You may or may not have tuned in yesterday when we began looking through the history of the last 20 years of the NBA draft, focusing on picks one through seven. Let's keep it moving today, as we dive into the bottom half of the lottery and cover draft slots eight through 14.
8TH OVERALL PICK
Accumulative Stats (Last 20 #8 Overall Picks): 10.6 PPG - 4.0 RPG - 2.6 APG
The eighth pick is the only NBA draft position in the top 10 that hasn't produced a single All-Star over the last 20 years. In fact, if you go back another decade the eighth overall pick has only produced two All-Stars since 1985 - Vin Baker (drafted in 1993) and Detlef Schrempf (drafted in 1985). Of course, that's not the version of
Gin Baker that we witnessed in Beantown from 2002-2004, but that's another topic for another time.
As the draft progresses beyond the top of the lottery, of course it's going to be more and more difficult to land an All-Star caliber player, but the eighth spot is just one of two lottery positions that hasn't produced one since 1995. Perhaps the most notable name in the group is Jamal Crawford, a two-time Sixth Man of the Year who has averaged 17.0 points per game from 2003-2015. Andre Miller has also enjoyed a long, healthy and productive career and he even lead the league in assists per game in 2001-02, while guys like Rudy Gay, Larry Hughes, Kerry Kittles and Brandon Knight have played at a high level.
Outside of those quality names, the eighth pick's talent pool is fairly mediocre based on draft positioning. The next tier includes T.J. Ford, Channing Frye, Jordan Hill, Terrence Ross and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, quality rotation players but fringe starters at best. Then, of course, there are some major duds - Joe Alexander, Rafael Araujo, DeSagana Diop, Adonal Foyle and Shawn Respert. A guy like Brandan Wright has been a nice piece off the bench, but he certainly did not meet the expectations he had coming into the league.
My advice to all you GM's out there - if what they say holds true and history repeats itself, be careful taking a big at number eight.
9TH OVERALL PICK
Accumulative Stats (Last 20 #9 Overall Picks): 14.1 PPG - 6.1 RPG - 2.5 APG
All-Stars: 7 - Dirk Nowitzki (13), Tracy McGrady (7), Amare Stoudemire (6), Shawn Marion (4), Joakim Noah (2), DeMar DeRozan (1), Andre Iguodala (1)
For whatever reason, NBA general managers have had just as much success with the ninth overall pick as most slots within the top five. The element of the unknown has worked in number nine's favor as Tracy McGrady and Amare Stoudemire were home run high school picks that happened to work out, while Dirk Nowitzki's rise to stardom helped shape international scouting into what it is today.
According to the history, quality players can be had at number nine as seven of the last 20 picks have been named All-Stars. Andre Drummond is well on his way to reaching that plateau while guys like Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker are producing at a high level as well. However, it seems as though the ninth pick either works out extraordinarily well, or not well at all.
For every Kemba Walker there is a Samaki Walker. There's Dirk Nowitzki and Tracy McGrady, then there's Patrick O'Bryant and Mike Sweetney. Shawn Marion put together one heck of a career, but Rodney White didn't work out so well. Ed O'Bannon and Ike Diogu only lasted for a cup of coffee in the NBA, while D.J. Augustin and Joel "The Vanilla Gorilla" Przybilla each became serviceable role players, but never lived up to their billing as ninth overall picks.
The last 20 years show that if you're drafting ninth, odds are that you could have just as good of a chance at landing a big time player as you do of wiffing the pick. The ninth spot has produced more star players than picks seven and eight combined since 1995, and six of the last eight picks at number nine are high impact starters if not All-Stars.
10TH OVERALL PICK
Accumulative Stats (Last 20 #10 Overall Picks): 12.5 PPG - 4.9 RPG - 2.5 APG
All-Stars: 6 - Paul Pierce (10), Joe Johnson (7), Paul George (2), Caron Butler (2), Andrew Bynum (1), Brook Lopez (1)
I thought you would enjoy that clip up top fom June 24, 1998, where former commissioner David Stern would mutter some of the sweetest words I ever heard him speak - "with the 10th pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select Paul Pierce from the University of Kansas." At number 10, it doesn't get much better than that. Considering Michael Olowokandi and Raef LaFrentz went in the top three that year, it's safe to say Rick Pitino did something right.
