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NBA Draft:
Insider's 2nd Round Mock Draft

They are the red-headed stepchildren of the NBA.

Second round. Second place. Seconds from the NBDL . . .

They rarely even get their own mock drafts these days. The second round is almost impossible to predict and until recently, was considered a worthless endeavor anyway. Most second-rounders, the thinking went, were busts anyway, so why bother?

It's tough being in Round 2. While pick No. 29 gets all of attention and a three-year guaranteed deal, pick No. 30 is given a pat on the back an invitation to the NBA summer league. If he survives training camp, he'll be rewarded with a minimum, non-guaranteed contract.

Still, it isn't as bad as you think. Some agents actually prefer their guy to slip into Round 2 in certain situations. "If you have a client who's very talented, but has slipped for whatever reason, it may be in his best interest to slide out of the second round," agent Bill Duffy told Insider. "If he goes to a very good team, he won't get playing time and the likelihood that he signs a big contract after his three years are up are minimal. If you're drafted early in the second round, you go to a bad team who needs to play you, and after two seasons you're eligible for big money."

Indeed, players like Cuttino Mobley and Rashard Lewis, within two years, were making more money than their first-round counterparts.

With the draft turning more and more into a developmental draft in Round 1, plenty of top seniors are still left on the board when you hit Round 2.

That may explain why last season, 16 second-round picks lasted the entire season and several prominent teams featured multiple second-round picks on their roster. The Sonics had a whopping nine players who were drafted in the second round. The Mavs and Nets both had six players.

Trenton Hassell (No. 30), Gilbert Arenas (No. 31), Earl Watson (No. 40), and Alton Ford (No. 51) all made major contributions to their teams last season. The 2000 draft had a few sleepers as well. Michael Redd (No. 43) had a breakout year and Eduardo Najera (No. 38) played a major role on the Mavs.

This year, the second-round pool looks as deep as it's ever been. "This is one of the deepest drafts I've ever seen," one Eastern Conference GM told Insider. "There will be guys drafted in the 40s that we had rated in the 20s on our board. A lot of these guys are going to stick."

Indeed, with players like USC's Sam Clancy, Alabama's Rod Grizzard, Stanford's Casey Jacobsen, Notre Dame's Ryan Humphrey and Maryland's Juan Dixon on the board . . . it doesn't get much better than this.

Round One

30. Golden State Warriors
Insider's Pick: Jamal Sampson, F, Cal
The Skinny: They have plenty of time to see if the local product can develop. This pick may end up in Philly's hands before the night is over. If it happens, expect Rod Grizzard to get some love.

31. Chicago Bulls
Insider's Pick: Lubos Barton, F, Valpo
The Skinny: They really covet Mladen Sekularac but he probably won't be around. Lubos is a sweet-shooting big man with good handles who could play in Europe for a year or two.

32. Memphis Grizzlies
Insider's Pick: Jason Jennings, C, Arkansas State
The Skinny: The 7-foot-7 wingspan alone justifies taking a chance.

33. Denver Nuggets
Insider's Pick: Ronald Murray, G, Shaw
The Skinny: You probably haven't seen him play, but Murray impressed teams at the two NBA pre-draft camps. He can score, has remarkable court vision and has great size for a point guard.

34. Milwaukee Bucks (from Houston)
Insider's Pick: Steve Logan, G, Cincinnati
The Skinny: The Bucks have explored moving up into the late first round to address their point guard woes. With Rafer Alston packing his bags, they need someone with the maturity and defensive prowess to step in should Sam Cassell come up limp. There are a lot of choices here, but apparently Logan is the guy they're high on.

35. Cleveland Cavaliers
Insider's Pick: Sam Clancy, F, USC
The Skinny: Had he not dislocated his knee cap in a pre-draft workout with the Suns, he would have been a first-rounder. He's got the maturity to step in right now and back up Tyrone Hill.

36. New York Knicks
Insider's Pick: Smush Parker, G, Fordham
The Skinny: If the Knicks pass on Wagner, they'll go with the other local kid who really turned teams' heads the last few weeks. Parker has a N.Y. playground flair to his game.

37. Atlanta Hawks
Insider's Pick: Tito Maddox, G, Fresno State
The Skinny: The team is trying to move up into the first round to get its hands on Dickau. If the Hawks aren't successful, they'll take a chance on Maddox. He was the best pure point in Chicago and has the size they're looking for at the position.

