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Draft History - 2nd Picks

The Grizzlies head into next week’s Draft Lottery with the best odds at winning the top overall pick, and are guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth overall. This week, grizzlies.com will take a look at NBA drafts from the past 10 years and examine the recent history of each of the top four picks, counting down from the fourth pick to the first pick.

Today we look at the recent history of the second overall draft pick, beginning 10 years ago in 1997.

Keith Van Horn

1997: Keith Van Horn

Selected second overall by the Philadelphia 76ers

Van Horn’s draft rights were traded to New Jersey, where he spent five years. Early in his career he was known as one of the most versatile frontcourt players in the league, routinely averaging over 15 points and seven rebounds per game while shooting 35% from three-point range. He became something of a journeyman later in his career, suiting up for four teams in four seasons, including last year’s Mavericks team that went to the NBA Finals. He did not play in 2006-07, taking a year off to spend time with family. He has career averages of 16.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

Mike Bibby

1998: Mike Bibby

Selected second overall by the Vancouver Grizzlies

Bibby spent three seasons with the Grizzlies, increasing his scoring and assists each year, before being traded to the Sacramento Kings prior to the 2001-02 season. Bibby still ranks second in Grizzlies history with 1,675 assists he compiled in his three seasons in Vancouver. He became a major contributor to the Kings teams that made five straight playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2002 Western Conference Finals, before they failed to qualify in 2006-07. Bibby has career averages of 17.1 points and 4.7 assists per game.

Steve Francis

1999: Steve Francis

Selected second overall by the Vancouver Grizzlies

The Grizzlies held the second overall pick in the draft for the second year in a row and selected Steve Francis, but traded his draft rights to Houston before the season. While Francis routinely posted averages of 19 points, six rebounds and six assists with the Rockets, only once did they make the playoffs in his time there, and were eliminated in the first round. He’s since played with Orlando and New York, and has yet to get back to the postseason. Francis has career averages of 18.4 points, 6.1 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Stromile Swift

2000: Stromile Swift

Selected second overall by the Vancouver Grizzlies

In 2000 the Grizzlies again held the second overall pick in the draft, and selected Stromile Swift. Apart from a one-year sojourn in Houston, Swift has spent his entire career with the Grizzlies, alternately thrilling and frustrating fans. He’s a prolific shot blocker and can be a very effective rebounder, but offensively his points still come primarily from dunks and putbacks, and he has yet to become a regular starter. Swift has career averages of 8.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

Tyson Chandler

2001: Tyson Chandler

Selected second overall by the Los Angeles Clippers

Chandler had his draft rights traded to Chicago, where the Bulls were hoping he and Eddy Curry would be the twin towers for a new generation. It didn’t quite work out as planned for the Bulls, as the duo made just one playoff appearance as teammates. While he’s limited offensively, Chandler is an excellent rebounder and shot blocker. In his first season with the Hornets in 2006-07, he ranked second in the league in rebounds with 12.4 per game, and 13th in blocks with 1.77 per game. With Chris Paul at the point and Chandler in the middle, the Hornets have two important building blocks in place.

Jason (Jay) Williams

2002: Jason (Jay) Williams

Selected second overall by the Chicago Bulls

After a rookie season in which he averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 assists for the Bulls, Williams was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident in June 2002, in which he severed a main nerve in his leg, fractured his pelvis and tore three ligaments in his left knee. After enduring several years of rehabilitation, Williams attempted a comeback last season with the New Jersey Nets, but was cut from the team prior to the start of the season.

Darko Milicic

2003: Darko Milicic

Selected second overall by the Detroit Pistons

The Pistons got the second pick in the 2003 draft from the Grizzlies to fulfill a trade made several years earlier. They passed on Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to take Milicic, figuring that with a great team already in place, they could afford to wait for him to develop. Unfortunately for the Pistons, that didn’t happen in Detroit. Buried on the bench and stripped of his confidence, Milicic never contributed to the Pistons, who traded him to Orlando midway through the 2004-05 season. With consistent minutes in 2006-07, Milicic averaged 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.

Emeka Okafor

2004: Emeka Okafor

Selected second overall by the Charlotte Bobcats

The first-ever draft pick in Bobcats history, Emeka Okafor made an immediate impact by averaging a double-double as a rookie and winning the league’s Rookie of the Year Award. Injuries limited him to 26 games in his second season, but he came back strong in 2006-07, posting 14.4 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. While he isn’t the centerpiece of their offense, Okafor is an outstanding defensive player who will anchor the Bobcats’ interior for years to come.

Marvin Williams

2005: Marvin Williams

Selected second overall by the Atlanta Hawks

Despite heading into the 2005 Draft needing a point guard, the Hawks bypassed both Deron Williams and Chris Paul to select athletic swingman Marvin Williams. His development hasn’t been as quick as Williams’ and Paul’s, as he averaged 8.5 points per game as a rookie. His minutes increased in 2006-07, and his points rose to 13.1 per game, but he still shot just 43.3% from the field and 24.4% from three-point range, numbers virtually identical to his rookie season.

LaMarcus Aldridge

2006: LaMarcus Aldridge

Selected second overall by the Chicago Bulls

Aldridge had his draft rights sent to Portland in a deal that sent Tyrus Thomas to Chicago. Like Thomas, he got off to a slow start, but by the end of the season he was a valuable contributor to the Blazers. Portland inserted him into the starting lineup in April, and Aldridge exploded with 14.7 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in the month. Next season the challenge for Aldridge will be to post those numbers over an entire season.