" "NBA Draft 2023: OKC Thunder Acquires Kentucky's Cason Wallace With No. 10 Pick, Via Trade | American Inside News " "

NBA Draft 2023: OKC Thunder acquires Kentucky’s Cason Wallace with No. 10 pick, via trade

In the bustling green room of the Barclays Center, Cason Wallace, fresh off being selected as the 10th pick in the NBA Draft, prepared for a TV interview. As he watched the monitor, Adam Silver, the commissioner, announced the Thunder’s pick at No. 12. A mischievous smile crossed Wallace’s face. Although Dereck Lively II was the name spoken, Wallace knew he was actually the Thunder’s pick. Soon, the Mavericks hat he wore would be swapped for the Thunder hat donned by Lively.

3fbaf1ff 43ff 4885 bd5d f9b223807b7f GTY 1500728277

On Thursday night, the Thunder made a trade, moving up two spots in the NBA Draft. They sent their No. 12 pick to the Mavericks in exchange for the No. 10 pick and Davis Bertans, who is owed $33 million over the next two years. The Mavericks were keen to offload Bertans’ contract, and the Thunder willingly agreed to the trade in order to improve their draft position. Wallace, a 6-foot-4 guard from Kentucky, was the specific target of the Thunder’s trade-up.

As Wallace prepared for his TV interview, he tried to capture the flood of emotions he was experiencing. “Excited, anxious… there’s a lot more I can’t even name,” he said. Surrounding him were his mom, dad, brother, cousin, agent, and his college coach, John Calipari.

Hearing his name called on draft night brought a sense of relief for Wallace. “It felt good,” he expressed. The 19-year-old guard from Dallas had an impressive freshman year at Kentucky, averaging 11.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game. In Oklahoma City, Wallace will join forces with another former Kentucky guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Kentucky’s basketball program celebrated another first-round selection, extending their streak to 14 consecutive NBA drafts with at least one player chosen in the first round.

For Wallace, playing professional basketball will bring him just a three-hour drive up I-35 from Hamilton Park, the neighborhood in north Dallas where he grew up. The initials “HPT” (Hamilton Park, Texas) were prominently stitched in red all over his black suit, complemented by a matching red bow tie.

Wallace sees his attire as a message to everyone, emphasizing that no matter where you come from, with determination, you can achieve your goals. “Don’t be ashamed of it,” he urged. “Don’t be afraid to share your story and what you’ve been through.”

Leave a comment