Who's Going To Be The Next Michael Redd?
It's easy to understand how Manu Ginobili slipped to 57th in the 1999 NBA Draft, but in retrospect it's unbelievable that Michael Redd, who hits three after three before our eyes at Ohio State, fell to the 43rd pick.
The NBA Draft is a little different that the NFL, where late rounds picks routinely turn into stars, but basketball isn't without its success stories. Ever heard of Willis Reed, Nate Archibald, Bill Laimbeer, Maurice Cheeks or Dennis Johnson? I'll take that as a yes.
From 2007, it looks like Carl Landry (31st) and Glen Davis (35th) have potential to become very valuable 2nd rounders. 2006 brought up Daniel Gibson, Paul Millsap, and Leon Powe.
So who might come out of this year's second round and far exceed expectations? Here's a few guys I like a great deal:
Gary Forbes - 6'6 SG/SF - UMass
One thing you usually have to worry about with the up-and-comers from lower conferences is size. Generally, they're either too short or too thin. That's not an issue with Forbes who will be able to hold his own at SG or SF. Perhaps the only detriment to Forbes is that he doesn't have one skillset that jumps out at you. He's not a penetrator like Rose, or a tremendous rebounder like Beasley. Forbes just gets it done, and by all accounts from the Orlando Pre-Draft Camp, the Massachusetts forwards carried his teams offensively. Best case scenario, I think he has Josh Howard potential.
Sonny Weems - 6'5 SG - Arkansas
I'm not going to predict anything crazy for the Razorback, but he'll be a 6th-7th man who can provide a lot of energy and plenty of highlight dunk. I liken him to Kelenna Azubuike who came out of the D-League to scores eight points a game for Golden State this year. Weems is even more athletic, and can get real streaky from outside. He's already a decent defender, but if he can use his athleticism to become a shutdown guy, he could be very valuable in a couple years.
Davon Jefferson - 6'6 SF - USC
Not sure why he came out after just one year, but he's as talented as anyone projected to go between the 10th and 20th picks. A lot of time, he carried the Trojans when O.J. Mayo was off. And that happened a fair amount of the time. He's fairly strong and built for a college freshman. Good enough shooter, who could be a Caron Butler type in a few years.
Who are your sleepers?