Alright, now my soft spot for The Truth is making me praise Rick Pitino. Let's get back on topic before I become physically ill.
The Celtics made another outstanding selection at number 10 three years later, when they struck gold with Joe Johnson in 2001. However, they would trade him (and a first round pick!) to Phoenix halfway through his rookie year in exchange for two role players off the bench, Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers. Rogers left as a free agent after the playoffs and Delk moved on after the following season. You win some, you lose some. The Celtics did, however, come within two wins of the NBA Finals that year, but it would have been nice to have watched Johnson blossom in green.
Larry Bird lucked out for the Pacers in 2010 when Paul George fell into his lap, but he didn't get his hands Andrew Bynum until he was an overweight, careless headcase that hadn't passed a physical in years. We can't act like we don't remember how good a healthy Bynum was in LA, however, even if it was only for a short time period. Caron Butler, Jason Terry, Brook Lopez and Kurt Thomas have all endured successful careers as high-impact players and whether you like him or not, Brandon Jennings has averaged over 16 points and six assists per game throughout his career and was playing excellent basketball before rupturing his Achilles this season.
Danny Fortson could never stay healthy, but the wide-bodied glass eater averaged a double-double from 1998-2002. Erick Dampier isn't the ideal top 10 pick, but he was quietly a starting center in the NBA for a decade.
Last year's number 10 pick Elfrid Payton had an outstanding rookie season, finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting, while recent top 10 picks C.J. McCollum and Austin Rivers finally began to establish themselves in this year's playoffs. There have been plenty of disappointments along the way as well, headlined by Luke Jackson, Mouhamed Sene and Jimmer Fredette, but the majority of 10th overall picks have made a big impact and some of them give you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but The Truth.
11TH OVERALL PICK
Accumulative Stats (Last 20 #11 Overall Picks): 8.1 PPG - 3.6 RPG - 1.5 APG
All-Stars: 1 - Klay Thompson (1)
Just when I thought I was going off the deep end by paying Rick Pitino a compliment, I've been abruptly snapped back into reality as I stumbled across the name of the 11th overall pick from 2000, the great Jerome Moiso. Less than six months after that selection, Pitino walked out that door.
From there, the keys to the car were handed to Chris Wallace, who also had the 11th pick to work with one year later in 2001. After taking Joe Johnson 10th overall, not yet knowing that he would trade the future 7-time All-Star halfway through his rookie year, the Celtics used the next pick on Kedrick Brown out of junior college. Jerome Moiso and then Kedrick Brown, folks, with back-to-back 11th overall picks. I hope the Celtics never pick at 11 again.
Klay Thompson is by far the standout of the group, as the sharpshooter enjoyed his first of [likely] many All-Star selections this season, and guys like J.J. Redick, Bonzi Wells and Michael Carter-Williams have played their part as productive pros. However, the majority of the last 20 picks at number 11 have had a very difficult time at the NBA level. In addition to Brown and Moiso, the list of busts includes Trajan Langdon, Acie Law, Todd Fuller, Tariq Abdul-Wahad, Cole Aldrich and Terrence Williams.
After all those names, the Orlando Magic got the worst of it all as 2005 draftee Fran Vasquez never even made his way over to play in the United States.
Over the last 20 years, a toddler-sized handful of 11th overall picks have actually worked out.
12TH OVERALL PICK
Accumulative Stats (Last 20 #12 Overall Picks): 7.3 PPG - 4.2 RPG - 1.0 APG
In addition to the eighth overall pick, nobody selected 12th has earned a spot on an All-Star roster over the last 20 years. Mookie Baylock and Kelly Tripucka are the only two number 12 picks to make an All-Star team since 1981.
The top players to be drafted 12th over the last 20 years are Thaddeus Young, Alec Burks, Gerald Henderson Jr., Nick Collison, Steven Adams and Vladimir Radmanovic; quality players, but lottery picks have seen better days.
