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The Almost Perfect Second Round

The Almost Perfect Second Round
Jun 13, 2005, 04:34 pm
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If you need a laugh, check out David Mosley's archive from last year

Sometime around 10PM on June 28th Andrew Bogut is finishing up another round of interviews, sporting a crisp hat reflecting his new “favorite” team. Bogut is staring into a sea of lights and microphones, representing the curious media outlets across the globe. To the right is the Sydney Morning Herald. Hey look, it’s the Topeka Capital Journal in the back. No way! Even the Bangladesh Observer showed up. NBA action is fantastic...or at least it is for lottery picks like Andrew Bogut. But not all of the unprecedented 8,962 underclassmen and international players that have declared for this year’s NBA draft can be lottery picks like Andrew. In fact - and this might come as a shock to many players, parents, and agents - but not all 8,962 players will even get picked in the first round. Gasp!

Have no fear. Russ Granik is here. Welcome to the wonderful world of the second round. I know it’s not as glamorous that fancy first round, but who needs the security of a guaranteed 3 year multi-million dollar deal. The second round is where the real talent is anyway and this year’s second round could be the most talented ever.

All one has to do is look back through past second rounds to see how many great NBA players have started their careers as the player that the idiot who sits in the cubicle next to you at work has never heard of. But who cares about that guy anyway. He’s the same guy who bet you five bucks that Jermaine O’Neal is Shaq’s little brother. Today I am going to take you on a journey, all the way back to 1989, which was the first year the NBA trimmed the draft to two rounds. I’ve combed through the past 15 years of second round drafts in order to find the best players that were selected at each pick. This should really show us just how good the second round can be. I am going to start with the last pick in the second round (30) and work towards the first pick in the second round. Why? Because this is my silly little article and I say what goes. Enjoy.

30. Pacers: Rashad Wright – This was a tough choice since he is the only player ever taken with the 30th pick in the second round, thanks to the addition of the Bobcats, and to be honest I couldn’t pick Rashad Wright out of a police lineup, not that he’s ever been in one because I wouldn’t know. Hey Rashad, how does it feel to be the first selection in the “Almost Perfect Second Round”? “It’s Awesome, Just Awesome. This is the best day I’ve had since I beat my cousin Denise in a game of Scategories.” We aren’t off to a good start here. It will get better.

29. Bulls: Maceo Baston – Granted Baston only played 16 games in the NBA but I’m giving him brownie points for being a stud in Europe. It was either him or Don Reid. Sorry Don.

28. Spurs: Manu Ginobili – Now we are cooking with gas. I could just stop now. It can’t get better than this. We got an All-Star in only our 3rd pick. I think Charles Barkley summed up Manu’s game best when he said “GINOBILI”. I have to agree with Chuck.

27. Spurs: Luis Scola – I’m sticking with the Spurs/Argentina theme. I know I’m going out on a limb here since Scola hasn’t actually played a game in the NBA, but he could come in next season, foul the first 3 players he sees, get his foot caught in a well placed bear trap at half-time, have it amputated and never play again, and still have a better career than most of the other players drafted in this spot. Next best was Zeljko Rebraca. Tough luck Zelly, but I love Team Argentina. I’d put Walter Herrmann on here if I could.

26. Sonics: Mark Blount – Too bad Blount developed basketball amnesia after he signed that 40 million dollar deal last summer. He was well on his way to becoming the first adequate Celtics center since Robert Parish. That’s a word that every player wants to hear when you talk about their game – adequate.

25. Jazz: Shandon Anderson – No, not the crappy one that got run out of New York – the good one that played in Utah.

24. Jazz: Jarron Collins – I get those twins mixed up. Is Jarron the tall one with great low post moves, tremendous rebounding instincts, and fabulous defense? Oh, my bad, that’s Tim Duncan. See, I told you.

23. Pacers: Fred Hoiberg – Thank god for the Mayor. For a minute I thought I was going to have to select Mark Pope or Derrick Dial.

22. Sixers: Kyle Korver – This one is for the ladies, although my wife swears that Korver has brow implants. Who can tell these days? Those plastic surgeons are so talented.

21. Suns: Cedric Ceballos – We’ve got our 2nd All-star and our first slam dunk champion. Way to go Cedric. Everybody loves dunks; at least that’s what SportsCenter told me.

20. Sonics: Peja Drobnjak – Peja should get the nod here based purely off his website Drobnjak’s Manjaks. That was pure genius.

19. Bucks: Voshon Lenard – Lenard took a route to the NBA that is even strange for a second round pick. He was one of the first players to use a rule that allowed him to return to college after being drafted because he was not happy with his draft position. It was almost two years later before he landed on an NBA roster. Nobody said the road through the second round was easy, except maybe that idiot in the cubicle next to you.

