Monday, May 12, 2014

Ranking The No. 2 Overall NBA Draft Picks Of The 2000s

Kevin Durant is by far the best No. 2 overall
pick in the 2000s
The 2000s were an interesting time for the NBA Draft.  It was the time when we saw the first (and as of now only) set of high schoolers selected with the top overall pick.  We also saw several foreign only players taken with the first overall selection.  We saw the one-and-done implemented as well as the D-League created.

There have been some solid top overall selections like LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Yao Ming, Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose.  The No. 2 picks in the drafts of the 2000s have certainly left something to be desired.  Only two would be certified super stars and only one is staring at a certain Hall Of Fame status.  That's a far cry from the 1990s where guys like Alonzo Mourning, Jason Kidd, Kenny Anderson, Gary Payton, Antonio McDyess, Marcus Camby and Steve Francis were selected with the second pick.

Here is the rankings of the No. 2 picks in the NBA Drafts of the 2000s decade:

#10  2002-Jay Williams (Bulls):  Picked directly after Yao Ming, Williams was supposed to be the man in the post-Jordan era for the Bulls.  Williams had a promising rookie campaign averaging 9.5 pts and 4.7 asts but shooting just below 40% from the field.  In the offseason, Williams was severely injured in a motorcycle accident and never played an NBA game again.  You can debate if he was a bust or not, but he netted the Bulls just one less than mediocre season.  Career: 9.5 ppg, 4.7 apg

#9  2009-Hasheem Thabeet (Grizzlies): Thabeet's best season was his rookie season.  That year he averaged 3.1 pts and 3.6 rbs so that should tell you how his career has gone.  The only reason he isn't last on this list is the fact that he is actually functional for more that one season.  Career: 2.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg

#8  2003-Darko Milicic (Pistons):  This may be the worst pick of the entire list.  It wasn't just that Milicic was selected 2nd by the Pistons (who would go on to win the NBA Championship that season) it was who Detroit didn't pick instead.  Milicic was selected instead of Carmelo Anthony (#3), Chris Bosh (#4) and Dwyane Wade (#5) and after LeBron James.  Milicic certainly is nowhere close to the level of those guys and has become a punchline.  He fashioned out a niche career as a decent defensive center but nothing more.  Career:  6.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg.

#7  2000-Stromile Swift (Grizzlies):  The sophomore forward from LSU had a rather pedestrian career in the NBA.  Drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies in one of the worst drafts in recent memory, Stro Swift's best season was in his 2nd year when the Grizzlies moved to Memphis where he had career highs in points and rebounds.  His NBA career fizzled out in 2009.  Career:  8.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg

#6  2005-Marvin Williams (Hawks):  Williams was coming off a freshman season at North Carolina where he won a National Championship.  Williams has had a decent career, but hasn't developed into much more than a tweener forward who pretty much sticks to his career average.  He has since been traded to the Utah Jazz and hasn't shown much improvement there.  Considered a bust since the Hawks passed up on selecting Deron Williams and Chris Paul, who were picked directly after him.  Career: 10.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg.

#5  2008-Michael Beasley (Heat):  Beasley was supposed to be a guy to help Dwyane Wade get the Heat back to the Finals but it didn't turn out that way.  Some off court troubles as well as some on court issues made it easy for the Heat to deal Beasley to the Wolves to clear cap space to sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh.  Beasley performed admirably in Minnesota but injuries kept him from reaching his potential.  More off-court problems marred his time in Phoenix before him resigning with the Heat in a very limited role.  Career: 13.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg.

#4  2004-Emeka Okafor (Bobcats):  The first ever Charlotte Bobcats pick, Okafor did win the Rookie of the Year award.  His best scoring season was that first one but he was always near the top of the league in rebounds with the Bobcats.  Since being dealt to the Hornets in 2009, Okafor has been a solid defensive player (sound familiar?) who can get you double digit scoring.  Career: 12.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg.

#3  2001-Tyson Chandler (Bulls):  Chandler was selected right out of high school and right between Kwame Brown and Pau Gasol by the Clippers but was traded immediately to the Bulls.  Chandler didn't do a lot with Chicago outside of being a solid defensive player.  Once he got to New Orleans, he became an elite rebounder and his scoring went up.  Chandler's biggest moments were winning an NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and winning the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award in 2012 with the Knicks.  He hasn't been dominant, but he's been a solid defensive player for his career.  Career: 8.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.3 blk.

#2  2006-LaMarcus Aldridge (Trail Blazers): If the 2006 Draft was done again, Aldridge would be the No. 1 pick.  While getting off to a solid rookie campaign, Aldridge quickly turned into one of the elite scoring forwards in the NBA.  He's been an All-Star for three straight seasons and had career highs in scoring and rebounding this season.  Career: 18.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg.  

#1  2007-Kevin Durant (SuperSonics):  Kevin Durant won the 2014 NBA MVP award and a four-time scoring champion.  He, along with LeBron James, are the best players in the NBA and will carry the league into the next decade.  If there was an entire draft for the 2000s, Durant may be the No. 2 pick of that draft.  Career: 27.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg

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