Although the first round of the NBA draft is the more exciting of the two, the second round tends to be the more interesting, as the remaining teams try to pick out the best little stars left on the board that will likely provide the talent needed for it. solidify their privilege.
We’ve seen this with players like Manu Ginobili, Marc Gasol, Draymond Green, and most notably, back-to-back MVP winner Nikola Jokic. While that “diamond in the rough” can be hard to find, each year presents another chance for a few teams to secure that overlooked rising star or two that could be something special in this league.
This year, the Falcons own 14y Choose in the second round (44y overall) and could easily be that team stumbling across bright, game-changing prospects. But in order to get a better feel and an idea of what kind of talent they could have with their choice, we’ll take a look at how history has evolved for the previous 44y General selection holders.
On that note, let’s get right to it.
2021 forty-fourth overall selection for the teamBrooklyn Networks
selected player: Kessler Edwards, San Francisco – Pepperdine
Rookie stats: 20.6 MP, 5.9 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 41.2 FG%, 35.3 3P%
With the Nets having a star-studded squad with plenty of starters in the big minutes, Kessler Edwards didn’t receive much playing time to showcase his talent until late December, when the nets’ turnover was depleted by injuries and COVID-19.
But when he had the chance, Edwards showed off his powerful skill set, based on his ability to score the ball well in and out of the ocean, smash glass with athletic power and anticipation, and exercise his defensive talent by blocking shots and staying ahead of his opponents. On December 14, Kesler recorded the first double of his career, scoring 17 points in a 58.3% shot from the field to go with ten rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
2020 overall selection 44 for the team: Chicago Bulls
selected player: Marko Simonovic, C – Montenegro
Rookie stats: 3.9 mpg, 1.9 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 0.1 BPG, 26.7 FG%, 20.0 3P%
If you thought Edwards had a hard time in Brooklyn getting time to play, think again when evaluating Marko Simonovic’s junior season. Given that Nikola Vucevic has often cemented a center position, any remaining minutes are usually allocated between Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley, leaving Simonovic with barely any extra work.
Simonovic has only played nine games for the Bulls this season, so he hasn’t had much to show for as a result. However, in his January loss to the Golden State Warriors, Simonovic scored an impressive eight points, four rebounds and one steal in just seven minutes of play.
2019 overall selection 44 for the team: Miami Heat
selected player: Paul Ball, BF – Oregon (Traded in the Denver Nuggets)
Career stats: 6.2 MP, 2.7 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.3 BPG, 47.8 FG%, 37.8 3P%
Given all the hype and excitement that has been going on around Bol Bol’s college exit potential, it was interesting to see how his young career in the NBA took shape.
Despite playing in 53 games during his first three seasons with the Denver Nuggets, Paul struggled to earn the playing time he needed to make a big impact, and when Michael Porter Jr. fell with a back injury at the end of the season, Aaron Gordon, Jeff Green and Jamical Green hit him for two other minutes.
Earlier this year, Paul was traded first to the Celtics and later to the Orlando Magic. He will not play a single match for either team due to undergoing surgery on his right foot in January.
2018 overall selection 44 for the team: Washington Wizards
selected player: Isof Sanon, PG – Ukraine
Despite being picked by the Wizards before the rights to his draft were traded with the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets, Issouf Sanon did not play in an NBA game. Although he never got a chance to play for the NBA team, Sanon decided to sign a one-year deal with a Slovenian club called Petrol Olimpica.
After his short stint in Slovenia, Sanon returned to Ukraine and played for Dnipro for only three seasons before signing with Lithuanian team BC Šiauliai earlier this year.
2016 overall selection 44 for the team: Atlanta Hawks
selected player: Isaia Cordinier, SG – France
Unfortunately, Cordiner did not play a single game in the NBA. On July 13, 2018, Cordiner’s draft rights were traded to the Brooklyn Nets, along with a future second-round pick for Jeremy Lynn and picks. In September 2021, the Nets relinquished the rights to Cordiner’s draft, making him an unrestricted free agent. While Cordiner’s NBA career was unsuccessful, he enjoyed a respected professional career abroad.
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