With so much attention paid to the "upside" of future Lottery and first round selections, second round selections are often taken for granted. Lets face it, after David Stern introduces the last pick in the first round, our attention disappears.
The second round is historically chock full of foreign names, unheard of high school players, and four-year best-of-the-rest college players.
But as an NBA GM looking at a thin first round draft class (like we have this year), I would focus my efforts on getting a solid pick or two or three in the second round.
Here are the top performers, from the past decade, that have been drafted in the second round.
(Not Included: Older generations with second round Picks like: Mark Price, Dennis Rodman and Jeff Hornacek.)
10. Louis Scola
Drafted 55th overall to the Spurs in 2002. This pick was in the height of the Spurs reign of pioneering the overseas scouting frontier. His impact was felt this year in the playoffs as he and Carl Landry physically owned the post play of the Lakers. For his career, this second rounder averages 11.5 ppg and 7.6 rpg and is a perennial starter/sixth man.
9. Mo Williams
Maurice was drafted 47th overall in 2003 out of Alabama (Drafted by Utah). Mo was underrated because of the lack of the Tide's success and because of other PG prospects in the SEC that year. Mo had a career year with Cleveland and was selected to his first All Star Game. Career Stats: 13.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 4.8 apg.
8. Mehmet Okur
Detroit took a chance on Okur with the 37th Selection in the 2001 draft. My main reason for ranking him eighth above Mo and Scola is because he won a ring with the Pistons. While I personally don't like the guy or his style of play, his numbers don't lie. Career Stats: 13.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.7 apg.
7. Monta Ellis
The self-proclaimed "fastest dude in the NBA" was selected out of high school in Jackson, Miss by Golden State with the 40th pick of the 2005 draft. Sure he's young and the scooter accident/injury was bad, but Ellis has an incredibly bright future. As a previous Most Improved Player, Ellis scores in bunches. The Four Year Career Stats: 16 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 3.5 apg.
6. Stephen Jackson
From Oak Hill Academy to Butler County Community College, Jackson was selected 42nd overall in the 1997 by Phoenix. Love him or hate him, Jackson plays with passion and is loved by his teammates. As a member of the Spurs' 2003 Championship Team Jackson's Career Numbers are: 15.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 3.2 apg.
5. Carlos Boozer
Taken by Cleveland as the 35th pick of the 2002 Draft. This bruiser is arguably the best Duke player in the NBA. Although he was injured this year, he hits free agency this off season and should draw swarms of potential buyers. Not to mention he's a member of the 2008 Gold Metal Redeem Team. Career Stats: 16.8 ppg, 10 rpg and 2.4 apg.
4. Rashard Lewis
Despite being recruited by Kansas and Florida State, Lewis declared for the 1998 draft out of high school and was selected 32nd Overall by Seattle. His size and athleticism have made him a tough defensive match up from day one in the league. This post season has highlighted his sweet stroke from behind the arc as well. Career Stats: 16.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 1.9 apg.
3. Michael Redd
Drafted 43th in 2000 by Milwaukee, Redd was heralded as a defensive stopper from Ohio State. Somewhere in the summer months of 2000, Redd fine-tuned his perimeter and offensive game. Redd is arguably one of the best three-point shooters in the league and was a solid contributor to the 2008 Gold Metal Redeem Team. Career Stats: 20.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 2.3 apg.
2. Manu Ginobili
Taken 57th (second to last) pick in the 1999 Draft by the Spurs. Another prime example of the Spurs overseas scouting capabilities, Manu has slashed defenses inside and out. While I personally don't like Manu, his game is well respected and his ability to get to the rim is unmatchable. Plus the string of championships he won with the Spurs. Career Stats: 14.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 3.6 apg.
1. Gilbert Arenas
Selected 30th by Golden State in 2001. Highly criticized for leaving Arizona after his sophomore year, Arenas overcame several years of inactivity with the Warriors to become a lethal game changer. Despite his injuries the past two seasons, his numbers can not be matched by anyone else drafted in the Second Round. With limitless range and over-the-top charisma, Agent Zero is supported by fans all across the country.
Kyle Korver 51st pick 2003 NBA Draft
Juan Carlos Navaro 39th Pick 2002 NBA Draft