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Sean Kilpatrick Season in Review

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Kilpatrick’s job seemed assured in Brooklyn, but even after he got cut, he continued to make plays in the NBA this past year.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers

  • 6.3 points per game
  • 1.7 rebounds
  • 0.9 assists
  • .374/.319/.889

The NBA’s 2017-18 season officially ended when the Golden State Warriors completed their sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals this past Friday. Now that all the professional men’s basketball is finished, we can look forward to the NBA Draft when Jacob Evans is set to be picked and the build up to next year can begin.

While the 2017-18 campaign was best for the Warriors and worst for the Phoenix Suns, it was somewhere in the middle for Sean Kilpatrick, the lone former Cincinnati Bearcat to be playing in the league. (Troy Caupain is still working in the G League and overseas, but has yet to make an appearance in the NBA proper.) Editor’s note: As pointed out in the comments, Lance Stephenson is also still playing in the NBA. Sorry about that mistake. Kilpatrick has had quite the road in professional basketball, grinding his way through the lower levels and 10-day contracts to finally have a life as a semi-regular.

Unfortunately, that semi-regularity was a bit less consistent this past year. Kilpatrick had signed a multi-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets last spring but was let go in December by the team to make room for Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas following a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Thank God the Nets pulled off that deal since they got a whole 1.0 win share combined from Stauskus and Okafor during a 28-win season. Whatever.

Anyway, after the Nets released him, Kilpatrick signed with the Milwaukee Bucks, was waived, then signed two 10-day deals with the Los Angeles Clippers before entering a mutli-year deal with the Chicago Bulls on March 26. Hopefully he’ll stick there a bit.

All of the moving around didn’t help Kilpatrick produce all that much. In 16 games with the Nets, he averaged 11.4 minutes per contest, scoring only 4.9 points each time out. Admittedly, while Stauskas certainly didn’t play all that well for the Nets, Kilpatrick didn’t either. He had an offensive rating of 80 while shooting just 28.7 percent from the field and 25.6 percent from three-point range.

He got into 23 games with the Bucks, but played fewer minutes per game (8.9) while scoring less (4.0 PPG), although he did find some better shooting success (.378/.283/.947), just not from long range.

In his brief Clippers career (four games), Kilpatrick finally found his three-point shot again (.429) and averaged 4.8 points per game.

He played his last nine games of the season with the Bulls and got a real chance, wich he seized to the tune of 15.4 points per game on .439/.496/.813 shooting. He even started once!

When you add it all up, Kilpatrick actually got onto an NBA floor quite a bit, playing in 52 games while contributing for four teams. Considering how he ping-ponged around the league, its kind of impressive that he played more than half a season. In that time he netted 6.3 points per game while shooting .374 from the floor. He was just a bit below average offensively (97 offensive rating), but posted marks above 100 with every team besides the Nets. His defense remained in the same range he has been in since his professional debut, as he had a 113 defensive rating, which is the same mark he has for his career overall.

The Best of the Best

Nov. 7, 2017 at Denver

The Nets lost (get used to that), but Kilpatrick scored 11 points in 20:28 minutes while his team was +9 while he was on the floor. He also had three assists and two rebounds, while shooting just 4-of-12 from the floor.

Nov. 27, 2017 at Houston

His shooting was not the best (3-for-12) but he did have 12 points, six rebounds and two dimes.

Dec. 2, 2017 vs. Atlanta

In his second-to-last game as a member of the Nets, he scored 12 points on 3-of-7 shooting.

Dec. 23, 2017 at Charlotte

Happy Holidays, sir. Kilpatrick made 5-of-9 shots and finished with 11 points for his new team, the Milwaukee Bucks.

Feb. 1, 2018 at Minnesota

Kilpatrick didn’t play as much during January, but had a nice outing to start February, with 10 points on 4-of-8 from the floor.

Feb. 6, 2018 at New York

Kilpatrick must have remembered Madison Square Garden from his Big East days, as he scored what was then a season-high 16 points in a win over the Knicks.

April 1, 2018 vs. Washington

After he scored in double figures in three of the first four games in which he appeared for the Bulls, he netted 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in a 19-point win over the Wizards.

April 3, 2018 vs. Charlotte

April 6, 2018 at Boston

This wasn’t just a game where Kilpatrick threw up a ton of shots to get a season-high 24 points. Instead, he made 8-of-13 field goal attempts, including 5-of-7 from three. He scored 20 points in the next game, but the Bulls lost by 28 points. They only lost this game by seven.

For Next Year

No matter what challenge gets put in his way, Kilpatrick has fought to make his name in the NBA. He is once again going to be playing professionally next season, this time with the Bulls, a team that is clearly in rebuilding mode. At 28-years-old, Kilpatrick is far beyond prospect status, but he can still be a productive NBA player and hopefully he will be for years to come.