Top 10 second-round draft picks in NBA history

Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets

Securing the top pick in the NBA draft can change the fortunes of franchises, as there is a greater chance of selecting a superstar. However, some second-round picks have proved to be just as efficient, if not more, in helping teams compete in the league.

Although some of these talents are unrecognized when they make it to the NBA draft, a few have made sure they are remembered through exceptional performances. Amazing talents like Goran Dragic, DeAndre Jordan and Malcolm Brogdon are products of second-round picks that deserve an honorable mention despite not making the top ten.

Throughout history, more attention has been paid to first-round picks. Although most of them have lived up to the billing, the orders were mediocre at best. Regardless, the achievements of some second-round picks are just as impressive as those in the first round.

On that note, here are the top ten second-round draft picks in NBA history.

#10 Lou Williams

Lou Williams #6 of the Atlanta Hawks
Lou Williams #6 of the Atlanta Hawks

Although Lou Williams is not one of the most explosive guards in the NBA, his place on this list is well-deserved because of how impactful he has been in the NBA. He was selected as the 45th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2005 NBA draft.

Lou's career did not get off to a flying start as he was used sparingly in his rookie season. However, things picked up for the guard despite coming off the bench. He finished the 2011-12 season as the 76ers scoring leader and was the runner-up for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award behind James Harden.

He is tied with Jamal Crawford for most sixth man awards in the NBA. Lou first won the award in 2015 with the Toronto Raptors, before a back-to-back win in his time with the Los Angeles Clippers (2018 & 2019).

#9 Khris Middleton

Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks

Khris Middleton was the anchor who held the Milwaukee Bucks together before the advent of Giannis Antetokuonmpo. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons as the 39th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

The Detroit Pistons shipped him off as part of a trade deal with the Bucks in 2013, where he has since played in the NBA. His partnership with Giannis has brought relative success to the franchise, although they are yet to win a championship.

Middleton is not the face of the Bucks and has never been. However, he has been crucial to their successes over the years. He finished the regular season as the team's second-best scorer behind Giannis. Middleton is currently fighting to advance to the NBA playoffs Eastern Conference Finals.

#8 Trevor Ariza

Trevor Ariza
Trevor Ariza

The New York Knicks selected Trevor Ariza in the second-round as the 43rd overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. Although not one of the best scorers, he was a menace on the defensive end. His efforts helped secure the 2009 NBA championship for the LA Lakers.

Ariza currently plays for the Miami Heat after being bounced around by nine different teams in the NBA. He is currently ranked sixth in the NBA's all-time steal percentage standings with .252.

#7 Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Marc Gasol #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers

Unlike his brother, Pau, Marc Gasol was selected by the LA Lakers as the 48th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. Before the NBA, Marc played in Spain from 2003 for FC Barcelona and CB Girona.

Although Gasol has a championship in his time with the Toronto Raptors in 2019, his greatest achievement might be holding Joel Embiid scoreless in the 101-96 Raptors victory over the 76ers on November 25, 2019.

Marc has made three All-Star appearances in his illustrious career and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2013.

#6 Danny Green

Danny Green #14 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates a three point shot
Danny Green #14 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates a three point shot

Perhaps the most surprising feature on this list, Danny Green, has shot his way to three NBA championships with three different franchises. He was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 46th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft.

Green is well-known in the NBA for his resilient defending and ability to shoot the ball from beyond the arc. Of his twelve seasons in the NBA, he has shot over 40% from the three-point range in eight.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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