With all the talk about the Lottery and the importance of building your team through the Draft by accumulating first-round picks (like the Oklahoma City Thunder have done), the second round seems to be increasingly marginalized in the minds of fans. However, the second-round can be a valuable place to find role players or even stars, so here are the best second-rounders from each of the past 10 NBA Drafts.
Michael Redd (Pick 43, Milwaukee)
With this pick, the Bucks got probably the most value of any team in the past 10 years. Picking 43rd, they found Redd who turned into the face of the franchise during the mid-2000s and averaged over 20 points per game in seven seasons. While Redd appears to be on his way out in Milwaukee, the Bucks reaped the benefits of his sharpshooting for 10 years all while picking him at 43.
Honorable Mentions: Eddie House and Eduardo Najera
Gilbert Arenas (Pick 31, Golden State)
Arenas fell to the early second-round, and not being a first-rounder has motivated him ever since. He starred for Golden State before moving onto Washington where he became one of the League’s most exciting and outspoken players. Despite the fact that the Warriors were unable to retain Gilbert in his prime, their ability to recognize his talents must be recognized.
Honorable Mentions: Mehmet Okur and Bobby Simmons
Carlos Boozer (Pick 34, Cleveland)
Boozer fell to the second-round where the Cavs scooped him up. He played well early in his career for the Cavs before opting to sign with the Jazz for six years and $70 million. Had the Cavs kept him, he would have been LeBron‘s best sidekick over the years, but instead he turned into the perfect pick-and-roll partner for Deron Williams in Utah.
Honorable Mentions: Roger Mason Jr., Rasual Butler and Luis Scola
Mo Williams (Pick 47, Utah)
In one of the most talented drafts ever, talent like Williams managed to slide into the second-round. Williams played well under Jerry Sloan in his rookie year before signing with Milwaukee where he improved his scoring average in each year with the team. Williams is now the number two scoring option for the Cavs behind LeBron.
Honorable Mentions: Kyle Korver, Willie Green, Matt Bonner and Jason Kapono
Trevor Ariza (Pick 43, New York)
Ariza turned out to be a steal for Isiah Thomas out of UCLA. He did well in his first two seasons with the Knicks before being traded with Penny Hardaway to the Magic for Steve Francis. After three seasons in Orlando, he was traded to the Lakers where he made a name for himself in the 2009 Finals as a great athlete and superior defender.
Honorable Mentions: Anderson Varejao and Chris Duhon
Monta Ellis (Pick 40, Golden State)
Ellis fell to the second round after leaving right from high school. He emerged on the scene in Golden State’s 2007 upset of the Mavericks as a speedy complement to Baron Davis. With his lightning quick speed, and insane ability to create his own shot, Ellis is one of the top scorers in the NBA and will be a star for years to come.
Honorable Mentions: Lou Williams, Andray Blatche and C.J. Miles
Paul Millsap (Pick 47, Utah)
As the leading rebounder in the NCAA, Millsap fell to the second-round because he played for small school in Louisiana Tech. The Jazz were lucky to find him sitting there as he has proven a perfect backup for Boozer, and also proven to be a rebounding machine in the League. Should Boozer leave this summer, the Jazz are in good hands with Millsap at the four.
Honorable Mentions: Daniel Gibson and Leon Powe
Carl Landry (Pick 31, Seattle)
Drafted by the Sonics, his agent helped with his trade to the Rockets for a future second-round pick. Once in Houston, Landry was a vital part of the Rockets’ playoff run to the second-round last year against the Lakers. He was a bruiser with Yao Ming down low, and after Yao went out in game three Landry stepped up. He was traded to the Kings this past season, where he will most likely be their starting power forward next year.
Honorable Mentions: Glen Davis, Marc Gasol and Ramon Sessions
Luc Mbah a Moute (Pick 37, Milwaukee)
Mbah a Moute has incredible length and has proven to be a tough defender, and perfect fit for Scott Skiles in Milwaukee. While still in need of an offensive game, Mbah a Moute played a valuable role in the Bucks surprising playoff berth this year.
Honorable Mentions: Goran Dragic, Chris Douglas-Roberts and DeAndre Jordan
Marcus Thornton (Pick 43, Miami)
After being picked by the Heat, Thornton’s rights were traded to the Hornets. In an injury-filled season for New Orleans, Thornton and fellow rookie Darren Collison emerged as potential stars. Thorton proved to be a very capable wing scorer averaging 14.5 points per game and shooting 37% from three. Should be fun to watch on the break with Chris Paul for years to come.
Honorable Mentions: DeJuan Blair, Chase Budinger and Jonas Jerebko
What do you think? Who is the best second-round pick of the last 10 years?
Follow Daniel on Twitter at @dgm591.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.