Sacramento Kings

Booms and busts at No. 2: Kings could draft a Kevin Durant ... or a Darko Milicic

How will Kings do? Here are the top 5 booms and busts at No. 2 spot in NBA draft history

We break down the five biggest booms and five biggest busts at the No. 2 overall pick in NBA Draft history. The Sacramento Kings have that spot for the 2018 draft.
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We break down the five biggest booms and five biggest busts at the No. 2 overall pick in NBA Draft history. The Sacramento Kings have that spot for the 2018 draft.

For the first time in the Sacramento era, the Kings hold the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft – a selection that has proven to be boom or bust over the course of league history.

The Kings' rival down south took guards Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and D’Angelo Russell off the board at No. 2 in the past three years. None of these current and former Los Angeles Lakers cracks the list of the top-five best and worst second picks since 1947 – for now, at least.

What will the future hold for the Kings?

Here's a sample of the most extreme results yielded from decisions made by teams in their position.

Booms at No. 2

Bill Russell (1956)

The St. Louis Hawks drafted 6-foot-10 center Bill Russell, who was picked after Sihugo Green by the Rochester Royals, out of USF.

He was then immediately traded to the Boston Celtics and went on to establish a dynasty by winning 11 NBA titles from 1957 to 1969.

Russell, who averaged 15.1 points and 22.5 rebounds per game in his 13-year career, appeared in 12 straight All-Star games while earning five MVP awards en route to a Hall of Fame induction.

Jerry West (1960)

The Lakers’ franchise made major moves in 1960 when they drafted guard Jerry West from West Virginia and relocated the team from Minneapolis to Los Angeles.

West, who was picked after Oscar Robertson by the Cincinnati Royals, was an All-Star in all 14 of his seasons with the Lakers. He also finished his career with 27.0 points per game, which ranks sixth in NBA history.

After winning a championship in 1972 and earning a spot in the 1980 Hall of Fame class.

Plus, he's the logo.

Isiah Thomas (1981)

The Detroit Pistons snagged themselves a future Hall of Fame guard in Isiah Thomas out of Indiana.

Thomas rattled off 12 consecutive All-Star appearances while leading the “Bad Boys” of Detroit to NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.

He finished his 13-year career with 19.2 points and 9.3 assists per game while piling up the seventh-most assists (9,061) and 17th-most steals (1,861) in league history.

Jason Kidd (1994)

Another prolific ball hawk drafted at No. 2 was Cal guard Jason Kidd, who heard his name called by the Dallas Mavericks after the Milwaukee Bucks picked Glenn Robinson.

Kidd did it all throughout his 19-year career, which featured 10 All-Star appearances and an NBA title with the Mavericks in 2011. After finishing with the third-most triple-doubles (107) in league history, his career stat sheet read 13.2 points, 9.1 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Kidd also ranks second in assists (12,091), second in steals (2,684) and ninth in 3-pointers (1,988) in NBA history.

Kevin Durant (2007)

After what would be one the biggest No. 1 overall draft busts in sports history, the Seattle SuperSonics selected Kevin Durant out of Texas.

Durant, who shook hands with former NBA Commissioner David Stern after the Portland Trail Blazers drafted Greg Oden, has since made nine All-Star teams while notching an MVP award in 2014 and two championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and '18. He was the NBA Finals MVP each time.

The 6-foot-9 forward has a career average of 27.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and won four NBA scoring titles in 11 seasons.

Honorable mentions

Gary Payton (1990)

Alonzo Mourning (1992)

Busts at No. 2

Sam Bowie (1984)

For the man drafted one spot in front of Michael Jordan, also known as Sam Bowie, the expectations were just too much to live up to.

The Portland Trail Blazers selected Bowie out of Kentucky to fill the role of big man, but leg injuries limited him to only 139 games in his first five seasons. After playing in only 20 games for the Trail Blazers in 1989, Bowie went on to join the New Jersey Nets and Lakers to end his 10-year career.

Although finishing with career averages of 10.9 points and 7.5 rebounds, he could never quite shake the shadow of being drafted in front of Hall of Famers such as Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton.

Stromile Swift (2000)

LSU has a solid track record when it comes to No. 1 overall picks in the NBA as shown by Shaquille O'Neal and Ben Simmons, but what about the No. 2 spot?

Not so much.

Stromile Swift was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies to dominate in the paint at center, but he only started 97 games out of 547 in his nine-year career. Swift averaged 8.4 points per game and was traded twice.

Darko Milicic (2003)

After LeBron James was selected No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Pistons picked 7-foot Serbian sensation Darko Milicic.

Milicic started in only three games during his first three seasons in the NBA and ended his 10-year career with an average of 6.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

Milicic, like Bowie, was unable to shake the stigma of who came after him in the draft – Carmelo Anthony (No. 3), Chris Bosh (No. 4) and Dwyane Wade (No. 5).

Hasheem Thabeet (2009)

Drafted out of Connecticut by the Memphis Grizzlies, Hasheem Thabeet broke his jaw a minute into the seventh game of his rookie season.

Things didn’t get any better for the 7-foot-3 center – who was drafted one pick ahead of James Harden and five before Stephen Curry – as his five-year career was then filled with demotions to the NBA Development League, trades and waivers.

After averaging 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in 224 games, Thabeet signed on to play for the Yokohama B-Corsairs in Japan during the 2017-18 season.

Derrick Williams (2011)

Another second pick on this list to take his talents overseas is Derrick Williams.

Williams, who played in the Chinese Basketball Association last season, failed to live up to the hype after being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves. In seven years, he played for six teams and averaged 8.9 points and 4.0 rebounds.

However, the 27-year-old forward is still trying to make it in the league today after signing a 10-day contract with the Lakers last season and participating in the Pistons’ free-agent minicamp this offseason.

Whether Williams finds a spot in the league or not, he’ll serve as a cautionary reminder to fellow Arizona alum DeAndre Ayton – who is the No. 1 overall projected pick in the June 21 draft.

Dishonorable mentions

Shawn Bradley (1993)

Michael Beasley (2008)

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