Believe it or not the NBA Finals are actually over and the draft is this Thursday. Like we like to do we’re looking back to see who the 1st round picks where and if they helped the team that selected them.
#1 Kyrie Irving (Duke) Cleveland Cavaliers. Irving spent just one season in college and he was hurt for most of that. While he’s shown he can be a top player in the NBA the injury bug has continued to follow him as he has missed 101 games due to injuries since being drafted.
#2 Derrick Williams (Arizona) Minnesota Timberwolves. Williams spent two plus seasons with the Timberwolves before being dealt to the Sacramento Kings in 2013-14. Williams spent the remained of the 2013-14 season with the Kings plus one more. He played in 80 games last season for the New York Knicks. For being the 2nd overall pick you could say Williams is a bust.
#3 Enes Kanter (Switzerland) Utah Jazz. Kanter spent three and a half season with Utah and was averaging double figure points for them when he was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2014-15 season. Kanter has continued to average double figure points for the Thunder. Kanter’s rebounding average has went up since going to Oklahoma City; plus he played in every regular season game last season.
#4 Tristan Thompson (Texas) Cleveland Cavaliers. With their second pick on the Top 5 the Cavaliers took a big body rebounder. Thompson has averaged 8.5 rebounds for his career and has averaged 9 plus rebounds a game during three of his five seasons with Cleveland. Thompson has never been a big time scorer; he averages 9.7 points per game, but he plays. Thompson has played in every regular season game the last four seasons.
#5 Jonas Valanciunas (Lithuania) Toronto Raptors. It took a year for Valanciunas to join the Raptors as he was under contract to his European team, but in four seasons his scoring average has continued to climb; reaching a high of 12.8 points a game this season. His rebounding average also reached a career high of 9.1 per game last season. He’ll be looking to play a full season next year as injuries limited him to 60 games last season.
#6 Jan Vesely (Czech Republic) Washington Wizards. As the 6th pick in the draft you can clearly say Vesely was a bust. He spent a little over three season with Washington before being dealt to the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 3.6 points per game in his career along with grabbing an average of 3.5 rebounds per game. Vesely spent just three season in the NBA and played in 162 career games.
#7 Bismack Biyombo (Republic of Congo) Sacramento Kings. While being officially drafted by the Kings Biyombo never played for them as he was dealt on draft day to the Charlotte Bobcats. Biyombo spent four seasons with the Bobcats; who went back to the Hornets name his last season there. In 2015-16 he signed a free agent contract with the Toronto Raptors. Biyombo isn’t a huge scorer averaging 4.6 points per game in his career, but he is a solid rebounder 6.5 career average and can block shots averaging 1.6 per game in his career.
#8 Brandon Knight (Kentucky) Detroit Pistons. Knight has has a solid NBA career so far, but it’s been with three different teams. After two season in Detroit he was dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks. Then after a season plus with Milwaukee he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. Knight averages 15.9 points per game in his career and has averaged 4.6 assists per game. He put up his career high scoring average last season at 19.6 per game.
#9 Kemba Walker (Connecticut) Charlotte Bobcats. The knock on Walker was that he was a shoot first point guard, but he has averaged 5.3 assists per game in his career. Don’t look at that the wrong way though Walker is a shoot first type of player. He averages 17.3 points per game and just put up his career high at 20.9 points per game last season. Walker has spent his entire career with Charlotte and has twice tied for the NBA lead in games played.
#10 Jimmer Fredette (Brigham Young) Milwaukee Bucks. Fredette was another one of those draft day deals. He never played for Milwaukee as he was dealt to the Sacramento Kings on draft day. Fredette was a high volume shooter and scorer in college, but his skills never translated to the NBA. Teams continue to take looks at him though as he’s been with four teams in five NBA seasons. He ended last season playing in two games for the New York Knicks after spending time in the D-League.
