2011 NBA Draft Lottery: The 25 Best Non-Lottery Picks of the Last Decade
The NBA Draft order is finally set after a Cleveland Cavaliers lottery win. While the top teams in the draft have a disproportionately high chance of picking a team leader and franchise player, teams lower in the lottery must rely on more careful scouting to determine the perfect fit.
While players like LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are all children of the lottery, stars are born in the mid-20s as well. Teams would do well to look at the past decade of drafts to determine what types of players have the most success at the next level.
Players were included in this slideshow if they were picked between 1999 and 2009. 2010 rookies have not had enough time to prove their worth at this point in their careers.
Non-lottery players often take longer to develop because they are not given as many opportunities early in their careers.
25: Josh Howard (2003, No. 29 by Dallas Mavericks)
Josh Howard's career with the Dallas Mavericks peaked in the 2007-08 season when he averaged 20 PPG and seven rebounds.
Howard's production has decreased of late with the Wizards, but his contributions to the Mavericks during their heyday are not forgotten. His play gets him a spot among the top players not chosen in the lottery.
24: Mo Williams (2003, No. 47 by Utah Jazz)
Mo Williams was supposed to be the Cavaliers' final piece of the puzzle following the LeBron James era. Now a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, Williams averaged 14 PPG last season.
Williams was a member of the 2009 All-Star team and averaged over 17 PPG between 2006 and 2009.
23: Hedo Turkoglu (2000, No. 16 by Sacramento Kings)
Hedo Turkoglu was one of the main reasons for the Magic's success just a couple seasons ago. He scored with shots off screens and had the ability to create his own shot—an ability many Magic players did not have.
Now back with the Magic, Turkoglu has yet to again find his high-scoring ways. But his contributions to the team in the regular season and clutch performances in the postseason between 2007 and 2009 put him on this list.
22: Kendrick Perkins (2003, No. 27 by Memphis Grizzlies)
Kendrick Perkins has never been a star, but he has been a stalwart for the Boston Celtics in the age of the Big Three and has contributed to the Oklahoma City Thunder's recent success.
Perkins plays sensational defense on the NBA's biggest, strongest players. Some Celtics fans blame Perkins, singly, for the Celtics inability to get past the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
21: Tayshaun Prince (2002, No. 23 by Detroit Pistons)
The Detroit Pistons chose Tayshaun Prince the year before they won their championship. Prince turned out to be the perfect fit for the Pistons.
His unselfish play and strong defense have made him one of the best role players in the NBA.
20: Mehmet Okur (2001, No. 37 by Detroit Pistons)
Hampered by injuries, this past season was the worst of Mehmet Okur's career. Since being drafted in the second round of the 2001 draft, Okur has done nothing but prove the skeptics wrong.
In the 2005-06 season, Okur's career peaked as he averaged 18 points and nine rebounds per game.
19: Gerald Wallace (2001, No. 25 by Sacramento Kings)
Gerald Wallace has been a scorer throughout his career. With the Bobcats, he was their leading scorer and became the closest team the team had to a star for a stretch between 2005 and 2010.
Traded midseason to the Portland Trail Blazers, Wallace is not the center of attention as much now. He is still scoring in bunches but more within the flow of the game. His consistency in scoring warrants a spot among the NBA's best.
18: Al Jefferson (2004, No. 15 by Boston Celtics)
Al Jefferson has as many post moves as any player in the NBA. Jefferson averaged over 23 PPG in 2008-09 in addition to 11 rebounds.
After the addition of Kevin Love and other players, Jefferson's production has decreased, but his ability has not. Minnesota has the best odds of receiving the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA draft. With another top player, Jefferson and Love can become cogs on a winning team.
17: Jameer Nelson (2004, No. 20 by Denver Nuggets)
Jameer Nelson and Delonte West starred at mid-major St. Joseph's in college. Nelson was clearly the star, yet he still fell to No. 20 in the draft.
The NBA game has not slowed Nelson down. Last season, he averaged 13 points and six rebounds per game in helping Dwight Howard lead the Magic to one of the best records in the East.
16: Marc Gasol (2007, No. 48 by Los Angeles Lakers)
Marc Gasol was drafted by the Lakers and traded for his brother. This postseason, the younger Gasol became a star in his own right, teaming with Zach Randolph to create one of the best front lines in the NBA.
Gasol has consistently averaged double-digit points since he started playing for Memphis three seasons ago. He has developed into a rebounding threat as his career has moved on.
15: Kevin Martin (2004, No. 26 by the Sacramento Kings)
Picked in the late first round of the 2004NBA draft, Martin has proven he can score with anyone in the NBA. Martin has had five seasons where he averaged more than 20 PPG for the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings.
While he has never taken a team far and he has been a go-to guy almost by default, his skills put him on this list. With a bit more talent, his scoring might take a hit, but he'd have a few more wins under his belt.
14: Andrei Kirilenko (1999, No. 24 by Utah Jazz)
Andrei Kirilenko was one of the most unique players in the NBA during his prime. He is one of the best Russians to ever play in the NBA and brought a defensive European style to the American game.
