It's funny how the NBA Draft works. The lottery—well, the players in the lottery—are often so highly coveted that to think an eighth overall pick won't become a major contributor night in and night out is simply ludicrous. After all, why would such a player have such a high draft stock if their most notable NBA contribution turns out to be that formidably frightening four letter word?
Need a hint? It rhymes with lust, but it's significantly less fun.
Conversely, the considerably high expectations that come with a top selection are virtually non-existent in the later stages of draft. Although this mindset is more than understandable (the NBA does have the least amount of employed athletes out of all four major professional sports), it is also somewhat unfounded, as there have been a number of later round picks that have shined infinitely brighter than the likes of Dajuan Wagner, Mouhamed Sene and Rodney White (who?), all of whom were top-10 draft picks within the last 10 years.
Later round draft gems, though generally considered to be the exception rather than the rule, have consistently provided teams with reliability, longevity and in some cases, even star power. Although Manu Ginobili, Dennis Rodman and Carlos Boozer, all second round draft selections, are among this unexpectedly brilliant cast of characters, they are by no means the only players ever to make it out of the boondocks of the NBA draft.
As for this year's draft class, we've all heard about John Wall, his dance and his virtually limitless potential. But what about everyone else? What about those players, despite not having a song dedicated to them, who have been able to tremendously exceed expectations thus far during this young season?
Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the league's most unexpected rookie surprises. Make no mistake about it; these guys are here to stay.