A Look Back: No. 15’s from the Lottery Era
By Becks Kenaw
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It may not be a Lottery pick, but the No. 15 pick in the NBA Draft has produced a number of players that have had long NBA careers (Steve Nash, anyone?). This year, the Bucks have the No. 15 pick thanks to their trade-deadline deal with Chicago, which is also the first pick after the Lottery (picks 1-14). To give fans a history of the No. 15 pick, we have year-by-year capsules on the players picked at No. 15 since the NBA Draft Lottery began in 1985. This is just the second time in franchise history that Milwaukee has had the No. 15 pick. Back in 2000 the Bucks took Jason Collier with the 15th pick, only to trade him on draft day for Joel Przybilla.
Below is a year-by-year list that includes everyone from long-time NBA vets Nash and Dell Curry, who combined have played 2,098 regular season NBA games, to Frederic Weis, who never suited up in the NBA.2009 Phoenix Earl Clark Louisville 6-10/Forward
Notable: Played in 51 regular season games for the Suns and is on the team's playoff roster ... played three games with Iowa in the D-League and averaged 21.7 points.
2008 Phoenix Robin Lopez Stanford 7-0/Center
Notable: Has a twin brother, Brook Lopez, who plays for the New Jersey Nets ... missed the last 10 regular season games with a back injury ... also missed Phoenix's first-round series against Portland and conference semifinal match-up against San Antonio ... returned to the Suns lineup on May 17 against the Lakers ... has played in 111 career games (as of May 20) with career averages of 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds.
2007 Detroit Rodney Stuckey Eastern Washington 6-5/Guard
Notable: 6-5 guard that has played in 209 career games with the Pistons with 134 starts ... averaged 16.6 points and 4.8 assists during the 2009-10 season ... career averages of 13.0 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game ... named to All-Rookie Second Team in 2007 ... had his number retired (No. 3) at Eastern Washington in 2009 ... the only player (past or present) from Eastern Washington to play in the NBA.
2006 NO/OKC Cedric Simmons North Carolina State 6-10/Forward
Notable: Played with four different teams from 2006-2009 including 43 games with New Orleans/Oklahoma City in 2006-07, seven games with Cleveland and seven games with Chicago in 2007-08, 11 games with Chicago and seven with Sacramento in 2008-09 ... averaged 2.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 75 career games ... played 13 games with the Idaho Stampede in the D-League during the 2009-10 season, averaging 14.8 and 7.1 rebounds per game.
2005 New Jersey Antoine Wright Texas A&M 6-7/Guard/Forward
Notable: Appeared in 290 career games with New Jersey, Dallas and Toronto ... played 67 games with Toronto during the 2009-10 season and averaged 6.5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game ... played 65 games with Dallas, starting 53, during the 2008-09 season.
Notable: Six-year NBA veteran and currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves ... played three seasons with Boston before being traded to the T'Wolves for Kevin Garnett ... was the first high school player to be drafted by the Celtics ... averaged 17.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 blocks during the 2009-10 season ... career averages of 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks per game ... played and started all 82 games during the 2007-08 season and averaged a career-high 11.1 rebounds per game.
2003 Orlando Reece Gaines Louisville 6-6/Guard
Notable: Native of Madison, Wisconsin ... went to Madison West High School before attending Louisville ... 71 career games over three years in the NBA (2003-06), including 23 games in two years (2004-06) with the Milwaukee Bucks ... averaged 1.2 points over two seasons with the Bucks ... spent the 2009-10 season with the Bakersfield Jam of the D-League and averaged 14.3 points, 4.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds.
2002 Houston Bostjan Nachbar Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia 6-9/Forward
Notable: Played 317 career games with Houston, New Orleans/Oklahoma City and New Jersey ... last played with the Nets during the 2007-08 season ... averaged 7.1 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 17.8 minutes over his career ... shot 37.5 percent from three-point range over his career ... one of eight NBA players from Slovenia ... born in the same city as Rasho Nesterovic (Ljubljana).
2001 Orlando Steven Hunter DePaul 7-0/Center
Notable: Eight-year NBA veteran who most recently played with Memphis during the 2009-10 season ... played three years with Orlando before playing with Phoenix, Philadelphia and Denver ... 400 career games with averages of 4.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks ... one of four current NBA players that went to DePaul (Wilson Chandler, Quentin Richardson and Bobby Simmons).
2000 Milwaukee Jason Collier Georgia Tech 7-0/Center
Notable: Never suited up for the Bucks as he was traded on draft day for Joel Przybilla ... played five seasons with Houston and Atlanta and played 151 career games ... passed away unexpectedly on October 15, 2005 at the age of 28 with a "sudden heart rhythm disturbance caused by an abnormally enlarged heart" ... averaged 5.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 14.4 minutes over his five-year career.
1999 New York Frederic Weis France 7-2/Center
Notable: Never signed with the Knicks and never played in the NBA ... has played in the Greek League and French League ... still playing overseas and most recently signed with ViveMenorca on February 13, 2010 ... part of the French National Basketball Team that won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympics.
1998 Orlando Matt Harpring Georgia Tech 6-7/Forward
Notable: Played 11 years in the NBA, most recently with the Utah Jazz ... on December 3, 2009, the Jazz announced that Harpring would miss the remainder of the season and "as a result of numerous surgeries and residual medical issues, (he) is no longer physically able to perform at an NBA level" ... his contract was included in a trade between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder but he was waived ... over 11 years he averaged 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 48.1 percent from the field ... played 665 career games with 349 starts ... Harpring is currently a studio analyst for NBA TV.
1997 Dallas Kelvin Cato Iowa State 6-11/Center
Notable: Played 541 career games (248 starts) in 11 years ... traded on draft day to the Portland Trailblazers and played there for two seasons ... also played for Houston (five seasons), Orlando, Detroit and ended his career in 2006-07 with New York ... averaged 5.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and shot 50.7 percent from the field over his career.
