booker (2022).

Anthony Davis (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020).

Derrick Rose (2011).

MVPs

Sometimes an All-NBA First Team selection and Most Valuable Player honors go hand-in-hand. But it’s only happened once for a Calipari-coached draft pick.

Derrick Rose (2011).

Rookie awards

One of the best ways to measure the NBA-readiness of a player is to see how quickly they can adjust from the college game to the professional ranks. Former Calipari-coached players have collected a fair amount of rookie honors over the years.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (All-Rookie Second Team — 2019).

Eric Bledsoe (All-Rookie Second Team — 2011).

Devin Booker (All-Rookie First Team — 2016).

Marcus Camby (All-Rookie First Team — 1997).

DeMarcus Cousins (All-Rookie First Team — 2011).

Anthony Davis (All-Rookie First Team — 2013).

Tyreke Evans (Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie First Team — 2010).

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (All-Rookie Second Team — 2013).

Tyler Herro (All-Rookie Second Team — 2020).

Brandon Knight (All-Rookie First Team — 2012).

Jamal Murray (All-Rookie Second Team — 2017).

Nerlens Noel (All-Rookie First Team — 2015).

Immanuel Quickley (All-Rookie Second Team — 2021).

Derrick Rose (Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie First Team — 2009).

Willie Cauley-Stein (All-Rookie Second Team — 2016).

Karl-Anthony Towns (Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie First Team — 2016).

John Wall (All-Rookie First Team — 2011).

P.J. Washington (All-Rookie Second Team — 2020).

All-Star Saturday Night

Playing in the All-Star Game isn’t the only way to make an impact on All-Star Weekend. The following players have won an event on All-Star Saturday Night.

Devin Booker (Three-Point Contest champion — 2018).

Hamidou Diallo (Slam Dunk Contest champion — 2019).

Karl-Anthony Towns (Three-Point Contest champion — 2022).

John Wall (Slam Dunk Contest champion — 2014).

Defensive awards

There’s a long history of Calipari-coached players, specifically big men, having a defensive impact both in college and in the pro ranks. These NBA defensive awards are a testament of that.

Bam Adebayo (All-Defensive Second Team — 2020, 2021, 2022).

Eric Bledsoe (All-Defensive First Team — 2019; All-Defensive Second Team — 2020).

Marcus Camby (All-Defensive Second Team — 2005, 2006; Defensive Player of the Year — 2007; All-Defensive First Team — 2007, 2008; Blocks leader — 1998, 2006, 2007, 2008).

Anthony Davis (All-Defensive Second Team — 2015, 2017; Blocks leader — 2014, 2015, 2018; All-Defensive First Team — 2018, 2020).

John Wall (All-Defensive Second Team — 2015).

Other awards

DeMarcus Cousins (All-NBA Second Team — 2015, 2016).

Anthony Davis (NBA 75th Anniversary Team).

Tyler Herro (Sixth Man of the Year — 2022).

Julius Randle (All-NBA Second Team, Most Improved Player — 2021).

Karl-Anthony Towns (All-NBA Third Team — 2018, 2022).

John Wall (All-NBA Third Team — 2017).

Complete Calipari NBA Draft history

Here’s the complete listing of NBA Draft selections from college teams that Calipari served as the head coach of.

The NBA teams listed reflect the team that made the draft pick, not accounting for draft night trades.

1995 — Lou Roe (UMass) — Drafted No. 30 overall by Detroit.

1996 — Marcus Camby (UMass) — Drafted No. 2 overall by Toronto.

2002 — Dajuan Wagner (Memphis) — Drafted No. 6 overall by Cleveland.

2004 — Antonio Burks (Memphis) — Drafted No. 37 overall by Orlando.

2006 — Rodney Carney (Memphis) — Drafted No. 16 overall by Chicago.

2006 — Shawne Williams (Memphis) — Drafted No. 17 overall by Indiana.

2008 — Derrick Rose (Memphis) — Drafted No. 1 overall by Chicago.

2008 — Joey Dorsey (Memphis) — Drafted No. 33 overall by Portland.

2008 — Chris Douglas-Roberts (Memphis) — Drafted No. 40 overall by New Jersey.

2009 — Tyreke Evans (Memphis) — Drafted No. 4 overall by Sacramento.

