We're back for another day of re-drafting the 2005 second round. As part 1 showed, there were some quality players available who were either drafted lower than they should have been (Monta Ellis, arguably Andray Blatche) or not at all. If there's a theme I picked up on, it's that it's definitely possible to find quality players all throughout the second round. All you need is a little luck and a good scouting department (hindsight doesn't hurt, either, nor does an honest assessment of roster needs even with the 55th pick).
The takeaway from this should be that while the 2005 draft is currently regarded as fairly weak, and I don't necessarily disagree with that assessment, "weak" can still equal NBA players. Here in part 2 we're working the back half of the second round, and while it may not be as star-studded as part 1, there are still some quality players to be found. See you after the jump.
46. Indiana Pacers (original pick - Erazem Lorbek)
As you've seen, there were a lot of European players taken this year that either didn't come over to the NBA at all or only stayed for a short time. Lorbek has some skills, but if the Pacers were looking for a center who needed to develop for a few years, might I suggest Martynas Andriuskevicius? It may seem like an odd pick, but if Andrius. (yes, I abbreviated it; you write that name twice in a row) hadn't been punched in the head by Awvee Storey, it's possible the Pacers could've drafted the next Rik Smits.
47. Minnesota Timberwolves (original pick - Bracey Wright)
Wright was a three-point shooter coming out of Indiana University, but the Timberwolves were lousy with guards that year, including current D-Leaguer Richie Frahm (and also Marcus Banks. I told you they were lousy). The only centers they had on their roster were Michael Olowokandi and Mark Blount. We're also running out of quality centers. Fortunately Dwayne Jones is still available.
48. Seattle Supersonics (original pick - Mikael Gelabale)
Gelabale had his career sidetracked by an ACL injury and by playing behind Rashard Lewis and Kevin Durant, but he was an interesting prospect when he was drafted. Seattle's backup point guard that year were was Mateen Cleaves, so maybe they should have looked in that direction. My pick is Roko Ukic
49. Washington Wizards (original pick - Andray Blatche)
This was the Wizards' only pick in the 2005 draft, and they did pretty well with it. After a few off-court incidents his first few seasons, Blatche has developed into a solid, if occasionally bone-headed, front-court player. Coach Eddie Jordan had/has a strange affinity for weak veterans, so Michael Ruffin and Etan Thomas both got more playing time that year than they should have. The Wizards were a little thin at shooting guard, though (sorry Billy Thomas), so Ronnie Price is right. (I'm so, so sorry)
50. Boston Celtics (original pick - Ryan Gomes)
Gomes was another decent player who got put in a situation where he had a lot of guys ahead of him on the depth chart. Boston's guards that year? Tony Allen, Delonte West, Ricky Davis, Orien Greene, Marcus Banks (yes, again. Again. Again.) and Dan Dickau. The Celtics would eventually trade for Ray Allen and draft Rajon Rondo, but for now I think we can safely call that an "area of need." The Celtics take Devin Green, who saw time at both guard spots for the LA D-Fenders before heading to Europe. He's not always efficient, but he's solid enough and has some rebounding ability as well.
51. Utah Jazz (original pick - Robert Whaley)
Another repeat drafter. Utah continued its love affair with ineffective centers, though in Whaley's case his struggles came off the court. I don't think Ryan Gomes would've fallen far, though, and he posted some decent rebound rates his first few years in the league. His work ethic would've appealed to Jerry Sloan as well.
52. Denver Nuggets (original pick - Axel Hervelle)
If this was a Sports Guy column I'd make a Beverly Hills Cop joke, but it's not, so let's just all sit here quietly. In all seriousness, Hervelle was the first Belgian player drafted by an NBA team. Unfortunately, there still has not been a Belgian player who's actually played in the NBA. Since Denver was looking at forwards, we'll give them Josh Powell, who has turned into a solid bench contributor in Los Angeles after a stint where? That's right, the D-League. You could flip the Gomes and Powell picks and I'd probably be okay with it.
53. Boston Celtics (original pick - Orien Greene)
We've established that Boston needed guards, even after drafting Green and even if we include Greene (that's not confusing at all). We're at the bottom of the second round now, though, where it's slim pickings. Travis Diener had a good college career playing next to Dwyane Wade (and even on his own after Wade graduated), and Diener would fit in well in Boston. You know why.
54. New York Knicks (original pick - Dijon Thompson)
If this was a Sports Guy column I'd make a mustard joke, but it's not, so let's just all sit here quietly. Again. Thompson ended up being traded to Phoenix and then assigned to the D-League, where he averaged 20 points a game before needing microfracture surgery on his right knee. He was mentioned as a solid option earlier, so I'll draft Mikael Gelabale while the Knicks hopes his ACL holds up better this time.
55. Seattle Supersonics (original pick - Lawrence Roberts)
If the Knicks hadn't snagged Gelabale I would've taken him here. It might be a bit of a reach, but I think Roger Powell would have been worth a look. Powell bounced around for a year before ending up in the D-League in 2006, where he lead the league averaging about 22 points a game. He's also not a bad rebounder.
56. Detroit Pistons (original pick - Amir Johnson)
There's not really anyone of Johnson's caliber left, and again, Detroit's frontcourt was pretty full. One guy I like is Turkish guard Cenk Akyol. He never left Europe, and he's not very quick, but he's a pretty creative scorer. Why his highlight reel includes footage of him missing free throws is a question I can't answer.
57. Phoenix Suns (original pick - Marcin Gortat)
Erazem Lorbek has some solid offensive skills, including a nice mid-range shot. That sounds exactly like Mike D'Antoni's Suns, doesn't it? Lorbek is pretty slow, though, and pretty poor defensively, even for Mike D'Antoni. But it's pick number 57, what do you expect? The added benefit is that the Suns could've kept him in Europe for a year or two and not have to pay him for awhile (I believe this was the start of Phoenix's refusal to keep any draft picks out of money concerns).
58. Toronto Raptors (original pick - Uros Slokar)
Toronto went point guard earlier with Will Bynum, but I don't think Orien Greene is out of the question here. He and Bynum could have formed a nice offense-defense backup tandem and again, Toronto didn't need forwards.
59. Atlanta Hawks (original pick - Cenk Akyol)
The Hawks' guards that year were Joe Johnson, and, well, Tony Delk, Tyronn Lue, Royal Ivey, should I keep going? Because I could keep going. Anthony Grundy. It's a good thing the Hawks drafted a point guard...in...the...first...oh well. We're just about fresh out of guards, though, unless you think Daniel Ewing is worth Atlanta's time. Either Akyol or Devin Green would've been decent picks here, but they're both off the board. I'll pick Alex Acker, somewhat grudgingly, because while he was/is pretty talented, he's bounced around a little bit in part because of a tendency to coast, a tendency that was known before the draft. Still, talent is talent, and this is the second-to-last pick in the draft. Acker was considered somewhat of a triple-double threat, which along with Johnson would've given Atlanta a formidable backcourt.
60. Detroit Pistons (original pick - Alex Acker)
We've finally come to the end. Two parts and 30 picks. Well, 29 picks, this is the 30th. Uros Slokar is available, and even though he only lasted about 20 games with the Raptors, he has some skills. He's a good passer, and while he wasn't considered a great shooter in 2005, his mechanics are solid, the kind that can easily lead to improvement. Detroit had enough big men at that time that they could draft Slokar and let him develop a little more and add some muscle, and maybe turn into the player they thought Darko Milicic would be.
We've come to the end now. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more of these second round re-drafts.