Surprisingly, the NBA Draft went according to plan – for the most part at least. Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Joel Embiid were widely considered the top three prospects in this year’s class, and they ended up being the first three players to hear their names called by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
First-round picks are supposed to make immediate impacts on their new teams. Cleveland is hoping Wiggins can develop into the second coming of LeBron James, the Jazz are hoping Dante Exum really is a mix of Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook, and the Lakers expect Julius Randle to be a centerpiece of the team’s future. Those are the kind of expectations that come with being a first-round pick. The expectations for a second-round pick, though? Well, they aren’t nearly as lofty.
Second-round picks aren’t even guaranteed contracts after they’ve been drafted, but that doesn’t mean they can’t end up being valuable assets.
Going as far back as 1976, players like Alex English, Dennis Rodman, and Willis Reed were all second-round selections. Since the turn of the century, All-Stars such as Manu Gilobili, Gilbert Arenas, and Marc Gasol were selected after the first round, and the list doesn’t stop there. Paul Millsap, Chandler Parsons and Monta Ellis all fell out of the first round, but went on to have successful NBA careers.
In the 2014 NBA Draft, a bunch of talented players fell out of the first round and were scooped up in the second round. Here’s a list of 10 second-round picks who will be able to make an immediate impact on their new team.
10. Markel Brown – Brooklyn Nets (Traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves) – No. 44
The Nets struggled to score at times during the 2013-2014 season. Brooklyn finished 21st in the league in points per game at just 98.5, but really struggled against the better defensive teams. In Brooklyn’s playoff series against Miami, the Nets broke the 100-point barrier once in five games.
Cue Markel Brown, the super-athletic shooting guard from Oklahoma State who lit up the scoreboard early and often last year for the Cowboys. Brown averaged 17.2 points per game against Big 12 competition last year and shot 38 percent from beyond the three-point line. Brown compared himself to OKC’s Russell Westbrook after being drafted, and while he likely won’t ever be as good as the Thunder’s All-Star guard, a player with that score-first mentality could add a big boost to Brooklyn’s bench.
9. Glenn Robinson III – Minnesota Timberwolves – No. 40
The Timberwolves didn’t have much trouble scoring last season, but it never hurts to add another offensive-minded perimeter player into the mix. Minnesota’s has a plethora of wings already, but none may offer as much upside as their second round pick Glenn Robinson III.