Drafts are exciting, there is no way around that. Everyone at some point in their life really gets into a draft whether it be football, basketball or even baseball.
One of the reasons these drafts are so exciting is because they have a certain unknown mystery to them. There is uncertainty in all drafts in every sports and nothing personifies this better then sleeper prospects who generally fly under the radar — well until they get to the NBA and begin to light things up.
It makes not having the first, or second or even the thirtieth pick in the draft something to watch; there very well could be a solid player coming to your team if it the pick’s not glitzy and doesn’t have a unibrow.
Notable sleepers in recent memory include Rashard Lewis who was taken 32nd overall in 1998, Manu Ginobili who was sleeked 57th in 1999, Mo Williams who went 47th in 2003, Monta Ellis who went 40th in 2005, and Marc Gasol who went 48th in 2007.
What do all of these aforementioned guys have in common? They were all second round selections and with the exception of Lewis they were all mid to late second round selections.
It’s tough to sort out a sleeper pick int he second round because if you aren’t projected to go in the top 25 and you outperform your expectations, you’re pretty much a sleeper — that’s the definition of one.
But you do have players fall and other unforeseeable events happen which make it seem like a guy taken later isn’t that good. The guys I’m about to name aren’t those guys. They’re the guys that are barely on the radar’s of the most die hard fans.
Well okay maybe they’re not that obscure, but they definitely won’t be in any danger of going above the 28th pick.
And for the record, don’t compare the NBA Draft value to that of the much more popular NFL scale. grid round talents in the NFL are still expected to perform at a high level. To get a grasp of the value system of the NBA Draft think of it this way: picks 1-10 are the first round, picks 11-15 are the second round, picks 16-22 are the third round, picks 23-28 are the third round, picks 29-32 are the fourth round — you see where I’m going with this?
The Spurs grabbing Manu Ginobili at 57th overall in 1999 is the equivalent of Tom Brady in the NFL who went in the 6th round and did what he did.
In other words it’s rarer then half of the things Indiana Jones hunts for.
So are we going to see any Ginobili’s in the 2012 draft? Probably not, but there is a pretty good chance you could see a few Mo Williams or Kyle Korver’s creep put of the woodwork as a second round sleeper. .