Brandon Boston Jr. selected 51st overall, traded to the Clippers


iKentucky Wildcats guard Brandon Boston Jr. (3) celebrates scoring a three pointer during the University of Kentucky vs. Notre Dame basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Notre Dame won 64-63. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Barkley Truax

It took over four hours, but Brandon Boston Jr finally heard his name called in 2021 NBA Draft Thursday night.

29 picks after hearing his Kentucky teammate Isaiah Jackson’s named called, Brandon Boston Jr. finally heard is and is headed to Los Angeles Clippers, who traded his draft rights LA from New Orleans via Memphis. 

With the selection, Boston Jr. becomes the 28th John Calipari-era Wildcat to get drafted after declaring for the draft after their freshman season out of 30.

“My advice to NBA teams this year: Don’t pass on Boston Jr.,” Calipari wrote on Twitter earlier this week. “I’ve said this before about other players and I don’t think I’ve been wrong. He is the guy teams will regret passing on if they don’t select him. He is going to have a great pro career.”

Boston Jr. averaged 11.5 points per game, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and a 35.5 percent field goal percentage on 30.3 minutes per game in his lone season in Lexington. He scored in double figures in 17 of the 25 games he appeared in, including a season-high 21-point performance in the regular season finale, a 92-64 blowout over South Carolina at Rupp Arena.

Boston Jr.’s season didn’t go as planned, as he came out of high school as a top-five recruit and many major mock drafts had him slated to be a top-10 pick, but ultimately his struggles shooting the ball and Kentucky’s awful 9-16 record led to him falling to the 51st pick.

“I feel bad for all of our kids being cheated out of last summer but Boston Jr. probably suffered more than anyone else,” Calipari said. “The opportunity that we’ve had this summer for our kids to be coached and experience what Kentucky basketball  is all about would have made such a difference for BJ.”

Ever since the draft went to two rounds in 1989, UK is the only program to have multiple players selected in the first round in 12 straight years. Calipari is the only coach to have multiple players selected in 14 consecutive NBA Drafts, which dates back to his time as head coach of Memphis.