April 28, 2010
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—The season of struggle has given way to an offseason of optimism, and it begins by Looking Toward the Lottery. During the next few weeks, NJNets.com will take you through the process with our ongoing series. Stay tuned for more!
Since the lottery began in 1985, when the Knicks won the right to select clear No. 1 pick Patrick Ewing, teams have had to be open to the possibility they might not be drafting in order of finish. But that doesn’t mean good value will cease to be available for anyone who drops down. With the Nets guaranteed to pick at least fourth, we’ll take a historical swing through each of the team’s potential draft positions to see what could be.
Here’s a look at five No. 2 picks who went on to stand out after standing next to David Stern on draft day:
T-1. Jason Kidd (1994, Mavericks); Gary Payton (1990,
A pair of Oakland point guards proves that, indeed, the learner can become the master. Gary Payton mentored Jason Kidd growing up, and helped to mold a rival for point guard greatness. Tenacious D – nine consecutive All-Defensive First Team honors and a Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1996 – earned Payton a moniker forever attached to his resume: “The Glove.” Payton teamed up with Sean Kemp in Seattle, averaging 18 points, four rebounds, seven assists and two steals during his 12 1/2 seasons there, notably pushing the record-setting 72-win Bulls to six games in the 1996 NBA Finals. The fiery PG adapted his game to play complementary roles on several championshiop contenders before retiring in 2007, winning a championship in 2006 as a bench player with the Miami Heat.
Jason Kidd, the triple-double machine who ranks third all-time with 105, instantly made his presence known in the NBA by helping the last-place Mavericks improve by 20 wins during a rookie season that ended with him sharing Rookie of the Year honors with Grant Hill. Kidd established himself as one of the greatest guards in league history during his 6 1/2 seasons in New Jersey, where he resurrected a franchise and carried the Nets to consecutive NBA Finals appearances (2002-03). Kidd’s on-court versatility and vision can only be compared to the great Magic Johnson. Kidd joins Wilt Chamberlain and Magic Johnson as one of the three players to average a triple-double for more than one playoff series and is the only player in league history to record at least 15,000 points, 7,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists in his playing career. Still going at 37, Kidd averaged 10.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 9.1 assists for the Mavericks this season.
|Gary Payton||Jason Kidd|
|Career Stats||Career Stats|
3. Alonzo Mourning (1992,
The first player to have his number retired by the Miami Heat, Alonzo Mourning was simply known as “Zo.” An intimdiating force who twice was recognized as Defensive Player of the Year, Mourning joined the league one pick after Shaquille O’Neal, and earned a spot on the league’s All-Rookie First Team in 1993 after averaging 21.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks. Traded to Miami for Glen Rice in November 1995, Mourning spent several years memorably battling the Knicks in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Complications from a kidney disease led to an early retirement in 2003, but after an organ replacement operation Mourning returned, eventually winning a championship while backing up O’Neal for the Heat in 2006.
4. Kevin Durant (2007,
He’s only three seasons in, but Kevin Durant has already established himself as one of the league’s true superstars. The 2008 Rookie of the Year has already proven quite a prize for the Sonics Thunder, who drafted him after Portland selected Greg Oden in 2007. With a scoring title and a playoff appearance already under his belt, Durant has offered a tantalizing taste of what should be an impressive career.
5. Marcus Camby (1996, Toronto Raptors)
Thanks to Marketing Intern Craig Manfra and Marketing Assistant Dave M. Brown for the assist!