2009 — Robert Dozier (Memphis) — Drafted No. 60 overall by Miami.

2010 — John Wall (UK) — Drafted No. 1 overall by Washington.

2010 — DeMarcus Cousins (UK) — Drafted No. 5 overall by Sacramento.

2010 — Patrick Patterson (UK) — Drafted No. 14 overall by Houston.

2010 — Eric Bledsoe (UK) — Drafted No. 18 overall by Oklahoma City.

2010 — Daniel Orton (UK) — Drafted No. 29 overall by Orlando.

2011 — Enes Kanter Freedom (UK) — Drafted No. 3 overall by Utah (did not play in a game for Kentucky).

2011 — Brandon Knight (UK) — Drafted No. 8 overall by Detroit.

2011 — Josh Harrellson (UK) — Drafted No. 45 overall by New Orleans.

2011 — DeAndre Liggins (UK) — Drafted No. 53 overall by Orlando.

2012 — Anthony Davis (UK) — Drafted No. 1 overall by New Orleans.

2012 — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (UK) — Drafted No. 2 overall by Charlotte.

2012 — Terrence Jones (UK) — Drafted No. 18 overall by Houston.

2012 — Marquis Teague (UK) — Drafted No. 29 overall by Chicago.

2012 — Doron Lamb (UK) — Drafted No. 42 overall by Milwaukee.

2012 — Darius Miller (UK) — Drafted No. 46 overall by New Orleans.

2013 — Nerlens Noel (UK) — Drafted No. 6 overall by New Orleans.

2013 — Archie Goodwin (UK) — Drafted No. 29 overall by Oklahoma City.

2014 — Julius Randle (UK) — Drafted No. 7 overall by Los Angeles Lakers.

2014 — James Young (UK) — Drafted No. 17 overall by Boston.

2015 — Karl-Anthony Towns (UK) — Drafted No. 1 overall by Minnesota.

2015 — Willie Cauley-Stein (UK) — Drafted No. 6 overall by Sacramento.

2015 — Trey Lyles (UK) — Drafted No. 12 overall by Utah.

2015 — Devin Booker (UK) — Drafted No. 13 overall by Phoenix.

2015 — Andrew Harrison (UK) — Drafted No. 44 overall by Phoenix.

2015 — Dakari Johnson (UK) — Drafted No. 48 overall by Oklahoma City.

2016 — Jamal Murray (UK) — Drafted No. 7 overall by Denver.

2016 — Skal Labissière (UK) — Drafted No. 28 overall by Phoenix.

2016 — Tyler Ulis (UK) — Drafted No. 34 overall by Phoenix.

2017 — De’Aaron Fox (UK) — Drafted No. 5 overall by Sacramento.

2017 — Malik Monk (UK) — Drafted No. 11 overall by Charlotte.

2017 — Bam Adebayo (UK) — Drafted No. 14 overall by Miami.

2018 — Kevin Knox (UK) — Drafted No. 9 overall by New York.

2018 — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (UK) — Drafted No. 11 overall by Charlotte.

2018 — Jarred Vanderbilt (UK) — Drafted No. 41 overall by Orlando.

2018 — Hamidou Diallo (UK) — Drafted No. 45 overall by Brooklyn.

2019 — P.J. Washington (UK) — Drafted No. 12 overall by Charlotte.

2019 — Tyler Herro (UK) — Drafted No. 13 overall by Miami.

2019 — Keldon Johnson (UK) — Drafted No. 29 overall by San Antonio.

2020 — Tyrese Maxey (UK) — Drafted No. 21 overall by Philadelphia.

2020 — Immanuel Quickley (UK) — Drafted No. 25 overall by Oklahoma City.

2020 — Nick Richards (UK) — Drafted No. 42 overall by New Orleans.

2021 — Terrence Clarke (UK) — Honorary selection by the NBA (after his death in a car accident).

2021 — Isaiah Jackson (UK) — Drafted No. 22 overall by Los Angeles Lakers.

This story was originally published June 22, 2022 6:10 AM.

Cameron Drummond works as a sports reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader with a focus on the University of Kentucky women’s basketball program, in addition to other college, high school and professional sports in the area. Drummond is a first-generation American who was born and raised in Texas, before graduating from Indiana University in 2020. He is a fluent Spanish speaker who previously worked as a community news reporter for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper in Austin, Texas.




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