On Wednesday night, we will find out the futures of the 2020 NBA Draft class. NBA teams will fight over an abundance of young talent to add to their rosters and hope to emerge as the key winners on the night. The majority of the attention will be on the first round picks with the Minnesota Timberwolves up first followed by the Golden State Warriors.
However, over the years there have been players who have developed to become some of the greatest players in the league, hidden away in the second round of the NBA draft. In this article, we will build a team based on current stars ignored in the first round of their draft classes.
The players who denied the NBA scouts
NBA teams expect to be choosing who they think will bring the most to their team and who shows the most promise. However, there are always those who slip through the net and have to work harder to prove their worth. This team of second-round picks are some of the best in the league and yet almost missed out.
#1 Nikola Jokić
Coming in at center to our team is the most talented player in this side. Jokić has proved to be one of the best players in the league, adapting to the NBA's new style which demands big men to provide more than just posting up in the paint.
'The Joker' is a multi-talented center. He almost averaged a double-double last season and shot over 80 percent from the free throw line. Picked 41st in the 2014 NBA Draft, Jokić is leading the line for the Denver Nuggets and could propel them to glory this season as an outside bet for the Championship.
#2 Draymond Green
At Power Forward is a player who is also seen around the floor occupying multiple positions, Draymond Green. Green entered the NBA as the 35th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors with whom he has spent his eight years in the league.
Written off throughout his career for his ability, Green has had to work harder than most in a team filled with natural talent. He has won three championship rings as well as the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. He is best known for his tireless effort on both ends of the floor as a team player. Nevertheless, he can provide valuable assists and rebounds as well as points when called upon.
#3 Khris Middleton
Drawn from the same draft class is our next selection, Khris Middleton. Chosen by the Detroit Pistons in 2012 as the 39th overall pick, Middleton is a small forward who has slowly progressed into one of the most underrated talents in the league.
After moving to the Milwaukee Bucks in his second year in the league, Middleton's game has gone from strength to strength. He finally received the recognition he deserved when he was selected for the first time into the NBA All-Star team in 2019. Playing alongside the MVP of the league may cause some players to be jealous but Middleton is selfless. He has quietly gone about his business with minimal fuss and averaged an impressive 21 points last season and 6 rebounds with a 91 percent free throw accuracy.
#4 Patrick Beverley
One of the most ferocious defenders in the league comes into our team at shooting guard. Patrick Beverley has built his career on being one of the toughest players on defense and fearless of any opposition. So much so that in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, Beverley frequently guarded Kevin Durant.
Beverley was the 42nd pick in the 2009 draft but did not play in the NBA until the 2012-13 season after returning from Europe's leagues. Although he is approaching his veteran years, Beverley is revered across the league as a hard-working leader who is happy to do the dirty work for his side's All-Stars.
#5 Isaiah Thomas
Rounding off our team at the Point Guard position is 5'9" Isaiah Thomas. Thomas entered the league as the last pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, but has gone on to prove his doubters wrong.
Peaking when he carried the Boston Celtics to three straight playoff appearances, including one Eastern Conference finals, Thomas was unstoppable at the guard position. Although he has had a dysfunctional few seasons, he seems to be finding his feet again at the Washington Wizards. He scored 12 points on limited minutes last season and scored an effective field goal percentage of 50 percent.
For our bench, there is depth as well as experience. The 2014 NBA Draft class contained some hidden gems in the second round such as Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris and Jordan Clarkson. One of the most exciting players in the league at the moment, Montrezl Harrell dropped into the second round a year later but has worked tirelessly to became an integral part of the LA Clippers team. Then there are veterans Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan and Goran Dragic who have years of playoff experience and All-Star appearances to their names.
Marc Gasol - 48th pick, 2007
Montrezl Harrell - 32nd pick, 2015
DeAndre Jordan - 35th pick, 2008
Goran Dragic - 45th pick, 2008
Jordan Clarkson - 46th pick, 2014
Spencer Dinwiddie - 38th pick, 2014
Joe Harris - 33rd pick, 2014Published 15 Nov 2020, 17:58 IST