NBA Draft: 2nd Round Gems

The NBA Draft is very different from the NFL Draft in the sense that the NFL’s is 7 rounds and the NBA’s is 2. In the NBA, you don’t find as many gems in the draft, 1st or 2nd round. Often times people think what they want of a 1st round pick in the NBA, but reality is the 25th pick in the 1st round is really just the 25th best player among 60 that are picked. A late first round pick is similar to that of a 4th round pick in the NFL Draft. However, sometimes NBA teams who do their research come away with a great player in the 2nd round, which is hard to do. Let’s take a look at some of the better 2nd round picks in recent memory.

Monta Ellis – 40th Pick, 2005

Monta Ellis comes from a time where high school players could go straight to the NBA. Ellis was certainly talented in high school but teams were unsure how it would translate to the NBA. He definitely came in with a couple of problems right off the bat. He was a scorer in high school but at 6’3 185 pounds, he didn’t fit the physical mold of an NBA shooting guard. He’s now a great combo guard for the Dallas Mavericks and holds career averages of 19.3 points, 4.1 assists, and 1.9 assists per game.

Marc Gasol – 48th Pick, 2007

Will Selva - Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol was drafted 48th overall but he may have fell just because he was not ready to come to the NBA due to his contract with Akasvayu Girona in Spain. Gasol was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers and actually traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for his brother Pau Gasol. Gasol has since been an All-Star center for the Grizzlies averaging 14.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game.

Manu Ginobili – 57th Pick, 1999

Overseas, Ginobili won 2 Italian League MVPs as well as the Euroleague Finals MVP so he came to the NBA having accomplished a lot already. When Ginobili came to the NBA in 2002, it didn’t take long for him to carve himself out a role with the San Antonio Spurs. It’s usually hard for a 57th pick to make a roster let alone contribute on a great team. Ginobili has won 4 titles with the Spurs and has been one of the leagues premier 6th men.

Nets Thaddeus Young to Opt Out

The Brooklyn Nets acquired Thaddeus Young from the Minnesota Timberwolves at the 2015 NBA trade deadline for Kevin Garnett. The move seemed to be a win-win for both teams but more so a steal for the Nets. The Timberwolves, who were out of contention received Garnett, a future Hall of Famer, a former Timberwolve, and great asset to sell tickets. The Nets received a younger more talented combo forward in Young. Young came to the Nets with a year left on his deal valued at $10.2 million. However, that year was a player option and Young has decided to opt out.

Will Selva - Thad Young

Thaddeus Young will become a free agent.

The decision doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Young played well for the Nets down the stretch. He played in 28 games (20 starts) averaging 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.4 steals and assists. He showed improved range knocking down 38% of his 3 point attempts, a career high. Young played both the 3 and the 4 for the Nets and figures to be a great 4 when teams play small ball.

Young is ultimately looking to cash in on a long-term deal. The Nets hold his Bird Rights meaning they can offer him more than any other team. At age 27, Young should be able to get himself a deal in the neighborhood of 4-5 years. That would bring him to age 32 where he’ll most likely have 1 or 2 more NBA contracts left in him. The Nets will try not to overpay to keep Young but if the past is any indication, the Nets will ultimately look to break the piggy bank yet again. Bringing back talent the Nets have is one of few moves they can make in order to stay competitive. While over the salary cap by a wide margin, Bird Rights will be the Nets best friend moving forward. Bird Rights allow the Nets to continuously break the cap in order to bring back players they previously had under contract.

Here Come the San Francisco Giants

Will Selva - SF GiantsAfter starting the season 4-10, 5th in their own division, the Giants are beginning to hit their stride. Currently on a 5 game winning streak and having won 7 of their last 10, the Giants are now 22-18, good for second in the NL West. Lets take a look at what has changed and gone right for the Giants since their slow start.

SP Madison Bumgarner

After starting 1-1 with an ERA over 5, Bumgarner has settled down. It was noted that he may struggle because he had thrown 270 innings between last regular and postseason. In three starts for the month of May, Bumgarner is 2-1 and sporting a 2.33 ERA. For the year, he’s now 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA. He has certainly improved since early on and I expect his numbers to get even better has the Giants get more competitive in the NL West.

C Buster Posey

Buster Posey was also off to a slow start hitting .229 with just 2 home runs and 6 runs batted in. Posey is now hitting right on par with his career .307 average with a .308 average. He also has 7 home runs to go with 21 runs batted in. He only has 3 doubles which is a bit concerning but he should find the gaps sooner or later.

Giants Hitting Overall

The Giants are hitting as a team .268, good for fourth in the MLB. A lot of this rides on Angel Pagan, Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Nori Aoki, Joe Panik, and Matt Duffy who all hold averages over .286. Nori Aoki has also flashed some speed on the base paths having swiped 10 bags this season. Belt, Pagan, and Posey all have averages over .300 for the season.

The Giants just got Hunter Pence back and hope to have pitcher Matt Cain back around the All-Star break. With the Giants also in the market for a third baseman, look out for the upward trending San Francisco Giants.

Why Kevin Love Must Be A Warrior

The Warriors have now reportedly added guard Klay Thompson to a package including forward David Lee for 3-time All-Star forward Kevin Love. My initial reaction? Hell yes! Hurry up and do it before the Timberwolves change their minds.


Love is a double-double machine with a deft passing touch, a sweet stroke from the outside and a nose for rebounds. He was in the top 10 for scoring this past season. Love would be the perfect compliment for Steph Curry as the faces of the franchise. The Warriors don’t lose anything with Lee, who is being grossly overpaid for his production. He’s due $30 million over the next 2 years, so Love would take his spot. He would play next to a defensive-minded center in Andrew Bogut, who when healthy, can be productive guarding the paint.

Draymond Green is the kind of player that hustles and manages to get under the skin of opposing players. Andre Iguodala is a terrific scorer, not to mention an effective perimeter defender. In other words, the Warriors have the pieces to get Love to the postseason for the first time in his career.

This is not too say that it will be easy to unload a young player like Thompson who has the potential to be a consistent. He was in charge of defending Clippers guard Chris Paul and did a fairly good job of it in the playoffs. His 3-point range seemingly has no limit as evidenced by his 41% shooting percentage. Knowing the luck of the Warriors from past trades, Thompson will likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer with a street named after him. Still, the Warriors need to make this happen. Will it get them past the first round of the Western Conference? That’s tough to do, especially with the Thunder, Clippers, Blazers, Rockets and Spurs standing in the way, but this is at least a viable step toward making a deep run a possibility.

California Chrome Riding Into History

Since Affirmed won the Triple Crown 36 years ago, we’ve witnessed exactly a dozen horses snag the first two legs only to see the pursuit of the sport’s most elusive prize evaporate over the Belmont’s punishing one and a half mile stretch.

Let’s put this in a greater historical perspective. Only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown since 1919. 11! The most obvious reason for this protracted drought may have to do with the fact that these horses must run three grueling races in five weeks when they normally compete in one race a month.

There’s hope that California Chrome will reverse the same fate that befell others before him like Smarty Jones and Big Brown. Physical ailments forced I’ll Have Another to withdraw from the Belmont in 2012. California Chrome is the first horse to win the Preakness from the Number 3 position in 21 years, deftly navigating through the field at every turn. The horse’s trainer, Art Sherman, lamented the fact that racing in 14 days is pushing the envelope. Sherman says it’s all about the recovery, which typically takes about eleven days. California Chrome seems to have the speed to pull off what, up to this point, has been the unthinkable. It would be nice to finally see the penultimate achievement realized in the sport of kings.