Phoenix Suns draft Kentucky Wildcats' Skal Labissiere; deal will likely send him to Kings

After an inconsistent freshman season at Kentucky, the enormous untapped potential of Haitian big man Skal Labissiere was too much for the Sacramento Kings to pass up in the NBA Draft.

Labissiere was drafted No. 28 overall in Thursday night's draft, following UK teammate Jamal Murray, who went No. 7 to the Denver Nuggets.

The pick originally belonged to the Phoenix Suns, who reportedly have a deal in place to send Labissiere to Sacramento. The Kings now have four former Cats in their organization, including All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein and Rajon Rondo.

He is the 21st player selected out of Kentucky in the first round since head coach John Calipari arrived in Lexington prior to the 2009-10 season.

The 6-foot-11, 225-pound center/forward averaged 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game for the Wildcats. He shot 52 percent from the field.

Labissiere had a career-high 26 points against NJIT on Nov. 14 before hitting a midseason rut which caused his draft stock to drop. He recovered with a solid finish to the season, including an 18-point, nine-rebound, six-block performance on March 5 against LSU and eventual No. 1 pick Ben Simmons. He also had six blocked shots in UK's NCAA Tournament win over Stony Brook, tying for the second most in school postseason history.


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