History of Second Round Sleepers Since 1990

Top Second Round Picks

One thing that you must understand about the draft is there will be mistakes made. I think the philosophy is to get serviceable players with all of your picks and if you can get a star that is great. When you are watching the draft tonight understand that there are players not only in the first round but the second as well.


There will be players that slip to the second round that shouldn’t have as well as players who aren’t projected high in the draft, but get drafted to the right situation and flourish in their role with that team. Listed below are some of the top players since 1990 selected in the second round.


There is true value in the second round, so you should tune in to all 60 picks as you may see some starters and all-stars selected from 30-60. As you can see it has happened in the past. Enjoy the draft tonight.


1990 Toni Kukoc Chicago Bulls 29


In 1990 the Chicago Bulls went against the grain in the draft taking Toni Kukoc out of Croatia. No one knew the genius of Jerry Krause and his ability to find talent that would mesh with his team. Kukoc stayed in Europe for three additional years after getting drafted. He went on to be a big piece in the Bulls last 3 championships. For his career he averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds, but could have put up much bigger numbers with other teams if he didn’t have to play with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. He was a great 3rd-4th option to have on those teams. Kukoc was an absolute steal. I have him rated the 3rd best player in the 1990 NBA Draft proving that you can find value in the second round.


1993 Nick Van Exel Los Angeles Lakers 37


In the 1993 Draft the Los Angeles Lakers got a diamond in the rough in the second round with drafting Nick Van Exel. Nick slipped in the draft because of some attitude issues, but lived up to his playing reputation. He went on to play 13 seasons for 6 different teams in his career scoring 14 points and 6.6 assists per game. Looking back on the ’93 draft Nick ranks as the 7th best player in the draft giving the Lakers another gem in the second round. He went on to play in his only All-Star game in 1998.


1997 Stephen Jackson Phoenix Suns 42


In the 1997 draft, the Phoenix Suns drafted Jackson out of Butler County Community College with the 42nd pick. Jackson played at Oak Hill Academy in high school and was regarded as one of the top players in the country. Jackson could never get eligible academically so he attended Junior College. Jackson had an off again on again NBA career spending time in the minor leagues as well as 8 different teams in his 11 year career. Over the span of his career, Jackson has become one of the better isolation scorers in the NBA averaging 15.9 points a game for his career inclusing scoring over 20 points a game in 3 different seasons. I rank Jackson the 4th best player in the 1997 Draft not bad for the 42nd pick.


1998 Cuttino Mobley Houston Rockets 41


Mobley was a very unlikely NBA prospect coming out of the University of Rhode Island in 1998. He had talent and could score in college, but many questioned if he could get the job done at the next level. The Rockets made him the 41st selection of the NBA draft. In his rookie season he was named to the second team all-rookie by the NBA. He played 11 seasons for four different teams averaging 16.0 points a game over his career. Mobley’s career was cut short by a heart ailment, but really made the most of his opportunities. Just goes to show the value that a team can find after the first round. I ranked Mobley 12th best in the 1998 NBA Draft, not bad for the 41st pick


1999 Manu Ginobili San Antonio Spurs 57


Ginobili could be one of the best players ever to be selected in the second round of the NBA draft. Manu made his debut in 2002 and has never looked back. He has developed the reputation of being one of the toughest and most efficient perimeter players in the NBA. He is a special breed, because he could start for most of the teams in the NBA , but is ok with coming off the bench as a super 6th man for the Spurs. Has gone to two all-star games in 2005 and 2011 and received the 6th man award in 2008. It shows the evaluation ability of the Spurs organization finding Manu with the 57th pick in he draft. I have him rated 2nd overall in the 1999 draft behind only Elton Brand.


2000 Michael Redd Milwaukee Bucks 43


Michael Redd was yet another player to slip out of the first round and find NBA value in his game. Redd was one of the best perimeter shooting players in college basketball yet he fell out of sight on draft night. Many teams thought he was a one trick pony and can only make shots. Many people questioned his toughness and durability. The Bucks took a chance on him with the 43rd pick playing under then coach George Karl. Redd started slowly , but as time went on started to get confidence in his game. Over his ten year NBA career, Redd has established himself as one of the better scoring threats in the league finishing in the top 10 in scoring for four straight seasons. With his size and shooting stroke Michael was rewarded with over 100 million dollars in contracts. I rated him the number 1 player to come out of the 2000 NBA Draft. Not bad for the 43rd pick.


