The Big Blue fraternity represents 5.4 percent of all current NBA players, according to a figure released by UK Basketball on Monday. Head coach John Calipari has long stated a goal of having at least one former Cat on every team's roster.
Kentucky features seven players on two teams alone -- Phoenix and Sacramento. Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, Brandon Knight and Tyler Ulis are all part of the Suns' opening-day roster with Archie Goodwin just narrowly missing the cut for five players in Phoenix. Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere will all open the season with the Kings.
Two other franchises – the Charlotte Hornets (Aaron Harrison, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) and the New Orleans Pelicans (Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones) – open the season with two Cats apiece.
Kentucky has placed 21 first-round picks and three No. 1 overall selections (Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns and John Wall) in the league during the Calipari Era. Towns was last season's unanimous pick for Rookie of The Year.
Rajon Rondo, now entering his 11th season in the league, is the most experienced Kentucky player in the league, while Ulis and Labissiere and Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets) will all enter their rookie seasons.
Calipari also coached Derrick Rose of the New York Knicks and Tyreke Evans of the New Orleans Hornets during his time at Memphis.
The former Calipari players in the NBA this season have a combined contract value of $751 million, according to spotrac.com.
The NBA season officially tips off Tuesday with three games. Rose and the New York Knicks will take on DeAndre Liggins and the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT, followed by Trey Lyles and the Utah Jazz versus the Portland Trail Blazers at 10 p.m. The San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors will cap the night at 10:30 on TNT.
Wildcats in The NBA
Eric Bledsoe – Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns
Willie Cauley-Stein – Sacramento Kings
DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings
Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans
Aaron Harrison – Charlotte Hornets
Andrew Harrison – Memphis Grizzlies
Terrence Jones – New Orleans Pelicans
Enes Kanter – Oklahoma City Thunder
Brandon Knight – Phoenix Suns
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – Charlotte Hornets
Skal Labissiere – Sacramento Kings
DeAndre Liggins – Cleveland Cavaliers
Trey Lyles – Utah Jazz
Jodie Meeks – Orlando Magic
Jamal Murray – Denver Nuggets
Nerlens Noel – Philadelphia 76ers
Patrick Patterson – Toronto Raptors
Julius Randle – Los Angeles Lakers
Rajon Rondo – Chicago Bulls
Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves
Tyler Ulis – Phoenix Suns
John Wall – Washington Wizards
James Young – Boston Celtics