#ThrowBackThursday Best 2nd Round Picks since 1999: Manu, Monta, and more!
With the NBA Draft coming up today, all the hype going into these drafts are always about the top 10 picks, where they’re going, and who’s going to be the future franchise player and who’s going to be the biggest bust. There’s rarely any commotion about the last 30 picks because most of the time, these prospects never pan out or even make it past the summer league. However, every once in awhile, a team finds a gem in the 2nd round. Teams are always looking to find that second round sleeper, so we’re going to go through a few of the top 2nd round picks since 1999.
In 1999 with the 57th pick, the San Antonio Spurs drafted a player from overseas who’d eventually become a key piece for their next 3 championships. Even though he was drafted in 1999, he played professionally over in Italy from 99-02 until he played for the Spurs in 02-03. In his rookie season, he contributed in their playoff run to the franchise’s second NBA championship. This second round pick was Emanuel David Ginobili. The combination of craftiness and basketball IQ of Manu Ginobili makes him one of the most unique players in NBA history. If you don’t believe me, just check out the highlights below. He’s also considered one of the biggest floppers in the NBA, but that’s a whole other story.
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Next, we got Carlos Boozer who was drafted 34th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2002. After two years with the Cavs, he went on to play six seasons with the Jazz, and is currently playing for the Chicago Bulls. He has a career average of 17 points and 10 boards with two All-Star selections and one All-NBA Third Team selection. He’s always been known as a force in the paint with his solid footwork and overall strength. Although his play hasn’t been as strong as previous years, he’s still a solid second/third option on offense.
Marc Gasol, the 48th overall pick in 07, was considered a throw-in as a part of the Pau Gasol/Kwame Brown trade. At the time, it was just a Lakers second round pick that would bring Pau to the Lakers (as well as 2 NBA Championships). But now, Marc Gasol has become a strong force in the paint for Memphis which has included an All-Star selection in 2012 along with NBA Defensive Player of the Year and All-NBA 2nd Team this last year. And with centers lacking in this era of the NBA, his future is even more promising especially since he’s only getting better. Gasol is arguably one of the best centers in the league right now, considering his skill set on offense and his ability to control the paint on defense. More All-Star and All-NBA team selections seem to be in his future.
Then, we have Monta Ellis, the 40th pick of the 2005 Draft. He came straight out of high school and was relatively unknown. He didn’t start getting a lot of run until his second year with the Warriors, but he’s been putting up solid numbers ever since. His best year coming three years ago where he averaged 25.5 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Monta’s explosiveness combined with his mid range jumper and finishing ability has made him one of the tougher combo guards to defend. He still has the potential to get better but has already had a strong career considering he was a second round pick.
Gilbert Arenas, formerly known as Agent Zero, seemed to be one of the better 2nd round picks in recent years. Picked as the 2nd pick in the 2nd round by Golden State, Arenas wasn’t only a good player but a great entertainer during his first few years at Washington. At one point he was a superstar in the League and nobody could guard him. His accomplishments include an All-NBA 2nd Team selection, two All-NBA 3rd Team selections, and three All-Star selections. In his best year, he averaged 29 points and 6 assists. Although he has fallen off the NBA map, he had a couple great years any player wish he could have especially for a 2nd round pick.
Honorable Mentions: Mo Williams, Marcin Gortat, Lou Williams, Paul Millsap, Matt Barnes, Michael Redd
So, what do you think? Who’s been the best 2nd round pick since 1999?
Every draft you have those lottery prospects expected to be the next All-Stars, those mid-late 1st rounders expected to grow into their potential, and every once in awhile you have those 2nd round picks that turn out to be the biggest steal like Manu Ginobili. What do you think? Who will be this year’s biggest steal?