Great article that really smashes that idiot's argument from CNN/SI to pieces:Once upon a time (I spent a while thinking up that lead), to be a second-round pick in the NBA was a sign of many things -- few of them good. As Doc Rivers, picked 31st overall in 1983, remembered, ''It sucked. I thought I was better than all of them [drafted ahead of me]. But I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It put my ego back in check -- for my career. I'll never forget that."
There were some years when being a second-rounder wasn't so bad (1986, for instance) and other years when it pretty much was a death sentence.
Fast-forward to the 2005 NBA Draft.
''It was deep enough to have three rounds," says Leo Papile, the Celtics' assistant executive director of basketball operations. ''This was a senior-heavy draft with a tremendous value in the second round."
The Celtics have two players on their 15-man roster who were second-round picks last June: Ryan Gomes (No. 50) and Orien Greene (No. 53). Both have signed three-year deals, which second-rounders receive about as often as extended playing time. They also have a second-rounder from the year before in Justin Reed and the rights to the player taken immediately before Reed, Albert Miralles. And the last second-rounder taken in the pre-Danny Ainge era, Darius Songaila, has been a valuable NBA role player for Sacramento and Chicago. (He also played the same part for Lithuania in international competitions.)
It's not as if the 20 second-rounders have been bench warmers. In the first 10 days of the 2005-06 season, second-rounder Salim Stoudamire (Atlanta) ranked third among all rookie scorers. Second-rounder Daniel Ewing of the surprising Clippers was eighth among rookies in assists. Stoudamire, Ewing, and Chris Taft (Golden State) are all averaging more than 14 minutes a game, more than at least 10 first-round picks are getting, including the Celtics' Gerald Green.
The Celtics are not alone in their rosy assessment of second-round talent in the last draft. Of the 30 players selected, 20 made Opening Night rosters, including two on the Pistons: Amir Johnson, at No. 56, and Alex Acker, at No. 60. Johnson was fresh out of high school.
Of the 10 second-rounders who were not on NBA rosters, most are believed to have found homes in FIBA locations around the planet. As they say, there's a country for everyone. (Some later second-rounders with unpronounceable names were taken with the express purpose of letting them stay overseas.)
Clearly, while first-rounders still get the guaranteed money (although it's now for only two years), the notion that a second-rounder is to be used as a future bargaining chip or as a training camp body is getting to be less and less the case.