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Syracuse men’s basketball: dispelling one of your NBA Draft myths

2nd round NBA picks are playing NBA games

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 22 Syracuse at Clemson Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team waits on Judah Mintz’s decision on his future, I wanted to address some consistent responses that appear in our comments.

A lot of people speculate that Mintz is deciding between returning to Syracuse or playing in the G League because he’s projected as a second-round pick in most mock drafts. There are also comments about him returning to college and make himself a lottery pick in 2024.

While there is a lot of time for Mintz to improve his draft stock during team workouts and the NBA Combine, there is also ample evidence that bring a second-round pick doesn’t mean a player is unlikely to make a roster.

Last year’s second round produced the following results (Milwaukee and Miami forfeited picks):

31. Pacers draft Andrew Nembhard (Gonzaga)- 72 games played

32. Magic draft Caleb Houstan (Michigan)- 48 games played

33. Raptors draft Christian Koloko (Arizona)- 55 games played

34. Thunder draft Jaylin Williams (Arkansas)- 48 games played

35. Lakers draft Max Christie (Michigan State)- 39 games played

36. Blazers draft Gabriele Procida (Fortitudo Bologna) — Traded to DET Playing in EuroLeague

37. Kings draft Jaden Hardy (G League Ignite) — Traded to DAL 45 games played

38. Spurs draft Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee) — Traded to MEM 34 games played

39. Cavaliers draft Khalifa Diop (Gran Canaria) Playing in Spain

40. Timberwolves draft Bryce McGowens (Nebraska) — Traded to CHA 44 games played

41. Pelicans draft EJ Liddell (Ohio State)- signed two-way contract, out with torn ACL.

42. Knicks draft Trevor Keels (Duke)- 3 games played

43. Clippers draft Moussa Diabate (Michigan)- 21 games played

44. Hawks draft Ryan Rollins (Toldeo) —Traded to GSW. 12 games played

45. Hornets draft Josh Minott (Memphis) — Traded to MIN. 14 games played

46. Pistons draft Ismael Kamagate (Paris Basketball) — Traded to POR. Playing in France

47. Grizzlies draft Vince Williams Jr. (VCU)- 12 games played

48. Timberwolves draft Kendall Brown (Baylor) — Traded to IND. 6 games played

49. Cavaliers draft Isaiah Mobley (USC)- 11 games played

50. Timberwolves draft Matteo Spagnolo (Vanoli Cremona)- Playing in Italy

51. Warriors draft Tyrese Martin (UConn) — Traded to ATL. 14 games played

52. Pelicans draft Karlo Matković (Mega Mozzart). Playing in Adriatic League

53. Celtics draft JD Davison (Alabama)- 10 games played

54. Wizards draft Yannick Nzosa (Unicaja Malaga)- Playing in Spain

55. Warriors draft Gui Santos (Minas)- Playing for Warriors’ G League team

56. Cavaliers draft Luke Travers (Perth)- Playing in Australia

57. Blazers draft Jabari Walker (Colorado)- Played in 53 games

58. Pacers draft Hugo Besson (New Zealand Breakers) — Playing in France

Outside of the international players, only three (I’m including Trevor Keels) have been unable to land a minimum of 10 games in the NBA this season. If you go back to 2021, you’ll see six 2nd-round picks have not played in the NBA. The 2020 2nd round has only two picks that didn’t play a minute of NBA action.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Second Round - Syracuse vs Wake Forest Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The point of this piece isn’t to say Mintz can’t improve his stock by playing another year of college, or to say being a 2nd round pick makes it a guarantee he’ll get a 2nd NBA contract. It’s simply to point out that being a 2nd round pick in today’s NBA.

Obviously Mintz’s decision has a large impact on the Orange’s hopes for 23-24, but we’ll have to see what happens over the next six weeks.