On the eve of the 2011 NBA draft, Boston Celtics fans are putting all their attention on pick No. 25. At a time when the franchise is nearing a crossroads between the closing window for the Big Three and looking ahead to the future, this year's draft will no doubt be key.
But what to expect at No. 25? Can the C's get a player who can contribute right away? Will the pick be a project that may take several years to develop? What kind of value can even be had at the end of the first round?
To help fans get an idea of what could be in store late in the first, here's a look at how picks at No. 25 in the last 10 NBA drafts have fared, for better or for worse, in their pro careers.
Williams was a highly-touted point guard with deep Illinois roots. In high school he was named Illinois Mr. Basketball before a three-year career as a Fighting Illini in which he was once named the Big Ten Player of the Year.
Williams failed to earn playing time in his rookie campaign, and after the acquisition of Stephon Marbury during the 2003-04 season, he was further relegated to the bench.
He was part of a package deal to Chicago the following offseason, but spent much of a disappointing season on injured reserve.
Since then, he has not hooked on with another franchise and has run into legal troubles as of late.
Almond was a superstar at Rice, putting up 26.4 points per game in his senior season to follow up a junior campaign that put him on the map.
He played well in the D-League, leading the league in scoring, but failed to transition his success to the big stage.
Almond played only 34 games for the Jazz, and after three seasons kicking around the D-League, he now makes his living playing in Italy.
"Jake" Tsakalidis came into the 2000 NBA draft as a monster 7'3", 290-lb center who had made his name in the Greek League with AEK Athens, where he had played since the age of 17.
In the NBA, though, Tsakalidis failed to translate his success. He spent seven seasons in the States between Phoenix, Memphis and Houston as a bench player, putting up career averages of 5.1 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game.
In 2007, he returned to Greece to play for Olympiacos, and is currently without a club.
Jones was a dominant scorer at the University of South Florida. He led the Big East in scoring with 21.4 points per game, which was highlighted by a 46-point performance in a win over Providence.
The first-team All-Big East member was drafted by the Grizzlies, but the rights to him were quickly swapped to the Mavs for cash considerations.
Jones' rookie season in Dallas was a pedestrian one. He spent the beginning of the year in the D-League, and after averaging 2.3 points per game in 18 games, he missed the rest of the season with a foot injury.
While it remains to be seen how Jones will come back and if he has a future in Dallas, Jones will be happy thinking back to that draft-day trade that sent him to Big D. He's already got a ring.
The towering 7'0" center has stuck around the NBA, but failed to make the impact the Sonics brass hoped he could have.
Petro shined on the French junior national team and led his club to a league title in his last season in France.
Petro's strongest season came in his sophomore campaign in which he played in 81 games, averaging 6.2 points per game and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Since then, he has spent time as a bench player for the Nuggets and Nets, where has two years left on a three-year/$10 million contract.
Another Mavericks ring-bearer thanks to a draft-day trade, this Guadeloupe native was originally selected by the Thunder and immediately dealt to Dallas.
A 6'2" shooting guard, Beaubois impressed in the French Pro A League before declaring for the NBA draft.
In his rookie season, Beaubois made an immediate impact, which was highlighted late in the year when he put on a show against the Warriors. Beaubois was 9-of-11 from beyond the arc (a rookie record), propelling him to a 40-point performance. He finished his rookie campaign averaging 7.1 points per game.
Beaubois performed well in an injury-shortened sophomore year, averaging 8.4 points per game in only 28 games. A left foot sprain meant that he had to watch his teammates' incredible title run from the pine.
The 6'6" Argentine was drafted by the Pistons after two successful seasons in the Italian League, but battled injury and struggled to get off the bench in three seasons in Detroit.
In 2007, Delfino was dealt to Toronto, where he played his best professional basketball to date, nearly averaging double-digit scoring.
His success earned him an offer from a Russian club to become one of the highest-paid players in Europe, and Delfino signed a contract with Khimki Moscow in 2008.
After only one season back in Europe, though, Delfino returned to the NBA via a sign-and-trade with Toronto that sent him to Milwaukee.
In the past two seasons as a Buck, Delfino has emerged as a scoring threat and turned in solid performances in playoff basketball.
The young Frenchman has become an important role player for the Blazers, who was acquired on a draft-day trade with the Rockets in exchange for Darrell Arthur and Joey Dorsey.
The 6'8" swingman was a top young talent in Europe, and was able to contribute in the NBA right from the start.
His scoring numbers have improved every season, and he finished the 2010-2011 season averaging a career-high 12.4 points per game.
Batum has emerged to be the type of talent the Celtics have long coveted since the loss of James Posey.
Like Batum, Brown has emerged as a valuable NBA swingman after a solid collegiate career at Michigan State under the tutelage of Tom Izzo.
Brown's success did not come quickly, though. After being drafted by the Cavs, Brown spent time in the D-League and battled injuries during stints in the Bulls and Bobcats organizations.
Only after he was sent to L.A. in 2009 in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic did Brown find his niche.
Brown impressed towards the end of his first season and earned himself a two-year contract. In those two seasons, he averaged 8.1 and 8.7 points per game.
The 6'4" guard, who has two championship rings, has emerged as a high-profile name in the greater sports community more so because of his freakish athleticism and jaw-dropping dunks that frequent SportsCenter's Top 10.
Allen has made his name in the NBA as a lockdown perimeter defender.
Celtics fans are very familiar with the Oklahoma State alumnus, who played well in six years in Boston.
There were some frustrations with Allen, though, including an off-the-court incident involving the shooting of a man, as well as injury issues—not to mention some moments on the court that left fans scratching their heads.
Nevertheless, Allen was key in the Celtics' 2008-2009 championship run, and fans were unhappy to see him sign a three-year deal with Memphis this past offseason.
Allen played a key role in the Grizzlies' surprising playoff run and was named to the All-Defensive Second Team.
Wallace is without a doubt the most talented player to come out of the No. 25 slot in the past 10 years, but still remains one of the more underrated players in the NBA.
Wallace started off slowly though, possibly due in part to his decision to be a "one-and-done" at Alabama.
In his first three NBA seasons, he struggled in Sacramento, gaining notoriety only for his athleticism and participation in the 2002 slam dunk contest.
Wallace's career took off, though, when he found a fresh chance after joining the Bobcats in the 2004 expansion draft.
Despite constantly battling nagging injuries, Wallace put up numbers in his seven seasons with Charlotte, including a career-high 19.4 points per game in 2007-08.
In 2010, he became the first Bobcat selected to an All-Star game, and also was named a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
At the trade deadline of this season, Wallace was dealt to Portland.
For the past seven seasons, Wallace has averaged scoring in double digits, and has slowly but surely garnered more and more respect throughout the country.