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The Myth Surrounding Late Late First Round Picks

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Over this past off season and throughout the Summer League, a lot of people began to be excited about the future prospects of Rodrigue Beaubois (extending from last season) and Dominique Jones. Now as any NBA analyst would point out, these guys have very little experience and are unproven as late first round picks. The experience part is hard to argue, but the theory that late first round picks are often shoot and miss and will often turn out unsuccessful is interesting to look at.

 

Now, in the following section, you’ll find all the picks from #20 to the end of the first round for the drafts from 2000-2007. I have left out the past three drafts because it is still too early to tell how the players will turn out. As for the lists, make sure to take note that the potential future All-Stars and Solid Contributors are all in my opinion, but are all players that have produced decent numbers in at least a few seasons for multiple teams.

 

2000 – Soeedy Claxton, Morris Peterson, Donnel Harvey, Deshawn Stevenson, Dalibor Bagaric, Jake Tsakalidis, Mamadou N’Diaye, Primoz Brezec, Erick Barkley, Mark Madsen

All-Stars: None

Potential Future All-Stars: None

Solid Contributors: Claxton, Peterson, Stevenson

“Hit” Rate – 3/10

Verdict: The biggest headline out of this draft may have been Madsen because of his dancing at Lakers’ Championship Parades. Claxton, Peterson and Stevenson have done s solid jobs on winning teams in the past, but other than that, it’s hard to find anyone who made a solid impact in the NBA. Of the remaining players, Harvey, Tsakalidas and Brezec played the best in the NBA, but outside of Brezec’s few starting seasons in Charlotte, none of them really did anything.

 

2001- Brendan Haywood, Joseph Forte, Jeryl Sasser, Brandon Armstrong, Raul Lopez, Gerald Wallace, Samuel Dalembert, Jamaal Tinsley, Tony Parker

All-Stars: Parker and Wallace

Other Potential Future All-Stars: None

Solid Contributors: Haywood, Dalembert, Tinsley

“Hit” Rate – 5/9

Verdict: A very good end to the first round. Parker and Wallace were obvious steals while Haywood, Dalembert, and Tinsley have all found a niche in the NBA and have had their moments. Other than that, Lopez had a nice season with the Jazz while Forte, SMU-ex Sasser, and Armstrong really did nothing in the NBA.

 

2002: Kareem Rush, Qyntel Woods, Casey Jacobsen, Tayshaun Prince, Nenad Kristic, Frank Williams, John Salmons, Chris Jeffries, Dan Dickau

All-Stars: None      

Potential Future All-Stars: Salmons?

Solid Contributors: Rush, Prince, Kristic

“Hit” Rate: 4/10

Verdict: Not that good. Salmons has been the late bloomer of the draft and if he keeps playing the way he did in Milwaukee this past season, he may have an All-Star appearance headed his way in the future. Prince was once destined to be an All-Star, but injuries have really taken their toll on him the last couple of seasons and reduced him to a role player. Kristic, though he did find a nice role on OKC this past season, also looked to be a rising star, but a major injury also slowed him down. As for the others, Rush had a couple of good seasons, while Woods, Jacobsen, Williams, Jeffries and former Mav Dickau really had no impact at all.

 

2003: Dahntay Jones, Boris Diaw, Zoran Planinic, Travis Outlaw, Brian Cook, Carlos Delfino, Ndudi Ebi, Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Howard

All-Stars: Howard

Other Potential Future All-Stars: Perkins

Solid Contributors: Jones, Diaw, Outlaw, Delfino, Barbosa

“Hit” Rate: 7/10

Verdict: Great Ending. We all know about Howard, but the real star in this draft may have been a young Perkins, who, despite knee surgery, seems destined to be a top level center in the NBA. After those two, Outlaw finally seems to be healthy and on a solid team while Diaw and Barbosa craved out nice seasons in Pheonix and Jones has developed a role as a solid defensive player on a couple of teams. The real surprise on this list may be Delfino who put together a career year with the Bucks this past season and looks destined to get better. Planinic, Cook, and Ebi really had no significant impact, though Cook did play well on some Lakers’ teams.