38. Houston Rockets
Insider's Pick: Chris Jefferies, F, Fresno State;
The Skinny: The Rockets continue to stock up on small forwards. Jefferies has the raw abilities to be a first-rounder, but a late-season injury and some off-the-court questions cause him to slip just a bit.

39. Washington Wizards (from Phoenix via Denver)
Insider's Pick: Rod Grizzard, F, Alabama
The Skinny: If the Wizards get Wagner in Round 1, they'll still be able to address their small forward needs here. Grizzard is another first-round talent who slipped because he was too injured to work out for teams.

40. Washington Wizards
Insider's Pick:Kei Madison, F, Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) CC
The Skinny: They can't use all of these picks so they'll take a gamble with Madison. He's raw, but has that athletic upside they've been searching for.

41. L.A. Clippers
Insider's Pick: Freddie Jones, G, Oregon
The Skinny: He'll be right at home running the break with the rest of the Kid Clipps.

42. Milwaukee Bucks
Insider's Pick: Lazarous Papadopolous, F/C, Greece
The Skinny: The Bucks have three second-round picks and they can't use them all. They can leave Papadopolous in Greece for as long as they want.

43. Portland Trail Blazers (from Toronto via Chicago)
Insider's Pick: Fatih Solak, C, Turkey
The Skinny: He's big and given the huge hole in the middle of the Blazers defense, that will do.

44. Chicago Bulls (from Indiana)
Insider's Pick: Lonny Baxter, F, Maryland
The Skinny: They need a veteran to back up Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry down low. Baxter is as seasoned as they get.

45. Philadelphia 76ers (may be sent to Detroit)
Insider's Pick: Ryan Humphrey, F, Notre Dame
The Skinny: He's really helped his stock in workouts and should have a good shot at making the team if he continues to shoot the ball well from the perimeter.

46. Memphis Grizzlies (from Orlando)
Insider's Pick: Casey Jacobsen, G, Stanford
The Skinny: He could very well be taken in the first round, but the Grizzlies get a huge steal here if he's still on the board.

47. Utah Jazz
Insider's Pick: Predrag Savovic, F, Hawaii
The Skinny: His deft outside shooting will buy him a spot on the team next season.

48. Milwaukee Bucks (from Charlotte)
Insider's Pick: Juan Carlos Navarro, G, Real Madrid
The Skinny: Again, no room at the inn. Navarro might be a long-term solution at the point. The Bucks will give him a few more years in Spain and see what he does.

49. Seattle SuperSonics
Insider's Pick: Chris Christofferson, C, Oregon
The Skinny: Calvin Booth is fragile and Jerome James is a wanted man. Christofferson showed he guard Yao Ming in his sleep, that's got to be worth something.

50. Boston Celtics
Insider's Pick: Matt Barnes, F, UCLA
The Skinny: His inside-outside game is a perfect fit.

51. Portland Trail Blazers
Insider's Pick: J.R. Bremer, G, St. Bonaventure
The Skinny: The draft's best athlete. No one is really sure whether he's a point guard or shooting guard. Of course, no one is really sure what the Blazers are either.

52. Minnesota Timberwolves
Insider's Pick: DeAngelo Collins, F, HS Senior
The Skinny: He's not Kevin Garnett, but does have the size, versatility and athleticism to take a chance on.

53. Miami Heat
Insider's Pick: Luis Scola, F, Argentina
The Skinny: One rookie will be all Pat Riley can handle. Scola will stay in Europe another year or two and then, maybe, Riles will take a look.

54. New Jersey Nets
Insider's Pick: Juan Dixon, G, Maryland
The Skinny: It's a crime he falls this far, but Dixon's real value is on a veteran team. Considering that they were considering him with their first-round pick, the Nets will throw another parade if he's still on the board.

55. Dallas Mavericks
Insider's Pick: Lee Benson, F, Brown Mackey College (Kan.)
The Skinny: Cuban has the time, the money and the support staff to turn Benson into something special.

56. San Antonio Spurs (from LA Lakers)
Insider's Pick: Darius Songaila, F, Wake Forest
The Skinny: A real steal for the Spurs here. He'll be able to come in and immediately contribute because of how sound he is fundamentally or the Spurs will have an easy time convincing him to play overseas for a year or two until a roster slot opens.

57. San Antonio Spurs
Insider's Pick: Randy Holcomb, F, San Diego St.
The Skinny: He's a luxury, but his athleticism is worth a summer camp roster slot.

58. Sacramento Kings
Insider's Pick: Corsley Edwards, F, Central Connecticut
The Skinny: His wide body and hustle may help in the eternal struggle to stop Shaq.
 
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