Last week’s NBA Draft Lottery officially locked the Bucks in at the number two overall pick. While selecting first carries considerably more fanfare, Milwaukee will be in excellent position to grab one of the draft’s top talents. Let’s take a look back at each of the second overall picks from the past ten years.
2004: Emeka Okafor, F/C, UConn
The Bobcats’ first ever draft selection, Okafor dominated as a junior at UConn, averaging 17.6 points and 11.5 rebounds while shooting just under 60 percent from the field. His 15.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game as a rookie earned him Rookie of the Year honors, though his first season in the league was arguably his best. Okafor would never top 14.4 points in a season again and missed the entirety of 2013-14 with a neck injury.
2005: Marvin Williams, F, North Carolina
Atlanta took the high-upside freshman, who averaged only 22.2 minutes per game for the Tar Heels’ 2004-05 National Championship squad, one pick before Deron Williams and two picks ahead of Chris Paul. While the pick wasn’t really questioned at the time, Williams has never turned into a real difference-maker in the NBA. He’s never managed to shoot better than 46.2 percent from the field and has averaged fewer than 10 points per game each of the last two seasons.
2006: LaMarcus Aldridge, F, Texas
Aldridge was traded to Portland on draft night as part of a deal that landed Chicago Tyrus Thomas (the 4th overall pick in 2006). After averaging only 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds as a rookie, Aldridge assumed a much larger role in his second season, raising his production to 17.8 points and 7.6 boards. He’s steadily improved over the course of his career and emerged as the driving force behind an upstart Blazers squad this season. The 28-year-old put up 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game – all career-highs.
2007: Kevin Durant, F, Texas
At this point in his career, Durant’s resume speaks for itself. Of course, Portland selecting Greg Oden over the future hall-of-famer will forever live in infamy, but at the time, taking the dominant center over the rail-thin Durant was the right move. Durant showed the ability to score at an elite level as a rookie and has since taken his game to new heights, capturing his first MVP award this season after averaging 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists while shooting 50.3 precent from the field.
2008: Michael Beasley, F, Kansas State
One of the more dominant college players in recent memory, Beasley’s lone season at Kansas State was enough to entice Miami into using its pick on the troubled-but-talented lefty. While fellow top five picks Derrick Rose (1), Russell Westbrook (4) and Kevin Love (5) have gone on to All-Star careers, it’s still difficult to label Beasley a bust. He’s far from a “team player,” but has proven to be a capable, albeit inefficient, producer on the offensive end. Beasley spent 2012-13 with Phoenix, averaging 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds in 75 games, before spending 2013-14 with Miami, where he appeared in only 55 contests.
2009: Hasheem Thabeet, C, UConn
Thabeet took great leaps in his final two seasons at UConn, but it was almost immediately clear that his skill set didn’t translate well to the NBA. Picked between Blake Griffin and James Harden, Thabeet is now one of the indisputable busts in recent draft history. The 7-3 center averaged a career-high 3.1 points and 3.6 rebounds (also a career high) as a rookie and has gone on to start a total of 10 games over the last four seasons, during which time he’s played for four different teams.
2010: Evan Turner, G/F, Ohio State
After a productive and consistent college career, Turner went second overall to the 76ers, averaging 7.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists as a rookie. He’s shown improvement as an overall player but is nowhere near the complete talent once considered worthy of the high selection. Turner was averaging 17.4 points and 6.0 rebounds for a reeling Sixers squad this season before being shipped to Indiana for Danny Granger at the deadline.
2011: Derrick Williams, F, Arizona
Like Beasley, Williams entered the league as a bit of a tweener and has experienced difficulty fitting into rotations. After two-and-a-half frustrating seasons in Minnesota, during which he shot less than 43 percent from the field, Williams was dealt to the Kings. In 67 games for Sacramento this season, Williams averaged 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds on 43.7 percent shooting. Still just 23, Williams remains a high-upside athlete who has the skills to flourish in certain situations.
2012: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Kentucky
Two years into his NBA career, Kidd-Gilchrist appears to be keeping up the trend of disappointing wing players selected second overall. Though he’s already an elite defender, Kidd-Gilchrist is one of the worst offensive players in the NBA at his position, managing fewer than six shot attempts per game and shooting 61.4 percent from the line. Kidd-Gilcrhist knows his role with Charlotte and plays it well, but he’s yet to provide the value expected at number two overall.
2013: Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana
Oladipo was one of the few bright spots for an otherwise underwhelming 2013 class. He finished second to Michael Carter-Williams in Rookie of the Year voting after posting 16.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 31.1 minutes. Already a plus-defender, Oladipo is now the centerpiece of Orlando’s young corps that stands to gain another high-upside young player with the fourth pick in the 2014 draft.