 

2004: Jameer Nelson, Pavel Podkolzin, Victor Khryapa, Sergei Monia, Delonte West, Tony Allen, Kevin Martin, Sasa Vujacic, Beno Udrih, David Harrison

All-Stars: Nelson

Other Potential Future All-Stars: Martin

Solid Contributors: West, Allen, Vujacic, Udrih

“Hit” Rate: 6/10

Verdict: Another solid ending. Nelson has developed into a very good point guard while Martin, now finally healthy and on a good team in Houston, looks destined to continue to grow. Among the other highlights included a very good group of role players in West, Allen, Vujacic, and Udrih. Khryapa, Monia, and Harrison really did nothing while the infamous Podkolzin lives in Mavericks lore.

 

2005: Julius Hodge, Nate Robinson, Jarret Jack, Francisco Garcia, Luther Head, Johan Petro, Jason Maxiell, Linas Kleiza, Ian Mahinmi, Wayne Simien, David Lee

All-Stars: Lee

Other Potential Future All-Stars: None

Solid Contributors: Robinson, Jack, Maxiell, Kleiza

“Hit” Rate: 5/11 – with the potential to grow

Verdict: This draft is full of extreme potential. Lee, at the end of the first round, is obviously the star, but in Robinson, Jack, Maxiell, and Kleiza, the NBA got 4 very solid players who have all been starters at some point on their respective teams. Among the others, though, include Garcia, Head, Petro, and current Mav Mahinmi, all of whom still have NBA potential and could join the list. Simien and Hodge, two big stars in college, were the disappointments of this draft.

2006: Renaldo Balkman, Rajon Rondo, Marcus Williams, Josh Boone, Kyle Lowry, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Sergio Rodriguez, Maurice Ager, Mardy Collins, Joel Freeland

All-Stars: Rondo

Other Potential Future All-Stars: None

Solid Contributors: Lowry, Brown, Farmar

“Hit” Rate: 4/11

Verdict: This draft also had a lot of potential, but it has thus far been a disappointment. Rondo has become a star, while Lowry has been a very good back-up point guard and Brown and Farmar have played good roles on Championship teams in LA, but overall, the rest of this group has been underwhelming. Williams and Boone looked to be the future in NJ, but Williams is now toiling in Memphis while Boone rarely gets off the bench. Rodriguez looked to have a decent future after displaying some potential in Portland, but hasn’t really done anything since. Balkman, who was a major reach by the Knicks, now sits on the bench in Denver, while Ager, Collins and Freeland have disappeared.

 

2007: Jason Smith, Daequan Cook, Jared Dudley, Wilson Chandler, Rudy Fernandez, Morris Almond, Aaron Brooks, Aaron Afflalo, Tiago Splitter, Alando Tucker, Petteri Koponen

All-Stars: None

Potential Future All-Stars: Brooks

Solid Contributors: Cook, Dudley, Chandler, Fernandez, Affalo

“Hit” Rate: 6/11

Verdict: Brooks, who has gotten better every year, seems to be a steal. The rest of the first round also looks nice as Cook, Dudley, Chandler, Fernandez, and Affalo have all developed good roles on their respective teams. Almond, Splitter, Tucker, Koponen, and Smith really did nothing or have not done anything of note yet.

 

Final “Hit” Rate: 40/82

Final All-Star Rate: 10/82

The rates seem kind of surprising when you consider about how often first round picks are available to buy or trade for. In an economical way, if you think about it, taking chances on these kinds of guys can pay off in the long run while saving money that you may have overpaid to veterans.

 

While it doesn’t necessarily mean that either Roddy B or DoJo will become solid contributors or stars in the future, these kinds of numbers are reassuring at the very least. Interestingly enough, the position (25) that Roddy and DoJo were selected at has been one of the more successful draft positions with Wallace, Delfino, Brown and Allen all being selected there. Obviously, that last fact has nothing to do with how our guys are going to turn out, but all the same, it is pretty cool. On a more important note, though, I do think it’s going to take time before either of these guys make a full immediate impact on the Mavs as many of those guys on the list, outside of the notable few which include Tayshaun Prince and Kendrick Perkins, needed a few years before developing their niche in the NBA. As for Roddy (one year of NBA experience) and DoJo (no NBA experience), though, there’s still plenty of time to grow and hopefully be, at the very least, solid contributors.