Every year, a lot of attention gets paid to the NBA Draft Lottery.
There’s a good reason for that — the top prospects in the class are usually the ones who hear their name called early — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t talent to be found elsewhere in the draft.
The second round of the draft even has a rich history of producing quality role players, starters, All-Stars and, in one particular case since the merger, a multi-time MVP.
From Maurice Cheeks to Jalen Brunson, here are some notable second-round picks over the last 40-plus years.
MORE: Nikola Jokic, a Taco Bell commercial and rise to league MVP
Notable active 2nd-round NBA Draft picks
- Draft: 2005
- Pick: 45
Williams is in the conversation for the greatest sixth man of all time. He won three Sixth Man of the Year awards in his career, tying him with Jamal Crawford for the most in NBA history.
- Draft: 2006
- Pick: 35
There’s a reason Tucker bounces from contender to contender. Not only has he established himself as a lockdown defender, but he’s a capable 3-point shooter, connecting on 36.5 percent of his long-range attempts in his career.
- Draft: 2012
- Pick: 35
One of the best and most impactful defenders of all time, Green has earned one Defensive Player of the Year award and seven All-Defensive selections in his career. He’s played a key role in each of Golden State’s four championships.
- Draft: 2012
- Pick: 39
Middleton is one of the smoothest scorers in the NBA today. He’s been named an All-Star three times in his career and was Milwaukee’s second-leading scorer in its championship run in 2021.
- Draft: 2014
- Pick: 41
If he isn’t already, Jokic will likely go down as the greatest second-round pick of all time when it’s all said and done. Through eight seasons, he’s already racked up five All-Star selections, four All-NBA selections and back-to-back MVP awards.
- Draft: 2016
- Pick: 36
Brogdon made history as a rookie, becoming the lowest draft pick since the merger to win Rookie of the Year. He’s averaged 18.4 points and 5.1 assists per game over the last two and a half seasons.
- Draft: 2018
- Pick: 33
Brunson turned the best season of his career into a big deal with the Knicks. He’s played at an All-Star level in his first year in New York, averaging 23.2 points and 6.2 assists per game.
Notable all-time second-round NBA Draft picks
In addition to the likes of Jokic, Green and Middleton, Manu Ginobili was a second-round pick, as was three-time All-Star Gilbert Arenas and now nine-time champion Steve Kerr.
|Nick Van Exel||1993||37|