For all the criticism and grief that Mitch Kupchak/Jim Buss have taken for the team(s) they have assembled, one truth cannot be questioned. They are very skilled at evaluating talent in the 2nd round of the NBA Draft. Traditionally second round picks who are not guaranteed a contract, are hit or miss prospects. They play in the Summer League and many go over to Europe where they can get a higher payday. Yesterday the Lakers signed their second round pick Jordan Clarkson who was scintillating in the summer in Vegas. The 6-5 combo guard from Missouri attacked the rim, beat players off the dribble, displayed a nice pull up jumper and even hit a game winner. He has a competitive motor and his defense was adequate for a rookie. He has first round talent but slipped in a deep draft and the Lakers took advantage.
But that is not new. Of the Lakers last 10 drafts, there are only three second round picks who didn’t achieve and are not in the NBA or the NBA Developmental League: Cheikah Samb (2006), Joe Crawford (2008) and Ater Majok (2011).
Cheikah Samb, a seven footer was the 51st pick. On draft night they traded him to the Pistons for Maurice Young. He also played for the Nuggets, Clippers and D-League before signing with Real Madrid. Currently he plays in Dubai.
Joe Crawford (2008) was the 58th pick, a shooting guard who started at Kentucky his junior year. He was a former McDonald’s All American. After the Lakers drafted him he played in the D-League for two years with the Defenders and then played with the Knicks. He went to China and then Israel and no longer plays professionally.
Ater Majok (2011) a 6-10 forward played at UConn. He left Connecticut and signed with a Turkish team and then played in Australia. The following year the Lakers drafted him 58th. That August he signed with a team in Slovakia. He has since played in Israel and Korea and last year played in Germany.
Those were the NBA misses. The Lakers also drafted Marc Gasol, an All Star, in the second round, stashed him in Europe and threw him in the Pau Gasol/Kwame Brown deal. They drafted Ronny Turiaf and then stood by him as he underwent heart surgery. They drafted Patrick Beverly who is projected to be the Houston Rockets starting point guard.
7 out of 10 quality players is a pretty good percentage but judge for yourself.
2014: 46th pick Jordan Clarkson, Missouri. Future undetermined.
2013: 48th pick Ryan Kelly, Duke. 59 NBA games. 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists.
2012: 60th pick Robert Sacre, Gonzaga. 97 NBA games. 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 block
2011: 58th pick Ater Majok, Connecticut. No NBA games.
2010: 43rd pick Devin Ebanks, West Virginia. 63 NBA games. 4 points, 3 rebounds.
2009: 42nd pick Patrick Beverly, Arkansas. 97 NBA games (Houston Rockets). 8 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds.
2008: 58th pick Joe Crawford, Kentucky. 2 NBA games. 9 points, 4 rebounds.
2007: 48th pick Marc Gasol. 436 NBA games (Memphis Grizzlies). 14 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds. All Star. Defensive Player of the Year.
2006: 51st pick Cheikh Samb. 22 NBA games (Pistons, Knicks, Nuggets, Clippers). 1 point, 1 rebound, 1 block.
2005: 37th pick Ronny Turiaf, Gonzaga. 471 NBA games (Lakers, Warriors, Knicks, Wizards, Heat, Knicks, Timberwolves). 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block.