#11 Klay Thompson (Washington State) Golden State Warriors. Thompson is a key part to Golden State’s success. his scoring average has improved every season and reached 22.1 per game this past season. Golden State centers it’s offense around 3-point shooting and Thompson had his best career year behind the 3-point line. Thompson made 47% of the 3- point shots he took and for his career he’s shooting 45% from behind the 3- point line. Thompson has made the last two All-Star games and won the NBA title in 2014-15.
#12 Alec Burks (Colorado) Utah Jazz. While spending most of his time coming off the Utah bench Burks has averaged double digit points per game in the last three seasons. He was limited to just 31 games last season because of injury. Burks has gotten his career scoring average above the 10 points per game mark. Injuries have limited him though as he played in just 259 games over his five season with the Jazz.
#13 Markief Morris (Kansas) Phoenix Suns. Morris spent four plus seasons with the Suns before being dealt to the Washington Wizards last season. He’s a solid all around player. He averages 11.5 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game in his career. After being traded to Washington his field goal percentage jump to a career high 52.4%.
#14 Marcus Morris (Kansas) Houston Rockets. Yes that’s right the Morris twins went back to back in this draft. After a season and a half Morris was dealt to the Phoenix Suns where his brother was playing. After an off court incident he was traded to the Detroit Pistons. He averaged career highs with the Pistons in points at 14.1 per game; assists at 2.5 per game and in rebounds at 5.1 per game.
#15 Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State) Indiana Pacers. Here’s another one of those players who was drafted by a team, but never played there. Leonard has spent his entire career with the San Antonio Spurs and has become on of the top players in the NBA. Leonard won the NBA championship with the Spurs in 2014 and was named Finals MVP. He has also won Defensive Player of the Year the last two seasons. His 21.2 points per game average was the highest of his career.
#16 Nikola Vucevic (USC) Philadelphia 76ers. People may not remember that Vucevic was drafted by the 76ers and spent one season with Philadelphia before being traded to the Orlando Magic. Since being traded to Orlando Vucevic has averaged double figures in scoring. In 2014-15 he posted a career high averaging 19.3 points per game and last season he averaged 18.2 points per game. He also averages 9.8 rebounds in his career.
#17 Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech) New York Knicks. After a little over three seasons with New York Shumpert was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers where he just won the NBA title. Shumpert looked t be stepping into a starting role with the Knicks, but since being traded to the Cavaliers he has been coming off the bench. Shumpert has been looked at as a defensive player. He averages 7.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in his career.
#18 Chris Singleton (Florida State) Washington Wizards. Singleton played in 148 games over three seasons for Washington. He averaged 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds for his career. Since being let go by Washington Singleton has spent time in the D-League, the Chinese Basketball Association and has played professionally in Russia. In the NBA draft at this point it’s tough to call anyone a bust; so what would you describe Singleton as?
#19 Tobias Harris (Tennessee) Milwaukee Bucks. Harris spent a season and a half with Milwaukee before being traded to the Orlando magic where his scoring really improved. He never averaged more than 5.0 points per game with Milwaukee, but once he got to Orlando his average went right into double digits. Then after three plus seasons with Orlando Harris was traded again this time to the Detroit Pistons. Harris has a career scoring average of 13.2 points per game.
#20 Donatas Motiejūnas (Lithuania) Minnesota Timberwolves. Drafted by Minnesota, but traded to Houston on draft night Motiejunas took a year to join the Rockets. He has battled some injury issues as he’s played in 214 games over his four seasons with Houston. He proved when he’s healthy and playing he can score as he averaged a career high 12.0 points per game when he played in a career high 71 games in the 2014-15 season. He appeared in 37 games last season and was healthy enough to play in 5 playoff games for the Rockets.
#21 Nolan Smith (Duke) Portland Trail Blazers. Smith spent just two season in the NBA with the Trail Blazers. He played in 84 games starting 4 of them. His career scoring average is 3.3 points per game. Smith spent time playing in Croatia, Turkey and the D-League before joining the Duke coaching staff as a special assistant in February of this year.