1996 Phoenix Steve Nash Santa Clara 6-3/Guard
Notable: You may have heard of him ... two-time league MVP, seven-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA Team honoree (most recently second team in 2009-10), career averages of 14.6 points, 8.3 assists (11.0 assists in 2009-10 season), 48.9 field goal percentage and 90.3 free throw percentage over 14 NBA seasons with Dallas and Phoenix, one of 11 active NBA players that have appeared in more than 1,000 regular season games (1,015) ... not ringing a bell? Well how about he is the only NBA player (past or present) that was born in South Africa? Nash was born in Johannesburg before his family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan when he was 18-months-old.
1995 Denver Brent Barry Oregon State 6-6/Guard
Notable: Had a 13-year NBA career including stops in Los Angeles (Clippers), Miami, Chicago, Seattle (five years), San Antonio (four years) and Houston ... traded on draft day by Denver to the Clippers ... played 912 career games, which was the most of any of the Barry brothers (Jon and Drew are also NBA vets and Brent's dad was NBA legend Rick Barry) ... averaged 9.3 points, 3.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 steal and shot 46.0 percent from the field, including 40.5 percent from three-point range, over his career ... part of the Spurs NBA Championship teams in 2005 and 2007 ... won the 1996 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
1994 Indiana Eric Piatkowski Nebraska 6-7/Guard/Forward
Notable: 14-year NBA veteran that played 789 career games ... the day after the 1994 NBA Draft he was traded to Los Angeles and spent nine seasons with the Clippers ... also played with Houston, Chicago and Phoenix ... last season in the league was 2007-08 with Phoenix ... career averages of 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists while shooting 43.4 percent from the field.
1993 Atlanta Doug Edwards Florida State 6-7/Forward
Notable: Played three years in the NBA; two with Atlanta and one with Vancouver during the 1995-96 season ... played 85 games, averaging 2.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 9.9 minutes per game ... currently working with the Kansas State men's basketball program as Director of Student-Athlete Development.
1992 L.A. Lakers Anthony Peeler Missouri 6-4/Guard
Notable: Played 13 years in the league, most recently during the 2004-05 season with Washington ... played four seasons with the Lakers, six years with Minnesota and also had stops in Vancouver and Sacramento ... averaged 9.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists ... shot 42.7 percent from the field (38.4 percent from three) in 827 career games.
1991 Atlanta Anthony Avent Seton Hall 6-9/Forward
Notable: Never played for the Hawks as he was traded to the Bucks on July 1, 1991 and played 115 games over two seasons in Milwaukee ... averaged 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game with the Bucks ... was traded by the Bucks to Orlando for Anthony Cook, Orlando's 1994 first round draft pick (Eric Mobley) and a 1995 second round draft pick (Rashard Griffith) ... played six seasons in the league (352 games) from 1992-96 and then again from 1998-00 ... also played for Orlando, Vancouver, Utah and the Clippers ... when he was out of the NBA, he played for Panathinaikos (Greece, 1996-97), the CBA's Sioux Falls Skyforce (1997-98) and most recently, in 2001, played for PAOK Thessaloniki B.C. (Greece).
1990 Miami Dave Jamerson Ohio University 6-5/Guard/Forward
Notable: Traded by Miami to Houston where he played two seasons with the Rockets ... spent his last season in the NBA (1993-94) with Utah and New Jersey ... played 90 career games, averaging 3.4 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.7 assists ... while at Ohio University, he hit 14 three-pointers and scored 60 points against the University of Charleston on December 21, 1989.
1989 Denver Todd Lichti Stanford 6-4/Guard/Forward
Notable: Played four of his five years in Denver and also suited up in Orlando, Golden State and Boston during his final season in the league (1993-94) ... averaged 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.4 assists on 46.0 field goal percentage in 237 career games ... played for the Perth Wildcats of the Australian National Basketball League in 1998.
1988 Seattle Gary Grant Michigan 6-3/Guard
Notable: Traded on draft day to the Clippers ... played in the league 13 years including seven seasons with the Clippers ... also played with New York, Miami and four years with Portland ... last season in the NBA was 2000-01 ... averaged 7.9 points, 5.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals while shooting 45.0 percent from the field in 552 career games.
1987 Utah Jose Ortiz Oregon State 6-10/Forward
Notable: Drafted two spots behind Bucks assistant coach Joe Wolf (Los Angeles Clippers, No. 13) ... Played 64 career games over two seasons in Utah and averaged 2.9 points and 1.1 rebounds ... originally from Albonito, Puerto Rico ... one of seven NBA players born in Puerto Rico.
1986 Utah Dell Curry Virginia Tech 6-4/Guard
Notable: Played 1,083 career games over 16 seasons, including 42 with the Bucks during the 1998-99 season ... picked ahead of Bucks Head Coach Scott Skiles (Milwaukee Bucks, No. 22) ... averaged 10.1 points and shot a league-leading 46.7 percent from three-point range with the Bucks ... finished his career averaging 11.7 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 45.7 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three-point range ... played with Utah his rookie season then went to Cleveland, Charlotte for 10 seasons and Toronto for the final three years of his career that ended in 2002 ... won NBA Sixth Man of the Year award during the 1993-94 season ... father of Golden State point guard Stephen Curry ... currently works as a TV analyst for the Charlotte Bobcats ... was also a baseball player and drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 14th round of the 1985 MLB Draft.
1985 Denver Blair Rasmussen Oregon 7-0/Center
Notable: Played eight years in the NBA, including six in Denver and two in Atlanta ... played 532 career games averaging 9.6 points, 5.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks.