For all of the NBA fans whose teams do not have a legitimate shot at contending for a championship this year, this can be the most fun time of the NBA season. Basking in the aftermath of the NBA draft, fans now have the opportunity to debate who won and who lost on draft day. For those fans whose teams did not land Derrick Rose or Michael Beasely, there seems to be a feeling of let down, but it’s a little premature for that yet. Check out this list of past second round successes and undrafted diamonds in the rough.
10. Brad Miller- While playing internationally, Brad Miller was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Charlotte Hornets in 1998. Miller has played for four different NBA teams, earning All-Star honors with both the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings. Miller was an integral part of several Kings’ playoff teams and has career averages of 12.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
9. Nick Van Excel- In the second round of the1993 NBA draft, the Los Angeles Lakers selected Nick Van Excel out of Cincinnati with the 37th overall pick. Van Excel made the 1994 All-Rookie second team as a member of the Lakers. He also teamed up with Eddie Jones to lead the Lakers to the NBA playoffs in 1995, helping to bridge the gap between the “Showtime” Lakers and the Shaq and Kobe era. In 1998, Van Excel was named to the NBA All-Star team, shortly before the Lakers traded him to Denver. For his career, Van Excel averaged 14.9 points and 7.3 assists per game.
8. Antonio Davis- Despite being drafted with the 45th overall pick of the 1990 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers, Davis never actually played an NBA game until being signed as a free agent by the Pacers in 1993. Davis played an active role for the Pacers in what was at the time considered one of the most physical frontcourts in the NBA. In six seasons with the Pacers, Davis played in 67 playoff games, averaging over 25 minutes per game. Throughout his time in the NBA, Davis played for four teams, participated in one All-Star game, served as president of the NBA Players Association, and averaged 10 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
7. Anthony Mason- In the 1988 NBA draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected Anthony Mason with the 53rd overall pick. Mason was waived by the Trail Blazers before ever having the opportunity to play for them. After that, Mason bounced around several leagues, including the NBA, before finding a home with the Knicks. Mason blossomed in New York, earning a reputation as a swift passer, tough rebounder, and hard-nosed defender, while helping lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals in 1994. Mason holds career averages of 10.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. He won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 1995, was named to the All-NBA Third Team and to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 1997, and led the league in minutes for the 1995-96 season.
6. Mehmet Okur- Okur was selected in the second round of the 2001 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons with the 38th overall pick. Though never breaking into the starting five as a Piston, Okur played an important role off the bench in the 2003-04 season assisting the Pistons on their way to an NBA Championship with per game averages of 9.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and .9 blocks. Okur’s best individual season came in 2005-06 as a member of the Utah Jazz where he averaged 18 points, 9.1 rebounds, and .9 blocks per game. Okur made the Western Conference All-Star Team the following season.
5. Ben Wallace- Wallace was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Washington Bullets in 1996. He was traded to the Orlando Magic and then again to the Detroit Pistons before his true NBA value became apparent. Wallace was a staple of the Detroit Pistons whose success in the early part of the century culminated with a championship in 2004. Wallace is known for his strong defense and tenacious rebounding. Ben Wallace has been the NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times, he has made the All-NBA Defensive team six times, he is a four-time All-Star, and five-time member of an All-NBA team (three times second team, twice third team).
4. Carlos Boozer- The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Carlos Boozer out of Duke University in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft with the 34th overall pick. Boozer made an immediate impact earning All-Rookie honors and averaging a double-double in his second year. Boozer has since signed as a free agent with the Utah Jazz and established himself as one of the premiere power forwards in the game. Boozer is a two-time NBA All-Star and averaged 21.1 points and 10.4 rebounds during the 2007-08 season.
3. Michael Redd- In 2000, the Milwaukee Bucks used the 43rd overall pick in the NBA draft to add Michael Redd to their roster. At the time, the Bucks had a stacked backcourt, but Redd quickly proved his worth. Redd had his first twenty point per game season during the 2003-04 campaign and earned NBA All-Star honors as well that season. He holds a career average of 20.5 points per game, setting a career high of 26.7 points per game during the 2006-07 season.
2. Manu Ginobili- In 1999, the savvy front office personnel of the San Antonio Spurs selected Manu Ginobili with the 57th overall pick in the second round of the NBA draft. Though Ginobili did not play in the NBA until the 2002-03 season, he has proven to be worth the wait. Ginobili has averaged double figures in scoring in all of his NBA seasons with the exception of his rookie year. He won the 2008 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award and received NBA All-Star honors in 2005, but most importantly he has played a vital role in three NBA Titles for the San Antonio Spurs.
1. Gilbert Arenas- After entering the 2001 NBA draft out of the University of Arizona, Gilbert Arenas watched the entire first round pass by without hearing his name called. It wasn’t until the Golden State Warriors made their second round selection with the 31st overall pick that Arenas finally got the call. During the 2002-03 season, Arenas earned the NBA Most Improved Player award. Following that season, he signed with the Wizards as a free agent. Arenas is a three-time All-Star who has received All-NBA honors three times as well. His career high for points in a game is 60 he averaged just shy of thirty points per game in 2005-06. He is currently the most sought after free agent in the NBA with many experts expecting him to sign a contract worth over $100 million.