I have already discussed the 5th pick and players who have been taken with the 5th pick. Now, it is time to look at the 32nd pick and the gems who have been found in the second round beyond the 32nd pick. The news here isn't quite as good as the 5th pick, of course, but in this very deep draft, we can expect to get a good player there. Here are the picks over the past 20 years. Steve Novak 2006 Daniel Ewing 2005 Jason Vroman 2004 Luke Walton 2003 Robert Archibald 2002 Omar Cook 2001 A J Greyton 2000 Michael Ruffin 1999 Rashard Lewis 1998 Charles O'Bannon 1997 Ryan Minor 1996 Terrence Rencher 1995 Jim McIlvaine 1994 Alphonso Ford 1993 Brent Price 1992 Chad Gallagher 1991 Brian Olwes 1990 Stanley Brundy 1989 Charles Shackelford 1988 Bob McCann 1987
Now, granted that beyond a handful of players, most of these guys didn't make much of a splash in the NBA. But, there are a couple like Luke Walton and Rashard Lewis who are doing very well in the league.
Now, taking a look beyond the 32nd pick who were taken in the second round and who have been able to contribute to teams whether as starters or coming off the bench. This list is a bit more encouraging. Gilbert Arenas 31 Royal Ivey 38 Chris Duhon 39 Matt Bonner 45 Kyle Korver 51 Dan Gadzuric 34 Carlos Boozer 35 Matt Barnes 46 Brian Scalabrine 35 Mehmet Okur 38 Jake Voskuhl 33 Eduardo Najera 38 Michael Redd 43 Francisco Elson 41 Cuttino Mobley 41 Stephen Jackson 43 Mark Blount 55 Malik Rose 44 Donny Marshall 39 Eric Snow 43 Nick Van Exel 37 Antonio Davis 45 Cedric Ceballos 48 Cliff Robinson 36 Dino Radja 40 Tito Horford 39 Grant Long 33 Steve Kerr 50 Kevin Gamble 63 Jeff Hornacek 46 Daniel Gibson 42 Leon Powe 49 Ronny Turiaf 37 Ryan Gomes 50
So, we can find a very good player who can contribute in the second round, especially in a draft as deep as this one. There hasn't been much talk about who the Celtics might take with the 32nd pick. Only 5 of the mock drafts that I checked have second round predictions and there are 5 different predictions for the 32nd pick. Marcus Williams, Petteri Koponen, Alando Tucker, Marco Belinelli, and Aaron Gray. Danny had Sun Yue in for 2 workouts and mentioned him as a possible 2nd round pick also. One other possibility that has been mentioned is Marc Gasol. Think maybe Pau would want to come and play on the same team as his little brother?
Very often we come into these private workouts feeling one way about a player’s skills or attitude, only to find out that our initial impression was very much off base. In the case of Marcus Williams, it was quite refreshing to see the work ethic he’s showing here as a player who has had about as much negativity thrown his way as anyone since exiting early from the NCAA Tournament. Williams worked out with Jared Dudley in what was probably the most intriguing session of our time in Vegas. He was a little streaky shooting with his feet set, particularly once he got out to NBA 3-point range, but looked exceptionally good in the mid-range area creating space for himself and pulling up off the dribble. Once he’s in motion his shot seems to gain consistency, likely because of the fact that he doesn’t have as much time to cock the ball to the side of his head the way he does on his set shots, which gives him a very inconsistent release point, and thus a higher (and unnecessary) degree of difficulty. He seems to have very good touch regardless, though, meaning he can get into a groove and knock down a bunch of shots in a row. In the ball-handling and one on one competitive drills is where Williams’ skills really came out. He can create his own shot with ease thanks to his combination of crafty footwork, smooth ball-handling skills, changes of speeds and pro moves from the triple-threat position, being able to utilize multiple jabs and fakes to get his man off balance and either make his way to the rim or pull up from mid-range. He’s very long, but a bit frail and not freakishly explosive, relying heavily on his instincts and skill level to help him put the ball in the basket. Off the court, Williams is a personable and well-spoken kid who seems to enjoy being around the NBA players here in Vegas. “That’s the biggest perk here by far, being around the pros. Players relate to players better and there is so much I can learn from a guy like Ryan Gomes.” Once the workouts were over for the day, he was the only one to stay late and join Gomes in putting up shots from beyond the arc, and the next day he decided to come in at 8am, an hour before everyone else, to work on his shot even more.
