In new CBA, 2nd round picks take on even greater importance for cost-conscious NBA

  • Article by: JON KRAWCZYNSKI , AP Basketball Writer
  • Updated: June 26, 2013 - 6:25 PM

There was a time when second-round draft picks in the NBA held about as much value to some teams as the caps that were given to each player chosen on draft night.

As the new collective bargaining agreement imposes far harsher penalties for exceeding the salary cap, finding cheap, productive players after the first round closes has never been more important.

The NBA draft opens on Thursday night, with most of the interest from fans focused on the top 14 lottery selections. While many might tune out once those are over, the draft will really be just getting started. Finding players who can fit into a team's rotation — either next season or after a year or two of development — has become a priority for cost-conscious franchises that spend the bulk of their money on an All-Star or two at the top of their roster.

"Eventually, the cap is pretty hard," new Timberwolves President Flip Saunders said. "You're going to have to have people that are going to be able to fit in. Especially if you have a good team and have two or three guys who are close to max (salary) type players, then you're going to have to find some low-end type guys that fit into (your payroll). That's why the development of some low-round guys can be important."

That trend could be seen all over the NBA playoffs, where teams struck gold players drafted in the second round, or not drafted at all. The Golden State Warriors had Draymond Green and Carl Landry. The Houston Rockets had Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons. The Indiana Pacers had Lance Stephenson and Sam Young. The Memphis Grizzlies had Marc Gasol. They were all players who were drafted in the second round, either by the team they were playing for or a previous team. All players who played crucial minutes for teams making postseason runs.

It was more of the same in the NBA Finals, where Miami had second-rounder Mario Chalmers and undrafted big men Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem against the San Antonio Spurs, perhaps the NBA's gold standard for finding and developing under-the-radar talent.

Danny Green was a second-round draft pick of the Cavaliers in 2009 and was cut twice by the Spurs before developing into a reliable perimeter shooter who broke the record for 3-pointers made in a finals series. Gary Neal was undrafted and had to go over to Europe before getting a chance with the Spurs' summer league team and solidifying himself as one of the team's first players off the bench.

And Manu Ginobili, of course, has been one of the most successful second-round picks in NBA draft history, a three-time champion and one-third of a Spurs core that has stuck together for 10 years.

"Ginobili, that was a pick that a lot of people knew was going to be good," Saunders said. "It's just at the time a lot of people didn't want to wait for him. So that was a good pick for them.

"Green was cut by Cleveland. There's a lot of ways to build your team, whether it's through the draft or taking guys that you feel fit better in your system than somebody else can."

Other notable second-round picks in recent years include Isaiah Thomas, Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan and Goran Dragic.

Whomever is taken in the second round this season certainly doesn't need to make a difference right away. They often are stashed away on the bench, or in Europe for a season or two, and developed before they get a shot at significant minutes in the NBA. Because they come into the league making a relatively small salary, teams can afford to be patient with them early.

In this new fiscal world, they can't afford not to.

The penalties for exceeding the salary cap are so harsh these days that even teams in the largest markets with the biggest revenues are starting to pay it some serious attention. Often after signing two or three players to big-money contracts, there is little left over to spend on the supporting cast.

Fortunately for the savvy NBA general manager, second-round picks cost them little in the way of up-front investment.

The trend offers encouragement for some of the fringe prospects in this year's draft. They watched players who weren't picked in the lottery become featured pieces in the postseason, offering a road map to the NBA one way or another.

"There are a lot of different routes to the NBA," Wisconsin forward Jared Berggren said. "You don't have to be a lottery pick or a first-rounder to make an impact in the league. I don't know if that's what it's going to take for me. Whatever it takes, I'm going to stick with it and hopefully reach my goal of one day playing in the NBA, however I get there."

And even if they don't hear their name called Thursday night, Neal offered a little bit of advice on how to channel the disappointment into something productive.

"Just dealing with the reality that I wasn't going to get drafted, that's like a crossroad for a lot of guys coming out of college," Neal said. "You realize you're not going to get drafted and there's a great chance that you might not become an NBA player.

"You kind of have to make your mind up that you want to continue on professionally and take the European route and take it seriously. After I talked it over with my family, that's what I decided to do. I was able to mentally just get past the European thing and go over there and be professional about it."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota - LP: J. Burton 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland 3 Top 11th Inning
Kansas City 1
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Bassitt 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado - WP: T. Matzek 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: V. Nuno 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 8th Inning
St. Louis 10
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 8th Inning
San Diego 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 7th Inning
San Francisco 3
Oakland 0 Top 7th Inning
LA Angels 2
Washington 3 Top 7th Inning
Seattle 0
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 16 FINAL
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 55
Fresno State 13 FINAL
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 FINAL
Miss State 49
Texas-El Paso 31 FINAL
New Mexico 24
North Texas 7 4th Qtr 0:48
Texas 38
(1) Florida State 27 4th Qtr 7:01
Oklahoma State 24
(14) Wisconsin 17 3rd Qtr
(13) LSU 7
Idaho 0 Postponed
Florida 0
South Dakota 3 1st Qtr 2:00
(3) Oregon 21
(25) Washington 7 1st Qtr 0:29
Hawaii 10
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 1 1st Half
San Jose 1
Portland 0 1st Half 15:00
Vancouver FC 0
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close