#22 Kenneth Faried (Morehead State) Denver Nuggets. Faried has become a staple along the Nuggets front line since being drafted. He has been a double digit scorer and a tough rebounder since being drafted. Faried averages 12.3 points oer game and 8.7 rebounds per game in his career. Faried was a member of the United States national team that won the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup; Faried was also named to the All-Tournament team. In January 2016, Faried was announced as one of the 30 finalists for United States national team that will compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
#23 Nikola Mirotic (Spain) Houston Rockets. Another player drafted by one team, but sent to another right away as Mirotic is with the Chicago Bulls. Mirotic has played just two NBA seasons for the Bulls. He missed some time last season due to injury, but has averaged double digit points in his first two seasons. It was thought that Mirotic would be a 3-point shooting threat, but he’s shooting 35.5% from behind the 3-point line in his career. His percentage did improve last season; so maybe he’ll end up fitting that role.
#24 Reggie Jackson (Boston College) Oklahoma City Thunder. Jackson was with Oklahoma City for three and a half season, but with Russell Westbrook as the starting point guard it was tough for Jackson to get minutes. Jackson let the Thunder know he was unhappy and ended up being dealt to the Detroit Pistons where he’s found playing time and shown he can score. In his first partial season with Detroit Jackson averaged 17.6 points per game. Last season in 79 games Jackson averaged 18.8 points per game. Did he just need to play?
#25 MarShom Brooks (Providence) Boston Celtics. Brooks right to the New Jersey Nets in a draft day trade. Brooks played in 164 games over three seasons with four teams. He averaged 7.7 points per game in his NBA career. Brooks played with the Emporio Armani Milano in the Italian League in 2014 and he signed to play in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Jiangsu Dragons in August of 2015.
#26 Jordan Hamilton (Texas) Dallas Mavericks. Another deal here as Hamilton went to the Denver Nuggets on draft day. Hamilton spent three plus seasons with Denver before being dealt to Houston Rockets. After finishing the 2013-14 season with Houston Hamilton signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. After spending a few seasons in the D-League Hamilton is now playing for the Bucaneros de La Guaira in the Liga Profesional de Baloncesto in Venezuela.
#27 JaJuan Johnson (Purdue) New Jersey Nets. Another trade here as Johnson went from the Nets to the Boston Celtics in draft day. Johnson played just one season with the Celtics. In 36 games he averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. Johnson spent some time in the D-League before heading overseas to play. He’s spent the last three seasons playing overseas and is currently with Pallacanestro Cantù in the Italian League.
#28 Norris Cole (Cleveland State) Chicago Bulls. Cole was dealt to the Miami Heat on draft day and spent four plus seasons with the Heat. Miami traded Cole to the New Orleans Pelicans. Cole posted his highest per game scoring average of 9.9 with New Orleans. Cole is the Pelicans back up point guard. Cole was part of two NBA championship teams while with the Heat.
#29 Cory Joseph (Texas) San Antonio Spurs. Joseph spent four seasons with the Spurs coming off the bench before signing a free agent deal with the Toronto Raptors. Joseph played in a career high 80 games for the Raptors; starting four of them. He also posted his career high in points per game 8.5, assists per game 3,1 and rebounds per game 2.6 with Toronto last season. His deal with Toronto was for four year and $30 million.
#30 Jimmy Butler (Marquette) Chicago Bulls. With the last pick of the 1st round the Bulls found a quality player in Butler. He has battled some injuries as he’s played in all 82 games just once in his career. He had his best season last season posting career highs in scoring average with 20.9 points per game and assists with 4.8 assists per game. Butler received a five year $95 million dollar contract from the Bulls in July of 2015.
There you go! How did your favorite team do in this draft. Did they find a guy they could build around and win a title with? Or is the guy they picked playing in another country right now.
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