Why not write something, right? This is a blog after all!
About a year ago, I wrote a post ranking the #1 picks in the NBA draft since 1984. Did it win a Pullitzer?
Below is a list of the #2 picks, using the same methodology as the other list, except for one small and obvious change. If the #2 pick ended up being much better than the #1 pick in that draft, that will be very beneficial for that #2 pick on this list. Just like the #1 picks list, this is a list of players as players, but also players as picks. The value of their #2 pick status will be important. This year, we'll be stopping at the 2010 draft, and we'll be excluding the tragic case of 1986 #2 pick Len Bias. Let's get it on.
26. Hasheem Thabeet, 2009: Highest pick ever to be sent down to the D-League. Let go by Memphis. Surrounded by Blake Griffin and James Harden in the draft. Geez. Poor Hasheem.
25. Darko Milicic, 2003: LeBron. Carmelo. Wade. Bosh. Enough said.
24. Jay Williams, 2002: Poor Jay Williams. This is not the "White Chocolate" Jason Williams, or the Jayson Williams that killed a guy. This is the guy who got into a motorcycle accident after his first year that pretty much ended his career. Only 1 year in the NBA. Amazingly, he's probably not the worst player of this year's top 5. Nikoloz Tskitishvili went #5. Remember him? Me neither.
23. Sam Bowie, 1984: #2 pick in the best draft ever. Do I even need to say it? Okay fine: HE WAS PICKED BEFORE MICHAEL JORDAN. That essentially wipes any value he might have had completely away. Not the worst player ever, but man. Poor Sam.
22. Shawn Bradley, 1993: Much worse than #1 pick Chris Webber, but this draft wasn't so great. Sam Cassell and Penny Hardaway are the next best. However, Shawn Bradley fits in with the other riff raff in this draft. He was in Space Jam. He was in Space Jam.
21. Evan Turner, 2010: John Wall was #1 overall and he's much better than Evan Turner. Approximately the 7th best out of the top 10 picks of this draft. Traded by the team that drafted him (76ers). Evan Turner shares a birthday with me. Like, same year also. Screw you, Evan Turner. Stop being so successful and MAKING ME LOOK BAD.
20. Stromile Swift, 2000: Stromizzle was such a nothing player. However, the 2000 draft was a nothing draft. While Stromile wasn't as good as #1 pick Kenyon Martin, the best players in this draft include Hedo Turkoglu, Michael Redd, and Mike Miller. Not great. So Stromile doesn't look so bad next to these clowns.
19. Armen Gilliam, 1987: Who? He was a fine player, but #1 overall was David Robinson, and Scottie Pippen and Reggie Miller were taken in this draft. Fine.
18. Michael Beasley, 2008: D-Rose was drafted first. This was a reasonably good draft, with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love going 4 and 5. Beasley is approximately the 8th-best of the top 10 picks. Not great.
15. Danny Ferry, 1989: The only thing going for Danny Ferry is that he was better than #1 overall pick Pervis Ellison. A pretty nothing player who played for a long time, and he never played for the team that drafted him.
14. Mike Bibby, 1998: The 1998 draft was pretty weak at the very top. Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce going 9 and 10 is pretty good, and Vince Carter going at 5 is good. But the #1 pick was the Kandi Man, Michael Olowokandi. Bibby outshines that guy.
13. Wayman Tisdale, 1985: Best name on this list without a doubt. Nice player, but taken after Patrick Ewing and before the likes of Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, and Detlef Schrempf (underrated). Other than Ewing, however, the early part of this draft was pretty nothing, so Tisdale was all right considering. By the way, we are officially halfway through this list. Damn #2 picks are pathetic.
12. Emeka Okafor, 2004: This was the Dwight Howard draft. Quite the pick. I like Emeka, and he was a decent player in this draft. Howard is great, and Andre Iguodala and Luol Deng stand out in this draft, but Emeka's a nice player. Just not that great.
11. Steve Francis, 1999: This draft featured a lot of good players, but nothing spectacular. Steve Francis actually kind of blends in overall. Ron Artest, Elton Brand, Baron Davis, Manu Ginobili, Rip Hamilton, Andrei Kirilenko, Shawn Marion, and Wally Szczerbiak all went in this draft. Francis is sort of in the middle of that list somewhere.
10. Marcus Camby, 1996: Very good player for many years. Too bad he was drafted in one of the best drafts ever. He was taken after Allen Iverson, and before the likes of Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, and many other very impressive players.
9. Keith Van Horn, 1997: Nice player, but drafted after Tim Duncan and before Chauncey Billups. Definitely doesn't stand out in this draft, which also featured Tracy McGrady at 9.
8. Rik Smits, 1988: These drafts in the late '80s/early '90s were so weak it's crazy. Rik Smits was a nice player and everything, and probably better than #1 overall pick Danny Manning, which helps him quite a bit. But there were many other players in this draft who were better, including Hersey Hawkins, Mitch Richmond, and Dan Majerle. That list tells you just how ehh Rik Smits was. He did help those good mid-90s Pacers teams though.
7. Antonio McDyess, 1995: Better than the #1 pick (Joe Smith), but many very good players came from this draft, including Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Michael Finley and Jerry Stackhouse.
6. Tyson Chandler, 2001: Came into his own like 10 years into his career. Excellent defender for a few years. This draft was relatively weak, but Tyson Chandler was probably the third-best player in this draft. Tony Parker and Pau Gasol edge him, but overall not bad.
5. LaMarcus Aldridge, 2006: This draft was absolutely pathetic. The #1 pick was Andrea Bargnani, "a big man who can shoot," and next to Aldridge, the best player in this draft was Rajon Rondo at #21. Then it's...Brandon Roy? Rudy Gay? Kyle Lowry? J.J. Redick? And just for some perspective, fifth on the #1 picks list was Patrick Ewing.
4. Alonzo Mourning, 1992: The only player who was better than Mourning at #2 is Shaq at #1. That makes sense. Mourning's a Hall of Famer, but he did the most damage for the Heat. Since they did not draft him, that hurts his case a tad.
3. Jason Kidd, 1994: Coach Kidd was the best player in this draft that was weak overall except for the #3 pick of Grant Hill. Dallas drafted him, and 100 years later, Kidd returned to them and won a championship. What a world. Does that count in my methodology? Ehh what the hell, sure.
2. Kevin Durant, 2007: This draft was not turrible overall, but Greg Oden went #1. KD is an MVP-level player. By far the best player in this draft and a future Hall of Famer. All this for the team that drafted him, although that team moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City after his first year.
1. Gary Payton, 1990: The Glove was BY FAR the best player in the 1990 draft. The #1 pick was Derrick Coleman. That helps Gary quite a bit on this list. He's a Hall of Famer, and took the Sonics to the finals as a player. Eventually, KD will edge him on this list, but since Gary Payton had a whole career and Kevin Durant still has a ways to go, GP gets the nod. #2 picks are subpar overall.