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Second Round Picks Cashing in on NBA Free Agency

Take a look at former second-round NBA draft picks who are earning big money in free agency.

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When NBA free agency began, there was a mad dash to sign top-tier players. Some were former lottery picks, some were first rounders, and others were second-round picks who cashed in on big contracts for the first time in their career. Take a look at these players selected in the second round who are proving draft pick is nothing but a number.

DeAndre Jordan: 35th pick, Los Angeles Clippers, 2008
From 35th pick to one of the most sought after big men in the NBA, Jordan decided to leave the Clippers to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. His four-year max deal will be worth more than $80 million. Last season he led the league with 15 rebounds per game.

Draymond Green: 35th pick, Golden State Warriors, 2012
Green’s salary was less than $1 million last season. Winning an NBA title, earning All-Defensive Honors and coming in second for Defensive Player of the Year voting will change that. Green will earn $85 million over the next five years with the Warriors.

Goran Dragic: 45th pick, San Antonio Spurs, 2008
Last season, Dragic was at the center of trade talks. Now he has settled in with the Miami HEAT and will cash in on a five-year, $90 million contract with Miami. That even includes taking less money to give them flexibility with Dwyane Wade.

Paul Millsap: 47th pick, Utah Jazz, 2006
Millsap had been a bargain-priced player throughout his career. This offseason he earned his pay day, returning to the Atlanta Hawks on a $58 million, three-year deal. He was offered even more money from the Orlando Magic ($80 million over four years), but turned it down to stay in Atlanta. Last season, he led the Hawks in scoring and rebounding.

Omer Asik: 36th pick, Portland Trail Blazers, 2008
Asik joined Anthony Davis as another big man to garner big money from the New Orleans Pelicans. He agreed to a five-year, $60 million deal – an increase from last season’s $8.3 million salary.

Danny Green: 46th pick, Cleveland Cavaliers, 2009
Green began his career bouncing between the NBA and D-League. He found a fit, however, on the San Antonio Spurs and will return to the team on a four-year, $45 million contract. Green is one of the many significant signings the team has made early in free agency.

Amir Johnson: 56th pick, Detroit Pistons, 2005
Johnson squeezed into the draft with four picks to go. He was pursued at the start of free agency, agreeing to a two-year, $24 million contract with the Boston Celtics in July 1. Johnson will become the highest paid member of the team (as the roster stands today).

Manu Ginobili: 57th pick, San Antonio Spurs, 1999
Some late second round picks don’t make it through training camp. Ginobili has spanned decades, earned All-Star accolades and won NBA championships. He will return to the Spurs next season, noting on Twitter “#TDwouldvemissedmetoomuch.”

Lou Williams: 45th pick, Philadelphia 76ers, 2005
Williams was named Sixth Man of the Year last season as a key contributor to the Toronto Raptors. He agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers over the weekend (which he discussed with Basketball Insiders in this Q&A). Entering his 10th season, Williams ranks sixth in assists and eighth in scoring among his draft class.

Patrick Beverley: 42nd pick, Los Angeles Lakers, 2009
After going through the playoffs without him this season (injury), the Houston Rockets wanted to lock in Beverley long-term. He agreed to a four-year deal worth $25 million.

Jae Crowder: 34th pick, Cleveland Cavaliers, 2012
When the Boston Celtics traded Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks, they didn’t get big-name players in return. Instead, they landed Crowder as part of the deal, who proved to be a hustle, glue guy that fit with head coach Brad Stevens’ system. The Celtics jumped early to keep him around with a five-year, $35 million contract.

Kyle O’Quinn: 49th pick, Orlando Magic, 2012
O’Quinn was a role player on the Magic, but when he became a member of the New York Knicks through a sign-and-trade, social media was bombarded with appreciation of what he had brought to the team. (Check out Basketball Insiders’ Q&A with O’Quinn here). O’Quinn will earn $16 million on a four-year contract with the Knicks.

Brandon Bass: 33rd pick, 2005, New Orleans Hornets
Ten years after being drafted, Bass has developed into a veteran presence who quietly approaches the game with professionalism and a strong worth ethic. He agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency; terms have not been disclosed.

Lavoy Allen: 50th pick, Indiana Pacers, 2011
While two of last season’s starters will not be returning (Roy Hibbert, David West), the Indiana Pacers did make a move to bring back Allen. He agreed to a three-year deal worth $12 million.

Kyle Singler: 33rd pick, Detroit Pistons, 2011
In one of the more surprising moves of free agency, the Oklahoma City Thunder locked in Singler to a five-year contract worth nearly $25 million. Singler, who averaged 6.0 points and 2.4 rebounds last season, was a restricted free agent.

Mo Williams: 47th pick, Utah Jazz, 2003
Williams’ two-year, $4.3 million contract isn’t a big pay day by NBA salary standards, but the new contract brings him back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played three seasons and earned an All-Star selection. Williams expressed his enthusiasm for the deal by tweeting, “I’m coming home!!!!!”

Jonas Jerebko: 39th pick, Detroit Pistons, 2009
Like Crowder, the Boston Celtics agreed to terms with Jerebko early into free agency. He agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract. Jerebko joined the Celtics last season through a trade with the Detroit Pistons.

Note: Wesley Matthews, who went undrafted, agreed to a four-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks.

 

Jessica Camerato is a bilingual reporter who has been covering the NBA since 2006. She has also covered MLB, NHL and MLS. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Jessica is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Association for Women in Sports Media.

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