The NBA’s 30 Best Second-Round Draft Picks Ever

By: 10.14.13

10. MARK PRICE, 25th pick in 1986
Mark Price had a 12-year NBA career with averages of 15.2 PPG and 6.7 APG on 47 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent shooting from deep. Plus, Mark Price is one of the rare members of the 50/40/90 club that only has six (including him). He’s on this list with players like Larry Bird, Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Reggie Miller and Dirk Nowitzki. Most players will never become a part of this exclusive brotherhood, and Mark Price is the only second-round pick to join. Mark Price left a mark on the NBA, and his Cleveland Cavalier jersey is still being worn in Cleveland. He has done things that most NBA players will never do in a career, which is why he finds his name on this list.

9. MAURICE CHEEKS, 36th pick in 1978
Most of you might know Mo Cheeks as the current coach of the Detroit Pistons, but before starting his coaching career, Cheeks was a decorated NBA player. Cheeks was the point guard of the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers team that won the NBA Championship with guys like Moses Malone and Julius Erving. He averaged 11.1 PPG and 6.7 APG for his career, but Cheeks’ effect on the game went way beyond points and assists. Cheeks was named to four-straight First-Team NBA All-Defensive squads from 1982-1986. Always known as a pesky defender, Cheeks amassed 2,310 steals over his 15 year NBA career. Cheeks may now be coaching the likes of Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings and Greg Monroe, but this second-round pick once had a NBA championship caliber career.

8. BILL SHARMAN, 17th pick in 1950
A Hall of Famer as both a player and a coach, Sharman was a 6-1, four-time champ with the Celtics who made eight All-Star Games (even winning the MVP there in 1955) and four All-NBA First Teams. In fact, his name is littered across the NBA record books. During a time when NO ONE could shoot, Sharman was one of the first guards to post shooting percentages above 40 percent from the field. He still holds the record for consecutive free throws in the playoffs (56) and led the league in freebie shooting seven times. As a coach, he led the Lakers to a league record 33 straight wins in 1971-72 and won both the title and the NBA Coach of the Year that season.

7. DENNIS JOHNSON, 29th pick in 1976
Johnson was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010. Anytime a player can turn their second-round selection into a HOF career, it’s a major accomplishment. Considered by many to be one of the most underrated players in NBA history, Johnson’s accomplishments haven’t gone unnoticed by all. The Boston Celtics, who Johnson won two NBA championships with, retired his No. 3 jersey. A three-time NBA champion, five-time NBA All-Star, six-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member and NBA Finals MVP of 1979, Dennis Johnson might be one of the greatest second-round steals in NBA history.

6. MANU GINOBILI, 57th pick in 1999
Manu Ginobili is a one-of-a-kind player in the NBA. The best part about him might be when he nails a huge shot and you can hear Charles Barkley yelling, “GINOBILI!” as the ball falls through the net. A mainstay with the San Antonio Spurs for the past 11 years, Ginobili has done it all as the 57th pick in the 1999 NBA Draft. Ginobili is considered one of the biggest steals in draft history, which I have to agree with. He has always been the spark plug on a Spurs dynasty that has been considered old and boring at times. He’s always that crazy guy cutting through the lane or stepping back and shooting his infamous left-handed jumper. A three-time NBA champion, Ginobli is still going strong to this day. Once a crazy-haired overseas project, Manu went from the 57th pick in the draft to an immovable piece in a dynasty.

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