Number 12 may not give us a lot of star power to talk about but it's plenty of fun to reflect on, nonetheless. We've got Austin Croshere, Cherokee Parks, Michael Doleac and Yaroslav Korolev... but none of those names tickle our green hearts as much as Vitaly Potapenko and the infamous Robert Swift. Good times, Celtic nation, good times.
If you're a goofy Caucasian, the 12th pick in the draft is your friend.
13TH OVERALL PICK
Accumulative Stats (Last 20 #13 Overall Picks): 12.2 PPG - 4.0 RPG - 2.3 APG
All-Stars: 1 - Kobe Bryant (17)
Before making the jump from high school to the NBA became normality, Kevin Garnett helped give prep stars the green light to chase their dreams and once Kobe Bryant followed suit the year after, all hell broke loose. It's not very often you get a chance to acquire one of the best players of all-time in the late lottery, but they don't call it "lucky 13" for nothing.
Since Kobe, however, lucky 13 hasn't quite been so lucky in terms of producing star players, but the list isn't half-bad in comparison to some of the draft spots above. Derek Anderson, Richard Jefferson, Corey Maggette, Markieff Morris and Corliss Williamson developed into excellent players, with guys like Thabo Sefolosha, Ed Davis and Zach LaVine proving their worth as solid rotation options.
There have been quite a few disappointments at 13, as well - Keon Clark, Marcus Haislip, Tyler Hansbrough, Sean May and Julian Wright stick out along with old friends Marcus Banks and Sebastian Telfair. Courtney Alexander had his moments but he didn't last very long, either, and injuries may have destroyed Brandon Rush's career.
You screwed up, Bassy. If you had worked out, we could have had a biiig Sebastian Telfair night at the Gah-en. Now you've just ruined it for everyone.
Overall, the 13th pick hasn't birthed a great deal of star talent but it has consistently been a much more successful draft position than 11th or 12th; even eighth. Let's hope Kelly Olynyk follows the correct path.
14TH OVERALL PICK
Accumulative Stats (Last 20 #14 Overall Picks): 9.6 PPG - 4.0 RPG - 1.7 APG
All-Stars: 1 - Peja Stojakovic (3)
If you're looking for a serviceable role player to plug in and fill a hole in your rotation, the 14th and final lottery position has a fairly decent track record. Outside of three-time All-Star Peja Stojakovic, there haven't been many starting-caliber players to be selected at 14, with Michael Dickerson, Troy Murphy and Luke Ridnour as the only others to hold starting jobs for extended periods of time.
The rest of the pack is filled with role players and fringe starters. You probably aren't going to land a high impact player at the end of the lottery, but there have been plenty of guys that have made nice careers for themselves as big-minute options off the bench. Kris Humphries, Maurice Taylor, Marcus Morris, John Henson, Ronnie Brewer, Patrick Patterson and Shabazz Muhammad have all proven their worth as rotation contributors.
Number 14 has also been responsible for complete busts like Mateen Cleaves, William Avery, Anthony Randolph and Earl Clark while Rashad McCants (14.9 PPG for MIN in 2007-08) and Al Thornton (16.8 PPG for LAC in 2008-09) looked promising early on, but faded quickly.
We can't go without mentioning Eric Williams, who spent six and a half years with the Celtics including the 2001-02 season, where "E" was the starting small forward on the squad that fell just short in the Eastern Conference Finals against his hometown New Jersey Nets. The Celtics liked him so much that they drafted him in 1995, traded him in 1997 and then traded back for him in 1999. Williams never quite lived up to his NCAA reputation and that 1997 knee injury certainly didn't help his cause, especially when you consider he had scored 15 points per game the year prior, but his work ethic was always appreciated in The Jungle.
Each of the last five number 14 picks are currently playing a healthy role on their respective teams as Henson, Morris, Muhammad and Patterson all played 18+ minutes per game this year while rookie T.J. Warren played 20.3 mpg over the final 22 games of the season.
Stay tuned for the next edition of this walk down memory lane, where we'll take a look at the mid-first round with the last 20 years of NBA draft picks 15-23.