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Casual NBA fans might turn the channel on Draft night after Adam Silver has announced the entire first round and Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum takes the stage to breeze through Round 2.
But true hoops junkies truly enjoy the second round of the NBA Draft. At times, it’s just as interesting as Round 1.
The Cavaliers didn’t make a second round pick this past June – instead packaging their bounty of them to jump up and nab Kevin Porter Jr. – who was viewed by some as the steal of the 2019 Draft, and through his first 50 games looks like he’s just that.
Actually, the Cavs haven’t made their own second round pick since selecting Sir’Dominic Pointer with the 53rd overall pick out of St. John’s in 2015. Pointer hasn’t made a splash with Cleveland yet, but as a member of the Canton Charge, the defensive gem is the only G-Leaguer to finish with 80-plus blocks and 80-plus steals in a single season.
And yes, there are some guys that have slipped through the cracks. Second rounders are also notorious for having great second or third acts. So, for every Danny Green or Dan Roundfield that drifted away, there’s a Mark Price or World B. Free that the Cavaliers came away with.
The list of second rounders who’ve made massive NBA contributions is long – from Dennis Rodman to Alex English to Willis Reed. But for today’s Cava-List, here’s a look at some guys who’ve had their name called by the Deputy Commish …
Not only was Hot Rod Williams not the Cavaliers’ first round pick in 1985, he wasn’t even the team’s top second round pick.
After originally taking John Hay High School and Virginia Union star Charles Oakley with the 9th overall pick – then immediately trading him to the Bulls in exchange for Keith Lee and Ennis Whatley – the Cavaliers selected Calvin Duncan out of VCU with the 30th overall pick. At No. 45, they selected John “Hot Rod” Williams out of Tulane.
Duncan never played a minute in the NBA. Hot Rod proceeded to decorate the Cavaliers record books as a central figure of Lenny Wilkens’ brilliant squads from the late-80s and early-90s.
In terms of all-time Cavalier franchise rankings, the late, great Williams – who passed away in 2015 – still ranks 5th in games played, 7th in points scored, 7th in field goals made and attempted, 4th in free throws made and attempted, 3rd in offensive rebounds, 4th in defensive rebounds and 5th in total rebounds, 3rd in minutes, 6th in steals and 2nd in blocked shots.
In his seven seasons with the Wine and Gold, Daniel Gibson didn’t put up the numbers that Hot Rod Williams did. But up until June 2, 2007, no Cavalier had a bigger shooting night on a bigger stage than Booby.
Gibson’s monster performance that night sent the Pistons packing – drilling all five three-pointers he attempted, going 7-of-9 from the floor overall and hitting on 12-of-15 free throws. LeBron set Detroit Basketball up in Game 5, Booby knocked it down in Game 6.
Gibson was the 42nd overall pick out of Texas in the 2006 Draft that saw Cleveland tab Michigan State guard Shannon Brown with the 25th overall pick of the first round.
Brown averaged 4.7ppg in two seasons with the Wine and Gold; Gibson spent seven with Cleveland, averaging double-figure scoring in two of them and shooting .407 from long-range for his career.
An ugly breakup tainted one of the Wine and Gold’s true Draft success stories when Carlos Boozer bolted for Salt Lake City as a free agent following the 2003-04 season. It left the city with a bad taste in its mouth, mostly because even then fans knew how dynamic the pairing of Boozer and then-Rookie of the Year LeBron James could have made.
After tabbing Dajuan Wagner out of Memphis with the 6th overall pick in 2002, Cleveland selected the rugged forward from Duke with the 35th overall pick in Round 2.
After a rock-solid rookie season, Boozer was outstanding as a sophomore alongside James – averaging 15.5 points and 11.4 boards per, the first Cavalier to average a double-double in nearly a decade.
After averaging double-figures in his rookie season, the Cavaliers – who sent three other freshmen to the Rookie Challenge at 1998 All-Star Weekend – thought Cedric Henderson would be part of a stellar rebuilding class that included Brevin Knight, Derek Anderson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
Henderson played more games in a Cavs uniform than either Anderson or Knight, but his numbers declined over his four years in Cleveland and he never fully recaptured the magic of his first season, averaging 7.5ppg in 248 games.
