Best second-round NBA Draft picks in the last 10 years

A look at second-round draft picks in the last decade who beat the odds to excel in the NBA.

Good luck to the prospects selected in the second round of the NBA Draft on Thursday. They're going to need it. According to Sports Illustrated, one third of second-round picks never play in the NBA at all. 

But some not only make it, they thrive. Let's take a look at the best value picks in the second round of the NBA draft over the last 10 seasons.

Marc Gasol

Career Stats: 14.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.3 BLKPG

Drafted: 2nd round, 48th overall pick - L.A. Lakers (2007)

Notable Achievements: All Star (2012, 2015), NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2013), All-NBA First Team (2015), All-NBA Second Team (2013)

Acquired by the Grizzles as a throw-in for his brother Pau, not much was expected out of the younger Gasol, who came into the league overweight and slow. Gasol is now known as one of, if not the best, centers in the NBA. He plays like a point guard, showing off amazing passing ability while also having a nice shooting touch from inside and outside. He also has a Defensive Player of the Year to his credit and has been one of the most consistent players in the NBA on both ends of the floor for years. 

Paul Millsap

Career Stats: 19.3 PER, 13.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.3 SPG

Drafted: 2nd round, 47th overall pick - Utah (2006)

Notable Achievements: All Star (2014-2016) NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2016)

Millsap isn't flashy, he just gets the job done. Underrated when he played with the Jazz, Millsap didn't start getting the recognition he deserved until he signed with Atlanta as a free agent in 2013. Not the most athletic player, either, Millsap contributes in multiple categories on the stat sheet, which is impressive for an undersized power forward. He scored 45 points vs. the Celtics in Game 4 of the playoffs this season. He has the ability to take you off the dribble or spot up right in your face at any spot on the court. Millsap has teamed up Al Horford to form one of the most lethal big man combinations in the league.

Draymond Green

Career Stats: 19.31 PER, 8.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 3.4 APG

Drafted: 2nd round, 35th overall pick - Golden State (2012)

Notable Achievements: NBA All-Star (2016), All-NBA Second Team (2016), NBA All-Defensive First Team (2015-2016)

Love him or hate him, Green is a terrific player who shed the "tweener" label to become one of the best two-way players in the NBA. Listed at 6-7, Green can successfully guard every position on the court. His offensive game has improved significantly since being drafted, as demonstrated by his ridiculous stat lines. He changes the game for the Warriors, allowing them to play small ball or to go big without sacrificing much. Green also finished this season with 13 triple-doubles, good for second in the NBA (Russell Westbrook finished with 18).

DeAndre Jordan

Career Stats: 8.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.8 BLKPG,

Drafted: 2nd round, 35th overall pick - LA Clippers (2008)

Notable Achievements: All-NBA First Team (2016), All-NBA Third Team (2015), NBA All-Defensive First Team (2015-2016), NBA rebounding leader (2014-2015)

Jordan has had a tremendous career with the Clippers and has come full circle by being selected to the All-NBA first team this season. He' made a living in the NBA off being a great defender around the rim while having some crazy alley-oop and put-back dunks. Jordan has improved his post-up game to an extent, but he needs to continue working on his shooting if he is to take the next step as a great player. Just imagine if he could make a free throw.

Isaiah Thomas

Career Stats: 17.1 PPG, 5.2 APG, 2.6 RPG

Drafted: 2nd round, 60th overall pick - Sacramento (2011)

Notable Achievements: All-Star (2016)

Height has never been an issue for Isaiah Thomas. The last player selected in the 2011 draft, Thomas has defied the odds to become one of the best scoring point guards in the NBA despite being listed at 5-9. Strong around the rim, Thomas is not afraid to take on the big guys. He can take some unnecessary shots at times, but he makes up for it with his intensity at both ends of the court. He has been on three teams in his career, but that has not stopped him from becoming the lowest draft pick of any player to earn an All-Star nod since the NBA went to two rounds in 1989. 

Goran Dragic

Career Stats: 15.57 PER, 12.5 PPG, 4.7 APG, 2.8 RPG

Drafted: 2nd round, 45th overall pick - San Antonio (2008)

Notable Achievements: All-NBA Third Team (2014), NBA Most Improved Player (2014)

A crafty left-handed point guard, Dragic has played on multiple teams in his career, but his career didn't take off until 2012 with Phoenix. He was awarded the NBA Most Improved Player in 2014 and also made All-NBA third team during that season. Dragic is best when playing with the ball in his hands and can be extremely fun to watch run the pick-and-roll. A scrappy player on the defensive end, Dragic had two teeth knocked out this season.    

Hassan Whiteside

Career Stats: 11.7 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 2.9 BLKPG

Drafted: 2nd Round, 33rd overall pick - Sacramento (2010)

Notable Achievements: NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2016), NBA blocks leader (2016)

Drafted by the Kings in 2010, Whiteside was a raw prospect who would hopefully pan out as a solid NBA center. Unfortunately, it didn't happen this way for the Kings or Whiteside, as he ended up playing for 8 different teams in 4 seasons around the world, none of them in the NBA. He eventually signed with Heat in 2014 and immediately began dominating in the post, becoming one of the NBA's best defensive big men. His presence changed the total outlook for the Heat and allowed the team to at least compete after the loss of LeBron James. Now a free agent, Whiteside has had some maturity issues but he'll still get paid.

Khris Middleton

Career Stats:  13.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.7 APG, 40.0% 3-PT

Drafted: 2nd round, 39th overall pick - Pistons (2012)

Not much was expected out of Middleton when he was drafted by the Pistons in 2012. He did not see a lot of action in his only season in Detroit, but was traded to Milwaukee as a throw in during the Brandon Knight-for-Brandon Jennings deal. It now looks like Middleton was the best player acquired in that trade. Middleton re-signed with the Bucks to a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015. A lanky 6-8, Middleton has earned praise for his ability to shoot the ball from the outside. In his career, he is a 40% three-point shooter and has a knack for taking and hitting big shots for the Bucks. 

Chandler Parsons

Career Stats: 14.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG

Drafted: 2nd round, 38th overall pick - Houston Rockets (2011)

Parsons excelled with the Rockets by playing as a three or stretch four for the team. He played significantly better than most expected, showing great touch on three point shots. Parsons played his way to a major contract in the 2014 off-season by signing with Mavericks for 3 years and $46 million. A great three-point shooter and a player who has developed a lot since his first season, Parsons has been somewhat a disappointment since joining the Mavericks as injuries have plagued him.  

There will always be value in second round picks, but you have to do your research to find the gems for the upcoming 2016 NBA draft.  


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