For playersselected in the second round of the NBA draft, there are no guarantees. A first-round pick could be a bust, but he'll still get paid on an initial contract which is why Rafael Araujo lasted in the league for three seasons.
Second-rounders, though, have a tougher time. Many never even play in a single NBA game. Of the 2006 draft class, for instance, 11 of the 30 second-round selections failed to see any NBA action during the 2006-07 season.
Conversely, though, that means that 19 of '06 second rounders spent at least some time in the NBA, including Dee Brown and Paul Millsap of the Utah Jazz.
While Brown is now playing in Turkey in the hopes of returning to the NBA someday, Millsap has proven to be the steal of the 2006 draft. Just the 47th pick overall out of Louisiana Tech, Millsap became a contributor immediately as a rookie and has continued his solid play off the bench this season. He came up huge in Utah's come-from-behind victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, scoring 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field in just 21 minutes.
But Millsap isn't the only diamond in the rough that has helped the Jazz over the years. Two of this year's top three scorers, Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, were once second-round picks by other teams before signing as free agents with the Jazz.Utah, meanwhile, has had its share of late-round draft success, too. Here are, in reverse order, the top 10 Jazz draft picks after the first round:
10. DELANEY RUDD, 1985 fourth round (83rd overall) The Jazz selected Rudd out of Wake Forest in the fourth round back when there were seven rounds in the draft. It took him awhile before he was ready for the NBA, however. After bouncing around and playing in other leagues, Rudd made his NBA debut with the Jazz at the start of the 1989-90 season as John Stockton's primary backup at point guard. Rudd served that role for three years with the Jazz, averaging 3.5 points and 2.2 assists in 224 games. He finished his four-year NBA career with a brief stint for the Portland Trail Blazers.
9. C.J. MILES, 2005 second round (34th overall) Utah took a gamble on a straight-out-of-high school swingman from Texas with this pick. Miles has shown flashes of brilliance during his three year career, but has never earned consistent playing time. Still, the potential is there for Miles to have a long NBA career, which would obviously move him up on this list. So far, he's averaged 3.7 points in 102 career NBA games.
8. ISAAC AUSTIN, 1991 second round (48th overall) Austin showed some early promise and quickly became a close friend of Karl Malone's. But the former Arizona State star battled weight problems and Jerry Sloan and failed to make a major impact during his two seasons with the Jazz. To Austin's credit, however, he got into shape and rejuvenated his career in Miami, winning the 1996-96 Most Improved Player award. He ended up scoring 3,285 points during a nine-year NBA career, but only the first 190 of those points came in a Jazz uniform.
7. MAURICE "MO" WILLIAMS, 2003 second round (47th overall) After a promising rookie season with the Jazz, where he averaged five points per game in a reserve role, the Jazz would have welcomed Williams back. Instead, he signed a lucrative offer to be the starting point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks, a position he still holds. He currently averages 18 points and 6.4 assists this season. Williams still has fond feelings for the Jazz and his time with Sloan. "I love him," said Williams when asked about Sloan after the Bucks played the Jazz in Salt Lake this season. "My time here was great, and I learned basically how to play the game while I was here."
6. JARRON COLLINS, 2001 second round (53rd overall) Collins has never been a flashy player or a strong scorer, but he has been a consistent big man for the Jazz for seven seasons since his graduation from Stanford. His best year may have been as a rookie in 2001-02, when he started 68 games and averaged 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds.
5. PAUL MILLSAP, 2006 second round (47th overall) Millsap was a three-time NCAA rebounding champion at Louisiana Tech, but NBA teams passed on him due to his lack of size for a power forward/center. Utah finally took a chance on him, and it has paid off in spades. Millsap, after a second-team All-Rookie season, has been even better this year. He's averaging 8.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game and seems to still be getting better.
4. SHANDON ANDERSON, 1996 second round (54th overall) Despite being a second-round pick out of Georgia, Anderson quickly became a key member of a veteran, championship-caliber team. He came off the bench behind Jeff Hornacek his first three seasons in the league, giving opponents a completely different look as he would post up other guards inside. Anderson averaged 7.6 points per game in his three years with the Jazz, two of which ended with losses to the Bulls in the NBA finals. He went on to play for the Rockets, Knicks and Heat during an 11-year NBA career.
3. BOBBY HANSEN, 1983 second round (54 overall) A former Iowa Hawkeye, Hansen played for the Jazz for seven seasons, four as a starter. He scored 3,550 points for the Jazz, averaging 7.5 per game in 471 games with Utah. He was a strong defender and a 3-point shooting threat to boot. After his time with the Jazz, Hansen played for Sacramento and Chicago, earning an NBA title ring with the Bulls in 1992.
2. BRYON RUSSELL, 1993 second round (45th overall) Utah picked Luther Wright in the first round of the 1993 draft, who turned out to be one of the biggest busts in team history. Fortunately for the Jazz, the '93 draft wasn't bad since they landed Russell with their second pick. Russell was a key contributor for nine seasons with the Jazz, including their two trips to the NBA finals. His 540 3-pointers in a Jazz uniform is still second on the team's all-time list, behind only John Stockton. Nationally, Russell may best be known as the player who Michael Jordan pushed out of the way before hitting his NBA finals winning jump shot in 1998. After his time with the Jazz, Russell played for Washington, the Lakers and Denver.
1. MARK EATON, 1982 fourth round (72nd overall) As Eaton's old coach Frank Layden liked to say, "You can't teach height." The Jazz took a chance in the fourth round on a 7-foot-4 auto mechanic who finished a less-than-distinguished college career at UCLA. It paid off big time, as Eaton's jersey is now hanging from the rafters in EnergySolutions Arena. Eaton started 815 games for the Jazz, third to only Stockton and Malone. His shot-blocking ability drove opponents crazy and he was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year twice (1984-85, 1988-89). He was also on the league's all-defensive first or second teams five times. He finished his career with 3,064 blocks, which is third in league history behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Plus, he is the ultimate Jazzman, having started and ended his career with Utah while still staying in the state after his retirement.
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