Superstars win Championships but there is only so much money to spend and the difference in winning and losing often comes from how a team’s depth is comprised and the contributions you get from unexpected places. Andre Iguodala anyone? But that also means getting value from inexpensive contracts of players drafted in the 2nd round….our ‘Diamonds’ in the Rough.
San Antonio seems to have made a science of such players either by drafting extremely well in the 2nd Round or getting that talent on the cheap and getting sometimes substantial contributions for the dollar. What can we learn from these types of selections over the years and who might have that intriguing type of potential this year?
- Manu Ginobili (#57) pick – 1999
- Gilbert Arenas – (#31) pick – 2001
- Luis Scola – (#55) – 2002
- ZaZa Pachulia (#42), Mo Williams (#47), James Jones (#49), Kyle Korver (#51) – 2003
- Monta Ellis (#40) – 2005
- Paul Millsap (#47) – 2006
- Marc Gasol (#48), Ramon Sessions (#56) – 2007
- DeAndre Jordan (#35), Goran Dragic (#45) – 2008
- Danny Green (#46), Patty Mills (#55) – 2009
- Hassan Whiteside (#33) – 2010
- Chandler Parsons (#38), Isaiah Thomas (#60) – 2011.
- Jae Crowder (#34), Draymond Green (#35), Will Barton (#40) in 2012
- Allen Crabbe (#31) in 2013
- Nikola Jokic #41 in 2014
- Richaun Holmes (#37), Josh Richardson (#40), Norman Powell (#46) – 2015
The first thing we see is that the majority have quite a bit of experience before playing in the NBA. Either from 3-4 years of college ball or playing professional ball overseas, these value picks don’t need as much development and can contribute right away. They may not be stars (Green and Ginobili are obvious exceptions) but some of them have long careers and have been counted on to be significant contributors, starters and even an occasional All-Star.
Secondly, picks in the 40’s for some reason have a higher hit rate. Of the 26 players above, eight were picked from 30-39, twelve were picks from 40-49 and the final six were from #50 or later.
Lastly, position doesn’t seem to matter. Big men may take more time to develop but one could make a case for any two-man grouping of Gasol, Whiteside or Jordan as a center combo that would be one of the best in the league.
- Center: Gasol / Whiteside / Jordan / Pachulia
- Power Forward: Green / Jokic / Millsap / Scola / Holmes
- Small Forward: Chandler Parsons / Kyle Korver / Jae Crowder / James Jones / Josh Richardson
- Shooting Guard: Monta Ellis / Danny Green / Will Barton / Allen Crabbe / Josh Richardson
- Point Guard: Gilbert Arenas / Goran Dragic / Isaiah Thomas / Mo Williams / Patty Mills / Ramon Sessions
So who might fit that mold this year? Names like the inconsistent but talented A.J. Hammons, a mammoth 23 year old center out of Purdue. What about 6’7″ PG Caris Levert out of Michigan? Would Damian like fellow Weber St alum Joel Bolomboy, a 6’9″ PF who averaged over 17 points and 12 rebounds, hit the ‘3’ at 34% and has a massive 40.5 max vertical to go with a 7’1″+ wingspan to get a look?
Those are just a few names of many that at least have intriguing potential and could be a ‘steal’ for a team drafting in the 2nd Round. These are the picks that can add valuable depth at a fraction of the cost of much higher paid players in today’s NBA filled with analytics.
Besides, who doesn’t like finding that ‘Diamond’ in the Rough?