2001 Gilbert Arenas Golden State Warriors 30


Gilbert was a total game changer when he came into the league in 2001. He was an explosive scorer at Arizona for two years averaging 15.8 points per game. NBA people didn’t know what position to put him at and questioned his defense and attitude. Golden State grabbed him with the 30th pick. Injuries plagued him early in his career appearing in only 47 games as a rookie while scoring only 10.9 points a game. For the next 6 seasons , Arenas was one of the hardest shooting guards to defend in the NBA. He was named to 3 straight All-Star games and in 2006 averaged 29.3 points per game. Knee injuries derailed his career in the past 4 seasons, but once again the Warriors showed the value of the second round of the draft. I have Arenas ranked 7th in the 2001 NBA Draft


2003 Carlos Boozer Cleveland Cavaliers 34


Boozer took a hit in the 2002 NBA Draft slipping to the second round. He was one of the biggest most physical specimens coming out of college that year, but there were questions on his explosiveness and ability to score. The Cavaliers got him with the 34th selection. In his rookie season he averaged 10 points and 7 rebounds a game for the Cavs. Over his 10 year career, Boozer has averaged 17.0 points and 9.9 rebounds. He is one of the top 10 power forwards in the game and has been selected to 2 all-star games. I have him rated #3 in the 2002 NBA Draft.


2004 Anderson Varejao Orlando Magic 30


Anderson was an unknown in the 2004 NBA Draft. He was one of the better players coming out of Brazil and played on their National teams in different events. His lack of offense especially his shooting scared some people away and therefor slipped to the second round in the NA Draft being selected 30th by the Orlando Magic and was dealt to Cleveland. Anderson has developed into a serviceable and solid starting center in the NBA. Not a difference maker, but has an impact to your team with his ability to rebound the ball and run the floor. His offense has always been an issue, but I don’t think his rebounding and energy were weighed in enough. He’s averaged 7 points and 7 rebounds and just finished his best year as a pro averaging 10.8 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. In the 2004 NBA Draft I have him rated 8th best.


2005 Monta Ellis Golden State Warriors 40


Ellis has always been an explosive scorer. In 2005 he entered the draft out of high school. He was a very highly touted recruit in high school and some wondered if he could take his game to the NBA and have the same success. The Warriors again showing their ability to take chances in the second round snatched Ellis up with the 40th pick. Under then coach Mike Montgomery, Ellis struggled to get a solid role in the offense until Montgomery was replaced by Don Nelson and that is when his career took off. In his seven season in the NBA Ellis has averaged 19.5 points and 4.5 assists establishing himself as one of the more dangerous scorers in the league. I have him rated as the 6th best player to come out of the 2005 NBA Draft.


2005 Louis Williams Philadelphia 76-ers 45


Some players move on to become great players in the NBA and some move on to be solid players. Louis Williams shows flashes of being an all-star on some nights and just average on others. Williams can score at both the point guard and shooting guard positions. His game is fast and can score points in a hurry. In the 2005 NBA Draft the Sixers selected Williams with the 45th pick. Not knowing what to expect they got themselves a rotation player that helped them make their run in the playoffs this past year. In his seven seasons Williams has averaged 11 points and 3 assists a game, but again showing value in the second round I have him rated as the 11th best player in the 2005 draft class.


2006 Paul Millsap Utah Jazz 47


Paul Millsap has developed into a very good NBA power forward. Coming from a small school in Louisiana Tech, some NBA people thought he was too small and couldn’t rebound and be efficient at the NBA level. Millsap went to work his first year and never looked back. In his six years in the NBA, Paul has averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds a game. This past season he averaged 16.2 points and 88 rebounds a game. In the 2006 Draft where he was selected 47th I have him rated as the 5th best player.


2008 DeAndre Jordan LA Clippers 35


Coming out Texas A&M Jordan was an enigma to most because of his lack of work ethic. HIs numbers were good, but scouts worried about his productivity every night in the NBA stage. Jordan who was ranked in the top 10 for most of the year slipped to 35 in the draft. His first year was a solid one averaging 4.3 points and 4.5 rebounds. With development in the next few seasons Jordan last year put up 7 points 8 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. Showing the NBA with development and opportunity big men can develop. Great value at 35 for the Clippers. In his draft class I have Jordan ranked 12th.


2009 Jodie Meeks Milwaukee Bucks 41


Jodie put up solid numbers at Kentucky, but a lot of the NBA didn’t know what to expect from him. He was drafted in 2009 by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 41st pick. Many expected him to last a season or two as a scorer, Tony Delk type maybe, but he developed into a solid starting shooting guard. By his second season in the NBA after being traded to the Sixers, Meeks earned a starting role in their backcourt. Again showing at 41 you can find a starting player. Meeks isn’t an all-star but starters are hard to come by in the second round. Meeks ranks as the 17th best player in the 2009 Draft.

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