“NBA SECOND ROUND STEALS”
This article will entail who we believe to be the Top 10 active NBA players that were drafted in the second round of NBA Drafts. NBA Second Round Steals help a team in many ways. Players drafted in the first round of drafts receive guaranteed contracts, whereas 2nd round picks do not. It is an uphill climb for 2nd rounders. Fortunately, for the league and the players’ respective teams, there have been excellent players that have fought their way to become among the NBA elite.
We took into consideration the whole body of work of a player’s career when compiling the list. There will be a detailed synopsis of each player as well as any major accomplishments the player has received. Here is our best “NBA Second Round Steals”.
#10: Isaiah Thomas 5’9″ 185 pounds PG
College: Washington (2008–2011)
NBA DRAFT : 2011 / Round: 2 / Pick: 60th overall
Selected by the Sacramento Kings
Career Avg: 15.6 pts, 4.7ast, 2.4reb, 1stl
SYNOPSIS: Thomas was a star in college. If he were 3 inches taller he would have been a high first round pick instead of being the final selection of the 2011 NBA Draft. A blur with the ball in his hands, the diminutive lefty had a strong start to his career in Sacramento and Phoenix. On February 19, 2015 the Boston Celtics traded Marcus Thornton and a first round pick to acquire Thomas. It has looked like a smart move for Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge.
The runner-up for the NBA’s 6th man award in 2015 (Winner: Lou Williams, Toronto Raptors), he has averaged 21.4 pts, 2.6reb, and 6.6ast so far this season and is on the brink of All-Star status. He is the catalyst that drives head coach Brad Stevens up-and-coming team. Thomas is proof that big things come in small packages.
#9: Kyle Korver 6″7″ 212 SG/SF
College Creighton (1999–2003)
NBA Draft: 2003 / Round: 2 / Pick: 51st overall
Selected by the New Jersey Nets
Career Avg: 10pts, 3.1reb, 1.8ast, 43% 3P
SYNOPSIS: There are 2 things that NBA organizations covet. One is height. Big men are a rare commodity and in demand. The other is the ability to shoot the ball. Kyle Korver isn’t the biggest or most athletic player you will watch play. However, he might be one of the best pure shooters you will ever lay your eyes on. Currently playing for the Atlanta Hawks, Korver has improved his all-around game tremendously.
Known exclusively as a 3-point shooter his first 11 seasons in the league, he broke out in 2014-15. The result was an appearance in his first All-Star game. Don’t be mistaken however. He still makes his living behind the 3-point line. Korver set the NBA record in 2009-10 for 3pt% in a season by making 53.6% of his attempts. The former Creighton star will continue to be a big key for the Hawks as they attempt to be Eastern Conference contenders once again.
#8: Chandler Parsons 6’10” 230 SF
College Florida (2007–2011)
NBA draft: 2011 / Round: 2 / Pick: 38th overall
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Career Avg: 14.5pts, 4.9reb, 2.4ast, 1stl
SYNOPSIS: The 2011 SEC Player of the Year, Parsons broke through in his 2nd year in the league. The 6’10” SF averaged 15.5pts for Houston and looked to be a key building block for their future. However, rumblings between the Rockets 2 franchise players, James Harden and Dwight Howard changed those plans. Harden called out Parsons publicly, calling him a “role player along with the rest of Houston’s roster”. This changed Parson’s thinking about staying with the team.
After becoming a restricted free agent after the 2013-14 season, Houston declined to match the Dallas Mavericks offer sheet. Parson’s ended up signing a 3-year, 46-million with Dallas. The 6’10” SF is adept at putting the ball on the floor and using his height to shoot over smaller players and is known as a good passer. Chandler had off-season microfracture right knee surgery and is slowly playing his way back into game shape this season. If the Mavericks have any attention of contending during Dirk Nowitzki’s final years Parson’s will need to play a big role.
7: Monta Ellis 6’3″ 185 SG/SF
High school Lanier (Jackson, Mississippi)
NBA draft: 2005 / Round: 2 / Pick: 40th overall
Selected by the Golden State Warriors
Career Avg: 19.3pts, 4.8ast, 3.5reb, 1.7stl
SYNOPSIS: Drafted straight out of high school, the former high school All-American came right into the NBA and immediately carved out a niche as a pure scorer. Since his 2nd year in the league, Ellis hasn’t averaged fewer then 16.5pts per game, which includes a career high 25.5 pts. per game with Golden State during the 2009-10 season. After 2 seasons stuck in Milwaukee, Ellis rejuvenated his career by signing with the Dallas Mavericks before the 2013-14 season.
