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Best Second-Round Picks Of 2011

There's a bold line between the first and second rounds in the NBA draft. First-rounders get guaranteed contracts that last two years with team options for third and fourth seasons. Nothing's certain for second-rounders, who often fail to make the team out of training camp and find themselves scrambling for a job. Still, plenty of quality players emerge after pick No. 30, like Carlos Boozer, Marc Gasol and Monta Ellis. Here's a look at the top performers picked in last year's second round:

  • The last player picked in the second round (and the entire draft) might be the best of them. Former University of Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas was impressive enough for the Kings to move Tyreke Evans to small forward to accomodate him in the starting lineup. He improved his PPG and APG each month, and wound up averaging 14.8 points and 5.4 assists in 37 games as a starter. He's on a three-year unguaranteed minimum-salary deal.
  • The Rockets didn't treat Florida product Chandler Parsons much like a player picked 38th overall for the Rockets this year. They gave him a four-year deal worth more than $3.6MM that's guaranteed for his first two seasons, and he started all but nine of the team's games, averaging 9.5 PPG and 4.8 RPG. The 6'9" forward was particularly effective in March, when he shot 52.6% and put up 12.9 PPG and 5.8 RPG.
  • Stephen Curry's creaky ankles opened up a spot in the Warriors starting lineup for Charles Jenkins, and the 44th overall pick out of Hofstra took advantage. He averaged 9.4 PPG and 6.3 APG in 16 April games, all as a starter. He has one more season left on his contract, which is an unguaranteed minimum-salary deal.
  • Few expected much of a pro career from Josh Harrellson when he was at Kentucky, but the 6'10", 275-pound center is a playoff contributor for the Knicks. He started four games but has been primarily a bench option, though his 13.7 PER and 9.6 rebounds per 36 minutes show he's been productive when called upon. The last season of his two-year minimum-salary contract is not guaranteed.
  • Lavoy Allen got the start in Game 1 of the playoffs for the Sixers, an unlikely fate when the team drafted him 50th overall out of Temple. He also started 15 games in the regular season, but saw only 18.9 minutes per game in those starts. Still, like Harrellson, he displayed a knack for rebounding in his limited floor time, collecting 9.9 boards per 36 minutes. He has no deal for next season yet, and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

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