Eight of last 15 Vols selected in the NBA Draft are Tennessee natives
Tennessee point guard Kennedy Chandler was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 38th pick in the NBA Draft Thursday, and his rights were immediately acquired his hometown Memphis Grizzlies.
Six Vols have now heard their names called in the last four NBA Drafts.
Chandler also is the fourth one-and-done draft selection in Tennessee program history, following Tobias Harris (2011), Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer.
As a true freshman this past season, Chandler led the Vols in scoring (13.9 ppg), assists (4.7 apg) and steals (2.2 spg). A starter in all 34 games in which he appeared, Chandler had a hand in 33.6 percent of Tennessee’s total team scoring on the year—scoring 473 points himself and dishing out 161 assists, which led to 392 points.
Chandler was a two-time SEC Freshman of the Week, earned second-team All-SEC honors from the league’s head coaches and also was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. He averaged 14.7 points and 5.0 assists in Tennessee’s three wins en route to the SEC Tournament Championship and was voted tournament MVP.
Chandler’s 74 steals led all Division I freshmen last season and were the most ever by a UT freshman. His 161 assists were third-most among Division I true freshmen.
Chandler leaves Rocky Top sharing the school-record for steals in a game, as he logged seven against Presbyterian on Nov. 30, 2021.
A Memphis native, Chandler is the first Vol ever drafted by the Grizzlies. Former Vol Yves Pons just completed his rookie season with the Grizzlies as an undrafted free agent, and VFL Jarnell Stokes played for the franchise during the 2014-15 season.
In 1971, Tennessee forward Don Johnson was drafted by the ABA’s Memphis Pros.
The number of NBA Draft picks produced by Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes now rises to 30 dating to 1990. Among active head coaches, Barnes has developed the fifth-most NBA Draft picks. Over the last 13 years, Barnes has seen 13 of his players selected.
Barnes has now coached eight one-and-done players as a head coach. Of Barnes’ seven one-and-done players already in the NBA, four have won at least one NBA championship.