Lenny Wilkens’ successful teams that challenged Jordan’s Bulls back in the day were known as a cerebral, finesse squad. When the Cavaliers grabbed Chucky Brown with the 43rd pick out of North Carolina State in 1989, they were looking for something different – a physical energy player with boundless athleticism.
Brown played parts of three seasons with the Cavaliers during that era and signed on with Cleveland briefly in the 2000-01 season.
Between his early stint and that one, Brown played for 12 different NBA teams – and made it a baker’s dozen, signing with Sacramento before calling it quits in 2002.
If you’re thinking that we purposely buried the ones that got away down here beneath Chucky Brown, you’re completely wrong.
OK, so a couple Cavalier second rounders found fame and fortune elsewhere. In the NBA, that kind of thing happens.
After being drafted with the 46th overall pick out of North Carolina in 2009, Danny Green played just 20 games with the Cavaliers as a rookie. After a stint with the Erie Bayhawks, Green signed on with the San Antonio Spurs, where he won the NBA title in 2014. The defensive stalwart won his second ring with Toronto last season.
Joe Harris, who Cleveland drafted with the 33rd overall pick in 2014 was just in the wrong place at the wrong time for the Cavaliers – a veteran Championship-contending squad with little room to groom a rookie. Traded to the Magic early in his sophomore season and subsequently released by Orlando, Harris proceeded to win the Three-Point Shootout and was the league’s percentage champ one season ago.
The Cavaliers selected Dan Roundfield with the 28th pick out of Central Michigan back in 1975, but that was back when the NBA Draft had 10 rounds. Cleveland selected a guy named Jim Buskofsky out of Upper Iowa that year – and he wasn’t even their final selection.
All Dan Roundfield did was average 15.2 points over 11 NBA seasons, earning two All-Star nods and earning a reputation as one of the best defenders of his generation.
So just to wrap up, here’s our List Within a List of all the Cavaliers second rounders over the years, from Dave Sorenson at No. 26 overall in 1970 to the aforementioned Sir’Dominic Pointer in 2015.
1970: Dave Sorenson (26) Ohio State
1971: Steve Patterson (18) UCLA; Wille Long (35) New Mexico
1972: Steve Hawes (24) Washington
1973: Al Hornyak (26) Ohio State
1975: Dan Roundfield (28) Central Michigan; Mel Utley (33) St. John’s
1976: Mo Howard (32) Maryland
1977: Eddie Jordan (33) Rutgers
1978: Harry Davis (33) Florida State
1979: Bruce Flowers (26) Notre Dame
1982: David Magley (28) Kansas
1983: John Garris (27) Boston College
1984: Ron Anderson (27) Fresno State
1985: Calvin Duncan (30) VCU; John Williams (45) Tulane
1986: Johnny Newman (29) Richmond
1987: Kannard Johnson (41) Western Kentucky
1989: Chucky Brown (43) North Carolina State
1990: Stefano Rusconi (52) Ranger Vanese
1991: Jimmy Oliver (39) Purdue
1994: Gary Collier (42) Tulsa
1995: Donny Marshall (39) Connecticut
1996: Reggie Geary (56) Arizona
1997: Cedric Henderson (45) Memphis
1998: Ryan Stack (48) South Carolina
1999: A.J. Bramlett (39) Arizona
2001: Jeff Trepagnier (36) USC
2002: Carlos Boozer (35) Duke
2003: Jason Kapono (30) UCLA
2006: Daniel Gibson (42) Texas; Ejike Ugboaja (55) Nigeria
2009: Danny Green (46) North Carolina
2011: Justin Harper (32) Richmond; Milan Macvan (54) Serbia
2012: Bernard James (33) Florida State; Jae Crowder (34) Marquette
2013: Allen Crabbe (31) California; Carrick Felix (33) Arizona State
2014: Joe Harris (33) Virginia
2015: Sir’Dominic Pointer (53) St. John’s