How John Calipari’s NBA Draft Picks Are Performing in the League

John Calipari’s reputation for getting his players into the NBA is widely cited in college basketball.

Calipari has been the head coach of a slew of NBA draft picks since he was head coach at Kentucky, Memphis and Massachusetts.

How many of these rookies became All-Stars? champion? MVP? Earn other NBA honors?

Below is the history of players selected to the NBA draft so far after playing for Calipari (as head coach) at the collegiate level.

The Suns’ Devin Booker scores a dunk against the Lakers’ LeBron James in the second half of the NBA All-Star Game on February 20 in Cleveland.Ron Schwan Associated Press

NBA All-Star

Eight former Calipari-coached players went on to be nominated for NBA All-Stars (whose selection process was ever-changing, complicated and controversial).

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 Randall (2021).

Derrick Ross (2010, 2011, 2012).

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

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

NBA champion

Surprisingly, despite all of Calipari’s NBA draft success, only one of his NBA draft picks has won an NBA championship.

Anthony Davis (2020).

Kentucky head coach John Calipari (center) stands with former players Anthony Davis (left) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (right) during the NBA on June 28, 2012 Before the draft, Newark, New Jersey’s Davis was selected No. 1 overall by Newark Orleans, and Kidd-Gilchrist was selected No. 2 by Charlotte.Bill Costlawn Associated Press

All NBA first-team selections

Three former Calipari-coached NBA draft picks went on to make the All-NBA First Team.

Devin Booker (2022).

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

Derrick Ross (2011).


Sometimes All-NBA first-team selection and MVP honors go hand in hand. But that has only happened once with a Calipari-coached pick.

Derrick Ross (2011).

Newcomer Award

One of the best ways to gauge a player’s readiness for the NBA is to see how quickly they can adjust from the college game to the pro team. The former Calipari-coached player has won quite a few rookie honors over the years.

Shay Gilgeous-Alexander (Best Rookie Second Team — 2019).

Eric Bledsoe (2011 All-Rookie Second Team).

Devin Booker (Best Rookie First Team — 2016).

Marcus Camby (1997 All-Rookie First Team).

DeMarcus Cousins ​​(Rookie of the Year 2011 First Team).

Anthony Davis (Best Rookie First Team – year 2013).

Tyreke Evans (Rookie of the Year, Best Rookie First Team – year 2010).

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

Tyler Herro (Best Rookie Second Team — 2020).

Brandon Knight (Rookie of the Year 2012 First Team).

Jamal Murray (2017 All-Rookie Second Team).

Nerlens Noel (Rookie First Team of 2015).

Emanuel Quickley (2021 All-Rookie Second Team).

Derrick Rose (Rookie of the Year, Best Rookie First Team – Year 2009).

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

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

John Wall (Best Rookie First Team – year 2011).

PJ Washington (2020 All-Rookie Second Team).

all star saturday night

Going to the All-Star Game isn’t the only way to impact All-Star Weekend. The following players won All-Star Saturday night.

Devin Booker (Three point contest champion — 2018).

Hamidou Diallo (Slam Dunk Contest Champion — 2019).

Karl-Anthony Towns (Three-Point Shootout Champion – 2022).

John Wall (Slam Dunk Contest Champion – Year 2014).

defensive award

Calipari has long coached players, especially big men, to have a defensive impact on both the college and professional ranks. These NBA defensive awards are proof of that.

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

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

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

Anthony Davis (All-Defensive Second Team – 2015, 2017; Block Leader – 2014, 2015, 2018; All-Defensive First Team — 2018, 2020).

John Wall (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 Randall (All-NBA Second Team, Most Improved Player – 2021).

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

John Wall (selected to the All-NBA Third Team in 2017).

The Complete Calipari NBA Draft History

Here’s the full list of NBA draft rosters for college teams for which Calipari is head coach.

Listed NBA teams reflect draft pick teams, not draft night trades.

1995 – Lou Roe (UMass) – Selected 30th overall by Detroit.

1996 — Marcus Camby (University of Massachusetts) — Drafted second overall by Toronto.

2002 – Dajuan Wagner (Memphis) – Selected 6th overall by Cleveland.

2004 — Antonio Burks (Memphis) — Drafted 37th overall by Orlando.

2006 — Rodney Carney (Memphis) — Drafted 16th overall by Chicago.

2006 — Sean Williams (Memphis) — Drafted 17th overall by Indiana.

