2024 NBA Draft

Spotlighting 10 second-round picks from every year since 2014

Over the last 10 years, these second-round picks have proven to be valuable picks for their teams.

Reigning Kia MVP Nikola Jokic (right) and Rockets swingman Dillon Brooks are 2 standout former 2nd-round picks.

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With the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft now complete, all eyes turn toward the ESPN Seaport Studios, where the second set of selections will be made Thursday afternoon (4 ET, ESPN).

How might teams fare as they look further down their Draft boards? Pretty well! There’s starting-quality talent to be found, year in and year out. The trick becomes identifying it — missing here hurts less, but every gain is an advantage.

Here’s a look at the last 10 years of second-round picks, with a spotlight on the best player in each group:

2014: Nikola Jokic (41st pick) 

Career stats: 675 games | 20.9 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 6.9 apg
Kia MVP (2020-21, 2021-22, 2023-24), Finals MVP (2023), All-NBA (6x), All-Star (6x), All-Rookie First Team

Honorable mention: Jerami Grant, Jordan Clarkson

If you’re a three-time Kia MVP award winner, and you were selected in the second round, you are almost surely the best player in the overall draft. That is indeed the case for Jokic, who gets surprisingly solid second-round pushback from a slew of 10-season vets, from Grant (who’s averaged 20 ppg or more in three different seasons) and Clarkson (a former Kia Sixth Man of the Year winner).

2015: Montrezl Harrell (32nd pick)

Career stats: 515 games | 12.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg
Kia Sixth Man of the Year (2019-20)

Honorable mention: Josh Richardson, Norman Powell

Another second-round pick with hardware in the closet, Harrell has three top-10 finishes for Kia Sixth Man of the Year to complement his 2019-20 campaign. Again, multiple lengthy career contributors were found, with Powell, Osman and Connaughton among them.

2016: Malcolm Brogdon (36th pick)

Career stats: 439 Games | 15.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.7 apg
Kia Rookie of the Year (2016-17), Kia Sixth Man of the Year (2022-23), All-Rookie First Team

Honorable mention: Ivica Zubac, Georges Niang

On the move to D.C. after a Draft-day deal, Brogdon opened his NBA career by earning Kia Rookie of the Year honors, and following it with Kia Sixth Man hardware seven seasons later. The versatile combo guard outshines his class, though Patrick McCaw notably scooped up three championships in three seasons after winning two with the Kevin Durant-era Warriors … and then being traded north of the border midway through the Raptors’ 2018-19 title campaign.

2017: Dillon Brooks (45th pick) 

Career stats: 417 games | 14.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg
2022-23 All-Defensive Second Team

Honorable mention: Monte Morris, Thomas Bryant, Isaiah Hartenstein

Known as “The Villian” for his willingness to take on crowd (and opponent) heat, Brooks quickly found a role as an emotional leader on the rising Grizzlies. And then after pushing it far enough, they were ready to move on, he recast himself as a savvy vet and helped propel the Rockets toward a late run at the Western Conference Play-In Tournament in 2023-24.

2018: Jalen Brunson (33rd pick)

Career stats: 422 Games | 16.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.7 apg
2023-24 All-NBA Second Team, All-Star (1x)

Honorable mention: Mitchell Robinson, Bruce Brown

A 2018 Wooden Award winner as the Most Outstanding Player in NCAA men’s basketball and two-time tournament champion at Villanova, Brunson found his NBA legs coming off the bench, earning Kia Sixth Man of the Year votes by his third season. But it was a mid-career move to helming point for the Knicks that sent him into the stratosphere, where a top-5 Kia MVP finish was complemented by All-NBA and All-Star honors. Robinson, who is Brunson’s teammate in New York, is among several regular contributors (Devonte’ Graham, Jevon Carter and Jarred Vanderbilt) to emerge from this second-round grouping.

Jalen Brunson came up big in Game 5 of the East semifinals vs. Indiana.

2019: Daniel Gafford (38th pick)

Career stats: 515 games | 8.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg

Honorable mention: Nic Claxton, Terance Mann 

A tough call to make for the top spot here, with Gafford finding a quicker role — and now helping boost the Mavericks to an NBA Finals appearance — while Claxton’s rapid improvement has left the Nets with an All-Defensive candidate roaming the paint. And the Clippers have kept guard Mann around for their recent playoff pushes, even as other talent came in droves.

2020: Xavier Tillman Sr. (35th pick)

Career stats: 227 games | 6.0 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Honorable mention: Paul Reed, KJ Martin, Tre Jones

Finding himself in a favorable situation with the Grizzlies, Tillman got rolling as a bench big, eventually parlaying that into a rotation spot with the Celtics as they geared up at the trade deadline for what proved to be a championship run. Reed, Martin and Jones have each found solid roles, and are set to be vets as they work their way toward a decade in the league.

2021: Herb Jones (35th pick)

Career stats: 220 Games | 10.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg
All-Defensive First Team (2023-24), All-Rookie Second Team (2021-22)

Honorable mention: Miles McBride, Ayo Dosunmu

Though McBride and Dosunmu have each established clear roles with the Knicks and Bulls, respectively, Jones has been head and shoulders above the rest of his peers. All-Defensive honors finally arrived in 2023-24, as his penchant for locking up opponents and swatting away their seemingly open 3s kept hitting the highlight reels as the Pelicans became more competitive in the West.

2022: Andrew Nembhard (31st pick)

Career stats: 143 Games | 9.4 ppg, 4.3 apg

Honorable mention: Jaden Hardy, Vince Williams Jr.

Coming out of Gonzaga, Nembhard quickly earned the trust of Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, slotting in alongside All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton. Nembhard elevated his game — putting up 14.9 ppg and 5.5 apg in 17 playoff games — as Indiana made its run to the 2024 Eastern Conference Finals. His 32-point outing in Game 3 nearly derailed a Celtics sweep.

2023: GG Jackson II (45th pick) 

Career stats: 48 Games | 14.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg

Honorable mention: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Toumani Camara

Jackson — one of the youngest players in the 2023 Draft — started the season in the NBA G League, averaging 20.2 ppg across 16 games. Injuries opened an opportunity in Memphis, and Jackson capitalized, notably earning stunning praise from NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal following a 23-point performance on national TV.

Warriors big Trayce Jackson-Davis — son of former Pacers standout Dale Davis — kept earning more and more time with Golden State, an infusion of youth into Steve Kerr’s grizzled rotation. With the Blazers entrenched in their post-Lillard rebuild, Toumani Camara ascended to playing 24.8 minutes per game in Portland, starting more than half his games.

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Ben Couch is a producer for NBA.com.

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