After a 2 year run in Dallas, which included consecutive solid postseason play, the 2007 NBA Most Improved Player signed a 4-year, 44-million dollar contract with the Indiana Pacers in July of 2015. At only 30 years of age, Ellis has a few more years of high level play in him. The hope is he and Pacer Superstar Paul George can get the necessary help around them to make Indiana a contender. One thing is certain. Monta Ellis will continue to put up points.
#6: Draymond Green: 6’7″ 230 SF/PF
College Michigan State (2008–2012)
NBA draft: 2012 / Round: 2 / Pick: 35th overall
Selected by the Golden State Warriors
Career Avg: 6.9pts, 5.5reb, 2.2ast, 1.1stl
SYNOPSIS: The heart and soul of the 2015 NBA Champions Golden State Warriors. The former Michigan State University first team All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year has perhaps improved his game in the last 2 years more than any other NBA player. Despite his college achievements, concerns persisted that Green was too small for Power Forward and to slow with no jump-shot for Small Forward. Green came back over the summer of 2014 a changed man. He dramatically improved his 2 main weaknesses, shooting and the ability to put the ball on the floor and drive.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are respectively Golden State’s 2 best players. Green might just be the most important, however. He is now a player that can guard 4 positions, lead fast breaks, and is considered the heart and soul of the team. On July 9, 2015, Green was rewarded for his hard-work when he accepted a 5-year, 85 million dollar contract. Along with the “Splash Brothers, they are currently 25-1 and the prohibitive favorites to win another NBA World Championship.
#5: Goran Dragic 6’3″ 190 PG/SG
Played in Slovenian League before being drafted
NBA draft: 2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45th overall
Selected by the San Antonio Spurs
Career Average: 12.2pts, 4.5ast, 2.7reb, 1stl
SYNOPSIS: Dragic was an unknown playing in Europe when San Antonio selected him mid-way through the 2008 draft. He was immediately traded on draft night in a little known deal. That deal paid for the team that traded for him, the Phoenix Suns. The 29 year old had a solid 3 years in Phoenix as the backup PG before a 2011 trade sent him to the Houston Rockets.
He remained a solid player with Houston, however his career took off in 2012 when he signed a 4-year, 30 million dollar contract as he returned to Phoenix. Dragic is adept at getting teammate involved but is at his best when being a score first guard. He has the ability to go off on scoring binges, which is why he splits time at the PG and SG positions. The 6’3″ left was named the NBA Most Improved Player in 2014 as well as being named 3rd team All-NBA.
The Miami Heat made February 2015 trade to acquire Goran and his brother Zoran and in July 2015 signed a 5-year, 90 million dollar contract. While his stats are down so far this season (11.3pts, 3.3reb, 5.3ast), Dragic, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade form a nice trio as the Heat look to get back into the playoff picture. Dragic has proven to be a second round steal and is one of the reasons why NBA General Managers scout Europe so heavily.
4: DeAndre Jordan 6’11” 265 Center
College: Texas A&M (2007-2008)
NBA Draft: 2008/ Round 2/ Pick: 35th Overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Clippers
Career Avg: 8pts, 9reb, 1.7blk
SYNOPSIS: Jordan has staked his claim as one of the best defensive players in the NBA. Already a 2-time rebounding champion, the former Texas A&M star is the backbone of the Chris Paul and Blake Griffin led Clippers. His defensive prowess allows teammates to play aggressively knowing that Jordan is behind them protecting the basket.
Jordan has no semblance of an offensive game besides lob dunks from Paul and the occasional put-back dunk. However, The Clippers didn’t hand Jordan a 4-year, 88 million dollar contract to be an offensive star. In a sport that is lacking quality Centers it is his defense for which he is getting paid for.
While verbally agreeing with Dallas on a free agent contract, Jordan changed his mind and came back to “Lob City”. The chance to play with Paul and Griffin for at least 4 more years looks like the right move as it gives the 2015 3rd team All-NBA player the best chance of winning a championship.