AK-47 has played his entire career for the Jazz. He has never been their best scoring threat, but his defense and shot-blocking ability made him a force at all times.
13: Michael Redd (2000, No. 43 by Milwaukee Bucks)
Michael Redd is one of the NBA's outstanding shooters. Somewhere in the middle of his career, he became one of the most potent offensive players in the game, averaging nearly 27 PPG in 2006-07.
Injuries have hampered Redd's career over the past three seasons, but in his prime, there were few NBA players that could score like Redd.
12: Zach Randolph (2001, No. 19 by Portland Trail Blazers)
Zach Randolph had a difficult start to his career with off-the-court issues. Talent was never the question with the 19th overall pick in 2001.
He has consistently averaged around 20 points and 10 RPG throughout his career. With Memphis this past season, he teamed with Marc Gasol to give the Grizzlies one of the best front lines in the game and upset the No. 1 seed San Antonio Spurs in the West in the first round.
11: Tony Parker (2001, No. 28 by San Antonio Spurs)
Tony Parker was the perfect fit for the Spurs when he joined as a late first-round pick in 2001. He has been the Spurs' starting point guard since his rookie season and given the team stability at the position.
In his prime, Parker used his quickness to beat defenders and get to the basket or dish out to Manu Ginobili or a cutting Tim Duncan.
10: Gilbert Arenas (2001, No. 30 by Golden State Warriors)
Before Gilbert Arenas' fall from grace in Washington, he was one of the few bright spots in the Washington sports scene. In the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, Arenas averaged 29.3 and 28.4 PPG.
His career has fallen rapidly, and he is now a bench player for the Orlando Magic, but Wizards fans will remember Agent Zero at his best for years to come.
9: David West (2003, No. 18 by New Orleans Hornets)
David West has been one of the most consistent players for the New Orleans Hornets over the past seven seasons.
Averaging over 16 points and seven rebounds per game, West quietly goes about his job and is a key cog on teams where he is often overshadowed by superstar point guard Chris Paul.
8: Josh Smith (2004, No. 17 by Atlanta Hawks)
Josh Smith might be the most versatile player in the NBA. A 6'9" small forward, Smith blocks shots with reckless abandon and can score in bunches.
Throughout his career, Smith has averaged nearly eight rebounds per game and has developed a reputation as one of the top defensive players in the game.
7: Danny Granger (2005, No. 17 by Indiana Pacers)
When Danny Granger slipped out of the lottery in the 2005 NBA draft, experts were surprised—he was supposed to be as NBA-ready as any prospect.
By 2008-09, Granger averaged 25 PPG and had cemented his position as the Pacers' best player.
6: David Lee (2005, No. 30 by New York Knicks)
The final pick of the first round in the 2005 NBA draft was immediately a rebounding force for the New York Knicks.
David Lee's offensive game developed by the time his contract expired. The Golden State Warriors signed him to a big contract, and Lee did not disappoint, averaging 16 points and 10 RPG last season.
5: Monta Ellis (2005, No. 40 by Golden State Warriors)
Monta Ellis is one of the most exciting players in the NBA—something that can't be said about many second-round picks.
Ellis sometimes has questionable shot selection and turns over the ball his fair share of times, but his scoring ability is unquestionable, as he has averaged nearly 25 PPG over the past two seasons.
4: Ron Artest (1999, No. 16 by Chicago Bulls)
Ron Artest is best known for his melee, but he is also one of the NBA's best players.
He made a name for himself early on in his career for his defensive prowess. His top scoring seasons came as a member of the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings, but his best play has come playing Dennis Rodman to Kobe Bryant's Michael Jordan over the past two seasons.
3: Manu Ginobili (1999, No. 57 by San Antonio Spurs)
The San Antonio Spurs got a steal with the fourth-to-last pick in the 1999 NBA draft. When the other team knows the ball is going to Tim Duncan late in the game and shifts their defense to stop him, Ginobili is the other player on the court who can create his own shot.
Ginobili's value has become even greater as Duncan has aged more quickly. More of the scoring load falls on Ginobili.
2: Carlos Boozer (2002, No. 35 by Cleveland Cavaliers)
Carlos Boozer might be the single reason the Miami Heat have had so much trouble defeating the Chicago Bulls this season—Chris Bosh simply can't guard him.
Boozer is a force on the offensive and defensive end as a rebounder. He offers the Bulls stability so their smaller players, like Derrick Rose and Luol Deng, have room to make plays.
1: Rajon Rondo (2006, No. 21 by Boston Celtics)
Some Celtics fans were surprised when the Celtics chose Rajon Rondo in the 2006 draft over Marcus Williams of UConn. No one is asking questions anymore as Rondo has become the best player on a team with three possible future Hall of Famers.
Despite his poor shooting, Rondo finds ways to score on fast breaks and by getting creative with finishes around the basket. His assist totals have jumped every year he has played, moving up to 11 APG last season.