Every June, the second round of the NBA Draft always holds some players who have been overlooked, partly as a result of injuries they have suffered that have derailed their stocks, or because there are general managers out there that believe there are specific players in the first round who are simply more gifted from a basketball standpoint.
Whatever it is, these guys can only look at it as motivation to outwork their more reputable fellow rookies on the court in the September training camps around the NBA.
Last year, guys like Mario Chalmers and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute proved that there can be capable starters selected in the mid-to-late 30s of the second round.
NBA players the likes of Michael Redd, Gilbert Arenas, and Carlos Boozer were all selected in the second round of each of their drafts in 2000, 2002, and 2003, respectively. All three players have made at least one All-Star Game appearance.
So which players are potential second round gems in 2009?
Let's take a look, shall we?
Okay, I have to admit that there is some local bias in this listing, because DaJuan Summers was my favorite player on the Georgetown Hoyas.
But besides that, Summers is a baller.
Summers' poor play was one of the main reasons as to why Georgetown collapsed during the second half of the season, but he was also a big reason why they beat ranked teams like Connecticut, Memphis and Syracuse.
Even as a freshman, Summers' inspired performances in the 2007 NCAA Tournament led Georgetown to a Final Four.
At 6'8, 243 pounds, Summers is well-built for a small forward. When provoked, he plays with a level of grit and tenacity that is matched by few. His shooting mechanics are more refined than most of the forwards selected in this draft. He is sneaky athletic—most of his plays don't show up on SportsCenter, but he can get up if he wants to.
One could tell that Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars was looking for a tough-minded player by the selection of the Baltimore native, especially after the turbulent season they endured.
Maybe Summers can headline a new group of "Bad Boys" in Detroit for years to come.
When I heard my Washington Wizards call Jermaine Taylor's name with the 32nd pick, I was quite sure what to think.
"Did Ernie Grunfeld just acquire another guard?"
After Wednesday's trade which brought Mike Miller and Randy Foye into D.C. from Minnesota, the Wizards roster had held seven guards. I instantly knew that this pick would not be kept (Taylor was later traded to the Houston Rockets for cash considerations).
Which is a shame, because Taylor sure is an intriguing prospect.
Despite playing for a small school in Central Florida, Taylor started to gain recognition for his astounding in-game dunks (just check YouTube if want proof). He later participated in the College Slam Dunk Contest.
But Taylor is more than just a freak athlete. With his deadly jumpshot, he is able to stretch perimeter defenses and his high release additionally frustrates opponents.
His body is ripped, and he seems more than capable of handling the rigors of an 82-game NBA schedule.
At the Orlando Combine, his play opened the eyes of many NBA scouts, and his draft stock rose signficantly.
Possible replacement for Tracy McGrady? You never know.
No one will probably be more shocked that DeJuan Blair fell all the way down to the 37th pick than DeJuan Blair, himself.
But the fact that several NBA teams passed him up still won't wipe the smile off his face.
And it shouldn't, because Blair is entering a near-perfect situation in San Antonio, where the coaching and player management is among the best in the league.
Forget about the knee surgeries he'd had, forget about his weight issue, and forget about the fact that he's undersized for his position.
At the 37th pick, nabbing DeJuan Blair is the definition of highway robbery.
Blair is a behemoth of a man, let alone basketball player. The Spurs are getting his rebounding capabilities for dirt cheap, and the possibility of Blair playing with Tim Duncan in the frontcourt now looms in the imagination of the San Antonio fanbase.
San Antonio made a huge transaction in keeping their winning tradition alive earlier this week, by practically sacrificing three over-the-hill players for a proven 20 PPG player in Richard Jefferson.
Grabbing a former "Big East Player of the Year" in the second round puts the icing on the cake.
Derrick Brown. You may know him, you may not, but he was one of the key players that orchestrated the resurgence of Xavier basketball.
At the 40th pick, he was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats, which means Michael Jordan (aka the greatest basketball player of all time) thought highly of this guy.
That should tell you enough right there, but I will certainly elaborate.
Brown is a versatile player, as he has the ability to play three positions (SG, SF or PF) rather effectively. He has great size at a lanky 6'8, 225 pounds, at his main position, small forward.
He is a southpaw, meaning opposing players have a harder time defending his shot, as his game transferred smoothly over to the perimeter during his college career. His wingspan is indeed impressive, as it gives him the ability to block shots and finish difficult shot attempts around the basket.
He is very coachable, and looks to take advantage of his opportunities within the team offense, which are definitely good signs for Charlotte's head coach Larry Brown (no relation).
Not to mention he gets to learn a few tips from the premier small forward on the Bobcats, Gerald Wallace, who is one of the most underrated players in the league, if you ask me.
Look for Brown to make some sort of impact on the Bobcats, who are still looking to make their first playoffs in their five-year existence as a franchise.
With the selection of relatively unknown Christian Eyenga out of Congo at the 30th pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers fanbase hoped that General Manager Danny Ferry would take a more acknowledged basketball player with their next selection, the 46th pick.
And that he did.
He took Danny Green, the small forward who was a sparkplug off the bench during North Carolina's title run. The everlasting energy he brought and his scoring in clutch situations were two keys that were vital to North Carolina's success.
Now Green will be paired up with the two major focal points of the NBA in LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal...which correlates to constant wide-open looks from the perimeter for the former Tar Heel.
Green is a solid all-around player possessing a reliable offensive game and the potential to be a lock-down defender. But most of all, his ability as a spot-up shooter will likely intrigue the Cavs' coaching staff, as teams will try to fluster James or O'Neal with extra defenders.
A somewhat athletic, perimeter-oriented small forward with lots of room for improvement on the defensive end? The Cavs could use every bit of that.
Most of you are probably thinking that since A.J. Price was the 52nd pick in the draft, he won't make much of a difference on the Indiana Pacers at the point guard position.
The Pacers (mainly General Manager Larry Bird) have made it known that they are actively shopping T.J. Ford, their backup point guard. Not to mention that Jamaal Tinsley basically doesn't play for them anymore, as the Pacers have tried to found takers for his contract for quite some time now.
Starting point guard Jarrett Jack is currently a restricted free agent, and the Pacers would like to re-sign him, as he looks to be their guy at the point guard position for years to come.
So with Ford and Tinsley basically out of the picture, and dealing with the possibility that Jack may return, that leaves some playing time for the former Connecticut Husky, A.J. Price.
The theme of the Pacers' offensive gameplan is based mainly around perimeter shooting, and Price can do a whole of that. He developed into an excellent long-range shooter over his collegiate career, shooting just 27 percent from three his sophomore season to shooting a blistering 41 percent from three his senior season.
He has a good build for an NBA point guard at 6'2, 190 pounds, and he uses his body well to get into the lane to knock down floaters and short pull-up jumpshots.
His maturity and leadership is what stands out the most in his game, as he was clearly the heart and soul of the top-ranked Huskies this past season.
Price went through a lot during his college career, once regarded as the one nation's top high school players was forced to dealt with a near-fatal brain hemmorhage which caused him to miss his entire freshman season. He later was suspended in his redshirt freshman season for stealing laptops on-campus, along with fellow Huskie alum Marcus Williams.
All that and more gives me reason to believe that Price will craft a nice professional basketball career for himself.