#3: Paul Millsap: 6’8″ 253 PF
College Louisiana Tech (2003–2006)
NBA draft: 2006 / Round: 2 / Pick: 47th overall
Selected by the Utah Jazz
Career Avg: 13.5pts, 7.3reb, 2ast, 1.3stl, 1blk
SYNOPSIS: Throughout Paul Millsap’s first 7 seasons with the Utah Jazz all he did was consistently perform at a high level. This author has long considered the former Louisiana Tech star one of the most underrated players in the NBA. It took signing a free agent contract in 2013 with the Atlanta Hawks to finally give Millsap the recognition he deserved.
A back-to-back All-Star in 2014 and 2015, the undersized 6’8″ PF is a key cog for the Hawks. The only 3-time consecutive rebounding leader in NCAA history, Millsap is a team first player, who along with Center Al Horford gives Atlanta an elite front-court. He has continued his stellar play this season as he is currently averaging 17.8pts, 9reb, and 3.4ast a game for the 18-12 Hawks.
During the off-season, the 30 year-old signed a 3-year, 59 million dollar contract with Atlanta, ensuring the organization of keeping the All-Star and great teammate the opportunity to help push the team among the Eastern Conference elite. Taking with the 47th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Millsap is a tremendous example of what having a great work ethic means, especially when playing the PF as an undersized player.
#2: Marc Gasol: 7’1″ 265 Center
Played in Spain before being drafted
NBA draft: 2007 / Round: 2 / Pick: 48th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Career Avg: 14.1pts, 7.9reb, 3ast, 1.6blk, 0.9stl
SYNOPSIS: Gasol was part of a 2008 blockbuster trade in which his brother Pau was apart of. Pau went onto win an NBA championship with the Lakers, while Marc has become one of the top 3 Centers in the NBA. The NBA defensive player of the year in 2013 is considered by many analysts to be the best 2-way Center in the world. Adept at shooting mid-range jump-shots along with a great low-post game, and phenomenal one-on-one defense are 3 examples why.
Gasol is the main reason why the Memphis Grizzlies are considered a Western Conference title contender. The 2-time All-Star (2012 and 2015) has been a veteran on the Spain National teams and has loved representing his country during the Olympics as well as other world tournaments.
An absolute steal with the 48th pick in the 2007 NBA draft, Gasol flirted with free agency this past summer. Fortunately for Memphis they resigned the 2015 First team All-NBA member this past July as they handed the 7’1″ Center a 5-year, 110 million dollar contract. At 30 years of age he still has a few prime years of elite play left in his game.
#1: Manu Ginobili: 6’6″ 205 SG
Played in Italian League before being drafted
NBA draft: 1999 / Round: 2 / Pick: 57th overall
Selected by the San Antonio Spurs
Career Avg: 14.3pts, 3.8reb. 4ast, 1.4stl
SYNOPSIS: 4-time NBA World Champion. A winner. A fearless leader. 2-All-Star appearances. These are just a few accolades that can describe Manu Ginobili. Playing for the greatest run organization in the NBA has given Ginobili the opportunity to play with some of the game’s greats. Tim Duncan. Tony Parker. Kawhi Leonard. These are just 3 players along with a host of others. Ginobili has played the majority of his career as a “6th man”. On most other teams in his prime he would have been the star player.
Ginobili has had plenty of chances throughout his illustrious 14-year career to leave left San Antonio and go where he could have been the star. By him playing 3rd fiddle behind Duncan and Parker for 10 years shows just what a team player he is. The 38-year old just wants to win. As his career is winding down he clearly isn’t as fast and good as he used to be. He has been injury prone. However, come playoff time he shines. There aren’t many more accomplishments Manu Ginobili can attain in the twilight of his NBA career. He is simply the greatest 2nd round pick among current players and quite possibly the history of the NBA. A possible Hall of Fame induction just might be in his future.
NOTE: This article was previously published on 12-24-15.
The following is a list of 10 players that we considered when putting together the list of ” NBA Second Round Steals”. The players listed are in no particular order.
- Nikola Pekovic
- Lou Williams
- Marcin Gortat
- Lance Stephenson
- Danny Green
- Hassan Whiteside
- Amir Johnson
- Anderon Varejao
- Khris Middleton
- Omer Asik
QUESTIONS FOR THE READER:
1.WHO DO YOU THINK SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE TOP 10 LIST?
2. IN WHAT ORDER WOULD YOU HAVE HAD THE PLAYERS RANKED?
3. WHO DO YOU BELIEVE HAS HAD THE BEST CAREER OF THE PLAYERS WHO WERE RANKED IN THE TOP 10?
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