Marco Belinelli H: 6' 5" 192 lbs Best Case Mike Miller
Strengths Belinelli's physical tools are very good, especially at the European level. At 6-5 he has decent size for an NBA shooting guard, especially considering his athleticism and long arms which allow him to play bigger than his height. His overall bulk has improved over the past few years, as now both his upper and lower body strength are more solid than they were a couple of years ago. He looks like he’ll be able to add some more pounds too. Belinelli's athleticism is excellent for Europe and would be considered good even in the NBA, as he runs the floor well, has good overall speed and quickness and is an explosive leaper. Offensively, Belinelli already has many of the skills required to play shooting guard in the NBA. He's a solid ball-handler who can dribble with either hand, usually playing under control, and is able to go right or left equally well. His passing ability is decent, as he shows no selfishness and seems to have good court vision. A couple of years ago he was projected as a PG, and although he's developed quite a bit more towards the shooting guard position, he can handle spot minutes at the point when needed. Weaknesses Even if Belinelli's body has vastly improved over the past few years, he will still need to add some bulk to play in the NBA. Particularly, he needs some more upper body strength. Offensively, right now the main concern about him is his slashing ability. Although he theoretically has all the tools to be a great slasher (at the European level at least), being quick with a nice first step, possessing good ball-handling skills and improved body strength, he prefers to rely almost strictly on his perimeter shot instead of mixing up his game by taking his opponent off the dribble and going strong to the hoop. He seems to rely too much on his jumper, and does not get to the free throw nearly as much as he could considering his athletic gifts. He could use some improvements in his shot too, as he sometimes tends to unnecessarily go off balance when shooting off the dribble or off screens.
Alando Tucker SF 6' 5" 205 lbs Best Case Trenton Hassell
He has a fairly slow release on his shot and plenty of wasted motion, putting a little hop in his jumper that does not allow him to get a consistent release point since he often shoots it while on the way down. On the positive side, his ball-handling skills looked a lot better than we recall at Wisconsin, although like in Young’s case, these are ball-handling drills we’re evaluating him off of, not a competitive setting. Tucker is very athletic, with a good physique and an average wingspan.
Aaron Gray C 7' 2" 272 lbs Best Case Erick Dampier
While it is important to remember that Aaron Gray will have limitations in the NBA, he has a great chance at carving out a long career as a rotation big man at the next level, particularly if he continues to shed weight the way he has nicely over the past two months. Most of Gray’s points came from within 8 feet of the basket in Orlando, and this trend will likely follow him to the next level. The former Pittsburgh center displayed good mobility in the low block this week, and used a combination of hook shots and lay-ups mixed in with the occasional turn-around jumper to score all of his points. Though Gray was able to get these shots on nearly anybody, he struggled with his touch inside at times, sometimes just throwing the ball near the basket with the hope that it would find its way in.
Sun Yue H: 6' 9" 212 lbs PG Best Case Boris Diaw
Strengths Yue is a very unique player in this draft, being a very long 6-9 international who shows legitimate point guard skills. Watching him move with the ball in his hands, its hard not to be impressed by the talent he shows. Strongly favoring his left hand, Yue is a remarkable dribbler with his good hand, while improvable with his bad one. Already an excellent passer, he takes advantage of his size to see the entire floor thanks to his impressive court vision. Displaying solid athleticism, he slashes well to the hoop with a good first step, primarily looking to dish the ball or sometimes finish with an elegant finger roll. He plays under control and appears to have an excellent feel for the game, being highly unselfish, almost to a fault at times. The game looks very easy for him, particularly playing in the minor leagues. Defensively, he is capable of getting in the passing lanes, pulling down rebounds and even blocking some shots on occasion, being a true stat-stuffer for his team. Weaknesses Yue looks far from becoming an adequate shooter. He doesn’t show any reliability, delivering awful jumpers from time to time, and his mechanics don’t look particularly consistent, and he has a fairly slow release. He needs to develop more of an in-between game, particularly a pull-up jumper. He has a tendency to go left almost exclusively when driving to the basket. The biggest problem for Yue is his position on the court. He’s probably not quick enough for a point guard and he doesn’t have the shooting touch that you look for in a wing. He picks up his dribble at times and suffers from intense pressure he occasionaly sees from smaller and quicker guards. He also needs to add some bulk to his skinny frame. Defensively, there are concerns about him whether he’s playing the point or small forward. He has a tendency to be a little too passive at times, passing up scoring opportunities and not being quite as dominant offensively in a league where he is always the most talented player on the floor.
Marc Gasol C H: 7' 1" 265 lbs Best case Mehmet Okur
Although we have dealt it before, it deserves to be stressed again the way he contributes to his team’s offensive fluidity, showing a high basketball IQ and excellent court vision--always being aware of his teammates’ position. That fluidity comes both in the set offense, particularly they way Gasol ships the ball quickly to the weak side, and in transition, as he’s automatic sending the ball to a guard after a defensive rebound to ignite the offense. How much will Gasol’s lack of athleticism get exposed in the NBA? I guess that’s the question every single decision maker will be asking himself when it comes to evaluating the big Spanish center. With much more individual oriented defenses, it’s a very legit concern. In the ACB League, he relies on his excellent positioning to emerge as a very solid defensive presence. It’s not going to be the same in the NBA. Still, his size, smarts and nice skill set might draw him a first round spot come draft night.
Just as with the 5th pick, no one really knows what Danny plans to do here. Maybe Danny will finally test the international waters this year. But regardless of who he plans to pick, history shows that it is possible to find a diamond in the rough in the second round, especially the 2nd pick in the second round in a very deep draft like this one. [Discuss this topic on the Celtics Green Forums!]
Wrong Marcus Williams. The one you researched is playing for the Nets.