Second Round Knock Outs

Plenty of players have been overlooked when entering the NBA Draft.

Looking back and seeing how some players slipped on draft night can be baffling.

Perhaps not possessing enough of a skill set to command the salary expected for first round draft picks, certain players  may not have one talent to separate himself from the group of prospects  in the draft pool.

Other times, players are passed up because of playing overseas (evaluating foreign players has proven to be difficult for most NBA teams) or flew under the radar while at college.

Every NBA team employs a team of scouts, full-time, part-time and on contractual basis to help evaluate talent and prepare the draft selection process.

Some teams have excelled scouting overseas and consistently find talented players often overlooked.

Other teams, like the Memphis Grizzlies, reject the importance of scouting and rely solely on other members within the organization to choose draft prospects.

Perhaps the lack of scouting has contributed to the only Memphis player selected to an All-Star game has been Pau Gasol, originally drafted by the Atlanta Hawks and dealt to the Grizzlies for Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Sometimes, franchises can keep overvaluing players for no reason while others can find gems in the late rounds.

Let’s take a look at five players drafted in the second round making huge contributions this season.

Luis Scola– selected 55th by the San Antonio Spurs in 2002

Somehow Luis Scola was the third to last pick in the draft and the sixteenth power forward taken. Of the players at the same position taken before him, only Amar’e Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer (also taken in the second round) have ever made an All-Star apperance.

Scola will likely join the list this season, his fourth in the NBA. Averaging 22.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, the 30-year-old from Argentina has taken on the responsibility of replacing Yao Ming, severely limited by a foot injury.

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Paul Millsap– Selected 47th overall by the Utah Jazz in 2006

Not sure how much longer the league can keep overlooking Paul Millsap.

Torching the Miami Heat for 46 points, including a career high by connecting on all three attempts from long-range leading Utah to an upset win.

The performance wasn’t a fluke, Millsap is averaging 20.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, but somehow was left off the All-Star ballot, leading to Art Garcia, writer for NBA.com, to write an apology for leaving him off the ballot.

There is no way Millsap will be left off next season.

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Landry Fields– Selected 39th overall by the New York Knicks in 2010

Since the Knicks seem to have an aversion to holding onto first round picks, they have to find talent in the second round.

When New York selected Landry Fields, a prospect many experts didn’t have being selected at all, the Knicks were once again the laughingstock of the draft.

The laughs stopped quickly during the Summer League, when Fields dominated the competition and during a highly competitive training camp with the Knicks, the former Stanford star earned the starting job at shooting guard.

No regrets for the Knicks as Fields is ranks third among rookies in scoring (10.7 points) and rebounding (6.8) per game.

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Marc Gasol– Selected 48th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007

Drafted primarily of his last name, Marc Gasol arrived in Memphis as the key acquisition as the Grizzlies dealt away his brother, Pau, to the Lakers.

Since Los Angeles has made three straight Finals appearances, and winning the last two, many viewed the deal as a horrible one for Memphis.

Maybe he can’t fully replace the production of his brother, the best power forward in the league according to our rankings, but he’s become a valuable piece to one of the leagues youngest teams.

Averaging 12.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, Gasol is connecting on 58 percent of his field goal attempts, ranking eighth in the NBA.

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DeJuan Blair– Selected 37th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 2009

Passed over in the draft because of concerns about his knees, increadibly DeJuan Blair is playing without an anterior cruciate ligament in either of his knees, but has rewarded the Spurs for selecting him.

As a rookie last season, Blair averaged 7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, connecting on 55 percent of his shots and, most importantly, playing in all 82 games.

Against Oklahoma City, he exploded for 28 points and 21 rebounds, both career highs.

A terrific rebounder, Blair sees limited time each night, but still ranks second on the team with 7.6 per game in 22 minutes.

Blair has yet to miss a game during his NBA career.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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