2008 – Derrick Rose (Memphis) – Selected with the No. 1 overall pick by Chicago.

2008 — Joey Dorsey (Memphis) — Drafted 33rd overall by Portland.

2008 — Chris Douglas-Roberts (Memphis) — Drafted 40th overall by New Jersey.

2009 — Tyreke Evans (Memphis) — Selected by Sacramento with the 4th overall pick.

2009 — Robert Dozier (Memphis) — Drafted 60th overall by Miami.

2010 – John Wall (UK) – Selected with the No. 1 overall pick by Washington.

2010 – DeMarcus Cousins ​​(UK) – Selected by Sacramento with the 5th overall pick.

2010 – Patrick Patterson (UK) – Drafted 14th overall by Houston.

2010 – Eric Bledsoe (UK) – Selected 18th overall by Oklahoma City.

2010 –Daniel Orton (UK) — Selected 29th by Orlando.

2011 – Enes Kanter Freedom (UK) – Drafted 3rd overall by Utah (didn’t play for Kentucky).

2011 – Brandon Knight (UK) – Selected 8th overall by Detroit.

2011 – Josh Harrelson (UK) – Selected 45th overall by New Orleans.

2011 – DeAndre Liggins (UK) – Selected 53rd overall by Orlando.

2012 – Anthony Davis (UK) – Selected with the No. 1 overall pick by New Orleans.

2012 – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (UK) – Drafted second overall by Charlotte.

2012 – Terence Jones (UK) – Selected 18th overall by Houston.

2012 – Marquis Teague (UK) – Chicago was drafted 29th overall.

2012 – Doron Lamb (UK) – Drafted 42nd overall by Milwaukee.

2012 – Darius Miller (UK) – New Orleans was drafted 46th overall.

2013 – Nerlens Noel (UK) – Selected 6th overall by New Orleans.

2013 – Archie Goodwin (UK) – Selected 29th overall by Oklahoma City.

2014 – Julius Randle (UK) – Selected 7th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.

2014 – James Young (UK) – Selected by Boston with the 17th overall pick.

2015 – Karl-Anthony Towns (UK) – Selected with the No. 1 overall pick by Minnesota.

2015 – Willie Cauley-Stein (United Kingdom) – Selected 6th overall by Sacramento.

2015 — Trey Leles (UK) — Drafted 12th overall by Utah.

2015 – Devin Booker (UK) – Selected by Phoenix with the 13th overall pick.

2015 – Andrew Harrison (UK) – Selected by Phoenix with the 44th overall pick.

2015 – Dakari Johnson (UK) – Selected 48th overall by Oklahoma City.

2016 – Jamal Murray (UK) – Selected with the 7th overall pick by Denver.

2016 — Skal Labissière (UK) — Drafted 28th overall by Phoenix.

2016 – Tyler Ulis (UK) – Selected by Phoenix with the 34th overall pick.

2017 – De’Aaron Fox (UK) – Selected 5th overall by Sacramento.

2017 – Malik Monk (UK) – Drafted 11th overall by Charlotte.

2017 – Bam Adebayo (UK) – Selected by Miami with the 14th overall pick.

2018 – Kevin Knox (UK) – Selected by New York with the ninth overall pick.

2018 – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (UK) – Drafted 11th overall by Charlotte.

2018 – Jared Vanderbilt (UK) – Selected 41st overall by Orlando.

2018 – Hamidou Diallo (UK) – Drafted by Brooklyn with the 45th overall pick.

2019 – PJ Washington (UK) – Selected 12th overall by Charlotte.

2019 – Tyler Herro (UK) – Selected by Miami with the 13th overall pick.

2019 – Keldon Johnson (UK) – Selected 29th overall by San Antonio.

2020 — Tyrese Maxey (UK) — Philadelphia was drafted 21st overall.

2020 – Emmanuel Quickley (UK) – Selected 25th overall by Oklahoma City.

2020 – Nick Richards (UK) – New Orleans was drafted 42nd overall.

2021 – Terrence Clarke (UK) – NBA Honors Trials (after his death in a car accident).

2021 – Isaiah Jackson (UK) – Selected 22nd overall by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Cameron Drummond is a sports reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, focusing on the University of Kentucky women’s basketball program, as well as other collegiate, high school and professional sports in the area. Drummond is a first-generation American born and raised in Texas, graduating from Indiana University in 2020. He is fluent in Spanish and has worked as a community reporter for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper in Austin, Texas.


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