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Fox, Monk, Adebayo Hear Their Names Called In Round One Of NBA Draft

Associated Press

Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, and Bam Adebayo all went in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft.

Here's a roundup of how the night played out:

Heat take Kentucky's Bam Adebayo at No. 14 in NBA draft

Pat Riley turned to his alma mater for Miami's latest first-round draft pick.

The Heat took Kentucky's Bam Adebayo with the No. 14 pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night, adding someone who got to the rim with ease in his lone college season. Adebayo made 170 shots from the field for the Wildcats, 101 of those being dunks.

"I'm just blessed I could be here," Adebayo said in New York, where the draft was taking place.

Adebayo shot 60 percent in his lone college season, averaging 13.0 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-10, 243-pounder was a McDonald's All-American coming out of high school, then was an All-SEC second-team pick this past season.

He could fill a void for Miami with the likely loss of backup center Willie Reed in free agency. Reed is likely to command a salary that is outside of Miami's capabilities this summer.

Adebayo becomes only the second lottery pick for the Heat in the last nine drafts, the other being No. 10 Justise Winslow in 2015. He was also the third player from Kentucky — where Riley, the Heat president, starred in the 1960s — to go in the first 14 picks of this draft, joining No. 5 De'Aaron Fox and No. 11 Malik Monk.

"We're like brothers," Adebayo said. "This is like our graduation."

The Heat went 41-41 last season, missing the playoffs despite winning 30 of their final 41 games. Adebayo is expected to be in Miami to begin workouts with the Heat summer league team next week.

Hornets select guard Malik Monk with No. 11 pick in draft

The Charlotte Hornets bolstered their offense by selecting shooting guard Malik Monk from Kentucky with the 11th pick in the NBA draft.

Two days after trading for eight-time All-Star center Dwight Howard to upgrade their inside game, the Hornets turned to their perimeter shooting Thursday night with the addition of the 6-foot-3 Monk.

Monk raised his stock with a 47-point performance on eight 3-pointers against eventual national champion North Carolina last December. Monk went on to be named SEC freshman of the year, averaging 19.8 points per game and shot 39.7 percent from 3-point range. He was the winner of the Jerry West Award given to the nation's top shooting guard after establishing a Kentucky freshman-record with 754 points.

He finished as the second-highest scoring freshman in the country, behind only No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz of Washington (23.2 ppg).

Monk helps fill the void created by the trade that sent backup shooting guard Marco Belinelli to Atlanta in the deal for Howard. He is expected to work into the rotation as a backup to Nicolas Batum.

The Hornets finished 18th in the league in 3-point shooting percentage last season at 35.1 percent.

Monk was projected to go in the top 10 in many mock drafts, but instead fell to the Hornets.

That didn't seem to faze his much.

"You never know," Monk said in an interview with ESPN shortly after being selected. "I was praying for the best situation and hopefully this is it."

Monk spoke with Hornets owner and former NBA star Michael Jordan on Skype earlier this week and came away excited about the prospect of coming to Charlotte.

"It went well and they picked me," Monk said with a laugh.

Kings select Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox with 5th pick

The Sacramento Kings took Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox on Thursday night with the fifth pick in the NBA draft and then traded their second lottery pick for two more first-round selections.

Sacramento had a glaring need for a point guard with Darren Collison, Ty Lawson and Langston Galloway all headed to unrestricted free agency next month and general manager Vlade Divac pounced when Fox was available in hopes of finding a leader who can help end an 11-year playoff drought.

"I know it's going to be tough to change a team, but for me I wanted to come in and be able to affect the game right away," Fox said. "A lot of people say I could be a franchise changer, and that's what I really want to be."

Divac then moved down from the No. 10 spot in a deal with Portland for the 15th and 20th selections, a person familiar with the deal said on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn't been announced yet. Sacramento took North Carolina forward Justin Jackson with the 15th pick.

Fox is extremely quick and a skilled ball handler who showed the ability to get to the basket in his one season at Kentucky. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. His biggest weakness is his outside shot after hitting just 24.6 percent of his 3-pointers last season.

Fox boosted his stock when he outplayed UCLA's Lonzo Ball in the Sweet Sixteen, scoring 39 points in a Wildcats win. But Ball still went ahead of him at second overall to the Los Angeles Lakers and another point guard, Washington's Markelle Fultz, went first to Philadelphia.

"It doesn't matter what order we get picked in, the motivation is already there," Fox said. "We're all going to the NBA. There's motivation every game. You're always playing a great point guard."

This marked the fourth time since 2010 that the Kings came out of the draft with a first-round player from Kentucky. They drafted center DeMarcus Cousins in 2010, big man Willie Cauley-Stein in 2015 and swapped picks last year to end up with center Skal Labissiere.

The Kings are once again looking to rebuild after missing the playoffs for an 11th straight season. They traded away star Cousins during the season to New Orleans and stumbled to the finish in a 32-50 season under first-year coach Dave Joerger.

By cutting ties with Cousins, Sacramento is trying to build around a core led by young players like Cauley-Stein, Labissiere and Buddy Hield in hopes of developing a team worthy of the fancy new downtown arena that opened last season.

Jackson gives the Kings a wing scorer to replace Rudy Gay, who declined his $14.3 million option to become an unrestricted free agent. Jackson averaged 18.3 points and 4.7 rebounds as a junior for NCAA champion North Carolina last season.

After shooting under 30 percent from 3-point range his first two years, Jackson worked hard at improving his outside shot and made 37 percent last season.

The roster figures to be extremely young next season with only three players signed who are not on rookie contracts. Guards Arron Afflalo and Garrett Temple and center Kosta Koufos are the only veterans on the roster.