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Layups: Semih Erden’s Chances of Becoming the Best Last Pick Ever

Posted by Neil Paine on January 27, 2011

Here's a fun post from Ryan DeGama of CelticsHub:

Semih Erden: Greatest Of All Time? |

In it, Ryan examines whether or not Semih Erden can eventually overtake Sean Higgins, Don Reid, and Zeljko Rebraca as the top player ever to be selected last in an NBA draft.

(Hat tip to TrueHoop for the link.)

17 Responses to “Layups: Semih Erden’s Chances of Becoming the Best Last Pick Ever”

  1. P Middy Says:

    This is why BoCelts fan annoy me to no end. They win 1 championship in 20 years and all of a sudden everything on their team is the best, and the right way of doing things in the NBA. Barf all over it all.

  2. Neil Paine Says:

    In fairness, it's rare for a player like Erden, the last overall pick, to do anything at the NBA level. The fact that he's actually contributing at all is notable.

    Then again, if any fan base should be trumpeting their success on draft picks in the Erden range, it's San Antonio. The Spurs had the second-to-last pick in 1999 and snagged Manu Ginobili, then took Luis Scola with the 3rd-to-last pick in 2002. Functionally, there's basically no difference between the last pick, the second to last, and the third to last, so drafting those guys is far more impressive than taking somebody like Erden.

  3. Pageup Says:

    Nice piece. And now I'm wondering who's the best undrafted pick of all time. Wesley Mathews must be up there? His problem in college was that he got lost playing with James (big east rookie of the year as a Frosh), McNeal (2nd team All-America as a Sr), and Hayward (1st round pick last year). It appears he was better than them all.

  4. Will Says:


    I don't think there's a function to do that on this site, but there's a few lists online.

    Personally, I'd go with ben wallace, john starks, or brad miller.

    Neil also did a best player [defined by win shares, I'd assume] for each draft pick number of all time, I can't find it though.

    BTW, undrafted rookies Gary Neal and Gary Forbes are having decent seasons.

  5. Rashidi Says:

    Ben Wallace, Brad Miller, John Starks, in order of total all-star appearances. Big Ben is the only one to be named to an All-NBA team (and obviously DPOY) while I believe Starks has an all-defensive second team on his resume.

    Wallace is the only one who has a shot at the hall of fame, so he's easily the top undrafted player.

  6. Rashidi Says:

    Also going by that list I would guess that Zeljko Rebraca was the best player and probably had the best basketball career, since this only covers NBA contributions and not international play.

  7. Pageup Says:

    Agreed on Wallace. I guess those offensive numbers at Virginia Union, plus the fact that he's 6-9, kept him out of the loop? 5 time all-NBAer, that's impressive. Mathews may have a chance to be better than Starks, though I loved Starks, especially for that left-handed posterization of Jordan.

  8. Sean Says:

    Definitely Ben Wallace off the top, only one I can think of with a realistic chance at the Hall. It was probably the fact that Virginia Union isn't Division I, I thought it was when I went to add Charles Oakley to the list of players to reach 2000 points and 1000 rebounds, then realized that he didn't do it against D-I competition. Charles Oakley is the only other NBA player to come out of Virginia Union.

  9. Joel Says:

    Thanks for that illuminating analysis, Middy.

    Best "last" draft pick is going to be heavily weighted towards the years following 1989, when the NBA cut the number of draft rounds to 2.

  10. P Middy Says:

    Anytime Joel! If there's anything I enjoy, it's annoying people like you. (What do I mean, you people?!?? HM?)

    Can I bring up how the Celtics decided to replace their INJURED center with the O'Neal brothers? Were Ming and Oden not available?

    Or is this all WAY too off topic for a message board that averages 5 response per post?

  11. Neil Paine Says:

    Excuse me, we're averaging 13.6 responses per post this week.

    (Now, 13.7.)

  12. P Middy Says:


  13. Jason J Says:

    Middy, don't you see how having enough very old bandaids is the same as having one kinda old bandaid (like Marcus Camby for instance)? Danny Ainge is the basketball Fonzy.

  14. P Middy Says:


  15. Pageup Says:

    now come on, Jermaine's been living the NBA dream life we all wish we were, that'd be to the tune of 160 mil plus without any stress

  16. P Middy Says:

    I wonder if I would trade my life for Jermaine's. On the one hand, he's rich. On the other, he's got that giant Charlie Brown looking potato head on his neck. And by the time he's fifty, the arthritis will probably be unbearable.

  17. Joel Says:

    A more interesting question is who was the lowest-picked good-great player of all time? That takes into account the extra rounds of the old school NBA.