For the purposes of this exercise, we only included players who were drafted after 1980. This was the year when the draft expanded to 20-plus picks in the first round. As a result, we won’t include players such as Willis Reed — who was technically a second-round pick in 1964 (but the 10th selection overall). Now, for the list:
25. Jerami Grant (39th Pick, 2014)
Fresh off winning a gold medal in Japan, Jerami Grant will look to build upon a career year in Detroit. While some questioned Grant’s decision to leave a playoff contender in Denver, the move allowed Grant to showcase his abilities as a scorer. In his first year as a No. 1 option, Grant was a borderline All-Star who averaged 22.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 1.1 BPG. He became a more confident shooter off-the-dribble, and got to the foul line at nearly double the rate he had in the previous year.
Grant’s stock is only going up from here. The 27-year-old has just begun to scratch the surface of his talents. Grant has already shown that he was undervalued in the 2014 draft. He’s a 20 PPG scorer with innate defensive abilities. Teams around the league are always on the lookout for 6-foot-8 athletes who can shoot, defend, and dribble. It’s a wonder how Grant slipped through the cracks.
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24. Malcolm Brogdon (36th Pick, 2016)
We don’t need to wait until Malcolm Brogdon’s career comes to a close before honoring him as one of the great second round picks in NBA history. After all, in 2017 he became the first second rounder in over 50 years to be named Rookie of the Year. He’s since gone on to prove that older prospects (Brogdon was 23 when he was drafted) shouldn’t be overlooked as it pertains to the NBA Draft. After the Bucks shockingly let Brogdon walk as a restricted free agent two years ago, the combo guard has thrived in his new home in Indiana.
Since joining the Pacers, Brogdon has averaged just under 19 points per game while posting 6.5 APG and 5.1 RPG. He’s well on his way to making his first All-Star appearance in short order. Brogdon’s alma mater, Virginia, has had a penchant for churning out quality NBA players who were overlooked during the draft process. Brooklyn Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris (33rd overall pick in ’14) has emerged as one of the great three-point shooters in the league — and narrowly missed out on making this list.
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