18. Pacers: Antonio Davis – This selection was really tough. Davis barely beat out Bobby Phills and Richard Dumas, both of which had their NBA careers cut short for very different reasons. With Davis we have our 3rd All-Star, although it’s hard to say 13.7 points and 10 rebounds a game in 2000-01 is deserving of an All-Star selection.

17. T-Wolves: Loren Woods – What the hell just happened? We were cruising along with All-Stars and dunk champions and then all of a sudden we get Loren Woods. Wow! I don’t envy the team that has the 17th pick in the second round this year. Wouldn’t you know it’s the T-Wolves. Good luck with that one.

16. Cavs/Spurs (Tie) – This next selection isn’t one player but a conglomerate of two former ACC players that I like to call Chucky Massenberg (half Chucky Brown and half Tony Massenburg). As one entity, Chucky Massenberg has played for 19 of the 30 teams in the NBA. That’s just ridiculous.

15. Hornets: Malik Rose – It was either Malik Rose or Matt Geiger and I just don’t like Geiger so I’m selecting Rose. The Hornets did a great job of drafting Rose and then promptly ran him off like only the Hornets can do.

14. Bucks: Michael Redd – Redd is our 4th All-Star. The 14th pick in the second round is loaded with solid NBA players. Even without Redd you’d still have Eric Snow, Stephen Jackson, Lee Nailon, Keith Bogans and the savior of the Knicks, Trevor Ariza. It’s good to pick 14th.

13 Celtics: Dino Radja – Sorry Bobby Simmons, but you’ll have to play like that in a non-contract season before I can take you seriously. Plus, Dino was the man. Sure he didn’t play defense. Sure he had a look in his eyes like he was only playing in the NBA because he lost some drunken bet back in Croatia and he despised every minute he was around those dirty Americans.

12. Rockets: Cuttino Mobley – You know, I can understand teams not drafting question marks like Radja, but how do 30 teams miss on guys like Mobley or Redd?

11. T-Wolves: Doug West – He’s no Mobley, but for a few years in Minnesota West was a fine shooting guard. Honorable mentions go to Earl Watson and Gordan Giricek.

10. Lakers: Nick Van Exel – Van Exel is the 5th All-Star to grace our list. Many times very talented players fall to the second round due to their personal baggage. Van Exel and runner-up Rafer Alston are perfect examples. Van Exel’s stock dropped in weeks leading up to the draft because of rumors of missed workouts and attitude problems. Alston was running from legal troubles stemming from allegations at Fresno State.

9. Blazers: Cliff Robinson – Back to back All-Stars. This makes 6. What can I say about Cliff? The guy is 74 years old and can still D up a garbage truck.

8. Nuggets: Jeff McInnis – Speaking of baggage… McInnis was released by the Nuggets his rookie year because he was upset the coach didn’t play him against the Hornets in his hometown. The Nuggets left McInnis and his baggage in Charlotte, literally. It took McInnis a few years to regroup but he did. Touché McInnis.

7. Kings: Jerome James – It must be a contract year, James is playing well. James was around in the 90’s. We called him Benoit Benjamin back then. One day he looks like Moses Malone and the next day he looks like a 300 pound junior high gym teacher. What gives?

6. Cavs: Carlos Boozer – Seriously, what are these scouts looking at? How does Boozer fall to the second round? It’s not like the entire country didn’t get to see him play 30 times a year on ESPN. Boozer is the classic example of teams being afraid to draft a player with a limited “upside”. You don’t always have to pick what’s behind door #3. Sometimes you might end up with a Marcus Haislip.

5. Bucks: Dan Gadzuric – No disrespect to Gadzuric, but his selection is a little disappointing at this stage in the draft.

4. Bucks: Moochie Norris – We have officially hit a dry spell. Hats off to the Bucks, they are in the lead with 4 picks in the “Almost Perfect Second Round”.

3. Sonics: Rashard Lewis – Our 7th All-Star edges out Maciej Lampe as the longest a player has ever had to stay in the Green Room before being picked. Maybe the NBA should invite more borderline first round picks to the Green Room. The sight of watching a player agonize through 30 picks on national TV might be enough to discourage early entry candidates.

2. Warriors: Gilbert Arenas – You have to love a player who decides to be great purely out of spite for all the teams that didn’t draft him. I’m giving Arenas the nod here over Toni Kukoc and PJ Brown because Arenas is my favorite player and I can do that. It’s my list and if you don’t like it you can write your own and e-mail it to me at wahwahwah@idontcare.com. Besides, those guys never made an All-Star team like Arenas. This makes 8 All-Stars.

1. Heat: Sherman Douglas – I was expecting more from the selection that is just one pick away from being a first round pick. It must be tough to be this close and just miss. It’s like sitting in the first row of coach. You can see the fancy leather chairs with their ample leg room and luscious arm rests and then the curtain closes and you’re stuck between that old man who smells like tuna and the annoying 8 year old girl who is flying solo to grandma’s house.

Disclaimer: All quotes in this article are made up. They are not actual quotes from actual people. They are purely fictional and should be treated as such.

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