Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report released his list of the ten greatest second-round draft picks in NBA history, and San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili secured the top spot among a group of highly accomplished professionals. Not only was the Argentinean swingman a two-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA performer, and a Sixth Man of the Year Award winner, but he also took home four league titles over his 16-year career donning the Silver and Black.
1. Manu Ginobili
Even before the criteria were put in place for this project, Manu Ginobili ending up at No. 1 felt inevitable.
The 57th pick in a 58-player 1999 draft, Ginobili was an instant-impact player when he came to the San Antonio Spurs three years later.
As a rookie in 2002-03, he averaged 9.4 points and 2.9 assists in 27.5 minutes per game during the title-winning postseason run. San Antonio was plus-15.9 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor and minus-7.0 with him off over those 24 playoff games.
And his role took off from there.
Ginobili went on to make two All-Star teams and two All-NBA teams. He won three more championships and was the 2007-08 Sixth Man of the Year, and he’s 17th in league history in career playoff wins over replacement player.
Over the course of his career, the Spurs were plus-7.7 points per 100 possessions with Manu on the floor in the playoffs and minus-2.5 with him off.
Former Spurs and defensive stalwarts Danny Green, Dennis Rodman, and Jerome Kersey, though excluded from the final cut, were named to the honorable mentions. Doc Rivers, who suited up for San Antonio during the last two years of his career, kicked off the top with the opening spot.
10. Doc Rivers
The 31st overall pick in 1983 and a one-time All-Star, Doc Rivers is 68th all-time in career assists and 36th in career steals. His career defensive box plus/minus is the 17th-best mark in league history.
From 1985-86 to 1987-88, he averaged 13.0 points, 9.4 assists and 2.0 steals. He was seventh in the league in box plus/minus during that stretch, trailing only Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and Clyde Drexler.
Most modern fans will know him for the title he won as the head coach of the Boston Celtics or as the longtime coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, but this second-round pick did plenty as a player.
Beyond being able to engineer his team’s offenses for nearly a decade (he started 586 of the 704 games he played during his first 10 years), Rivers was often tasked with defending the opposition’s top perimeter player. And as that top-20 career DBPM suggests, he generally rose to that challenge.