When a general manager of an NBA team sits down to project which player he wants to draft, how does he make his decision? It certainly isn’t always the easiest choice to make, because sometimes players can truly surprise you beyond belief. In fact, in this list, we are going to talk about the players that shocked us, and made us feel foolish for ever doubting them. These are the players that were drafted late… these are the ones that were drafted so deep that most of us turned the television off by the time their names were called, because we figured all the “good players” were gone.
Because there is something that guys like Draymond Green, Manu Ginobili, and Paul Millsap all have in common. They may have been drafted in the second round, but they had a certain grit to them. They had a chip on their shoulder that irked them in a certain way. The truly exceptional players are bothered by getting drafted so late, because they know how much they have to give. And when it comes to these guys, they remind us why we watch the game in the first place. It’s the passion, it’s the soul, it’s whatever you want to call that thing that separates a talented specimen from a champion.
Any time a player gets their own nickname, you know it’s a sign that they did something right – especially when the nickname is “Agent Zero.” In fact, when he was asked why he gave himself the number zero, he responded that it was because when he was playing college ball for Arizona, zero was the amount of minutes that people predicted he would play in the NBA. It would seem that folks continued to underestimate this man when he dropped to number 31 in the 2001 draft. He would later show them their mistake, becoming an All Star and one of the league’s leading scorers for three straight seasons while on the Wizards.