Ranking the top 10 Kentucky Wildcats in the NBA: Where do Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro land?

Kentucky has produced some of the top players in the NBA. Where do the Miami Heat stars rank among current players?

SEC Basketball Tournament - Semifinals
SEC Basketball Tournament - Semifinals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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1. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Oklahoma City Thunder, Kentucky 2018

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Utah Jazz v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages

If his name were Steph Curry, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be the front-runner for MVP right now. He's averaging 31 points, six rebounds, and six assists, with DeAndre Jordan's efficiency (64 TS%). Winning isn't the end-all-be-all, but his team is fighting for #1 in the West, too.

The NBA is a prove-it league but also a league that rewards longevity. Plenty of X users have claimed Shai doesn't deserve MVP because he hasn't been elite long enough or is simply not in Jokic's tier.

He's not as good as Jokic, but that's not what MVP is about. Lebron James and Michael Jordan were the best players in the league for a lot of their entire careers but won 4 and 5 MVPs, respectively. Shai can have a more valuable season than Jokic without being better than him. Those things aren't mutually exclusive.

Shai is the best driver in basketball. According to Pbpstats, he's driven to the rim 1589 times—almost 400 more than Jalen Brunson. That's why he gets fouled so much. He puts his head down and wills his way to the basketball with slinky handles and an elite stop-and-start game. He's not a flopper who's ruining the game.

Honorable Mentions: Malik Monk (2017), Immanuel Quickly (2019-20), Keldon Johnson (2019)

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