NBA PM: Spurs Prove Draft Order Nothing But a Number

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Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy and CineSport’s Noah Coslov break down Game 4 of the 2014 NBA Finals.

Spurs Prove Draft Order Nothing But a Number

With the 2014 NBA Draft taking place in less than two weeks, the focus is on who will be chosen number one. It is a topic that is debated every year, which special regard given to the player selected first among all the prospects.

In 1997 Tim Duncan was the coveted pick – the team who landed him was in for a true talent. It turned out to be the San Antonio Spurs, who went on to win four championships with him and are one win away from his fifth in the NBA Finals against the Miami HEAT.

Over the years, though, the potential of these rookies hasn’t always been so obvious. Yet the Spurs have managed to build arguably the deepest roster with Duncan surrounded by a roster of players who have proved draft order does not dictate the success of a career.

On June 26, a new class of rookies will be associated with their draft selection. Here’s a look at a group of Spurs that showed it is possible to exceed expectations on that night.

Marco Belinelli: 18th pick in 2007 by Golden State Warriors
Five picks prior: 13. Julian Wright 14. Al Thornton 15. Rodney Stuckey 16. Nick Young 17. Sean Williams

Matt Bonner: 45th pick in 2003 by Chicago Bulls (traded to Toronto Raptors that night)
Five picks prior: 40. Derrick Zimmerman 41. Willie Green 42. Zaza Pachulia 43. Keith Bogans 44. Malick Badiane

Boris Diaw: 21st pick in 2003 by Atlanta Hawks
Five picks prior: 16. Troy Bell 17. Zarko Cabarkapa 18. David West 19. Sasha Pavlovic 20. Dahntay Jones

Manu Ginobili: 57th pick in 1999 by San Antonio Spurs
Five picks prior: 52. Roberto Bergersen 53. Rodney Buford 54. Melvin Levett 55. Kris Clack 56. Tim Young

Danny Green: 46th pick in 2009 by Cleveland Cavaliers
Five picks prior: 41. Jodie Meeks 42. Patrick Beverley 43. Marcus Thornton 44. Chase Budinger 45. Nick Calathes

Corey Joseph: 29th pick in 2011 by San Antonio Spurs
Five picks prior: 24. Reggie Jackson 25. MarShon Brooks 26. Jordan Hamilton 27. JaJuan Johnson 28. Norris Cole

Kawhi Leonard: 15th pick in 2011 by Indiana Pacers
Five picks prior: 10. Jimmer Fredette 11. Klay Thompson 12. Alec Burks 13. Markieff Morris 14. Marcus Morris

Patty Mills: 55th pick in 2009 by Portland Trail Blazers
Five picks prior: 50. Goran Suton 51. Jack McClinton 52. A.J. Price 53. Nando De Colo 54. Robert Vaden

Tony Parker: 28th pick in 2001 NBA Draft by San Antonio Spurs
Five picks prior: 23. Brandon Armstrong 24. Raul Lopez 25. Gerald Wallace 26. Samuel Dalembert 27. Jamaal Tinsley

Tiago Splitter: 28th pick in 2007 Draft by San Antonio Spurs
Five picks prior: 23. Wilson Chandler 24. Rudy Fernandez 25. Morris Almond 26. Aaron Brooks 27. Arron Afflalo

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