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OKC Thunder's Serge Ibaka not your typical No. 24 draft pick

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Modified: June 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm •  Published: June 14, 2011

Serge Ibaka is an anomaly.

Obviously, it is not the norm to be from a family of 18 siblings, who grew up during the largest civil war in modern African history; or to be raised in a house with no electricity or running water; or to learn basketball on outdoor courts while wearing shoes with cardboard inserts to cover holes in the soles.

Nor is it normal for someone 6-foot-10 and 240 pounds to possess such impressive athleticism, much of which remains untapped at age 21.

Also rare is that Ibaka still was available when the Oklahoma City Thunder selected 24th in the 2008 NBA Draft.

The Thunder once again possesses the No. 24 pick in next week's draft, but to anticipate getting another player of Ibaka's ilk would be ludicrous.

As a whole, the 24th pick rarely pans out well. In fact, the overall success rate of late first-round picks is underwhelming.

In the past decade, roughly 30 percent of players drafted outside the Top 10 of the first round already are out of the league.

Since the 2000 draft, 61 of 204 players (29.9 percent) selected between Nos. 10-30 no longer are in the NBA.

Of players drafted between Nos. 20-30 in the last decade, 61.1 percent were traded before their fourth season; 54.4 percent averaged less than 1,500 minutes (18.3 per game); 20.2 percent started 70 games during one of their first four seasons; and 6.7 percent made an All-Star team.

A handful of solid players have been taken with the 24th pick in the first round. Brian Shaw, Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, Derek Fisher and Andrei Kirilenko come to mind.

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Players taken between Nos. 20-30 in the NBA Draft the last 10 years:

- 61.1 percent (44 of 72) were traded before their fourth season (22 have yet to play their fourth season; 10 never got to the league).

- 54.4 percent played less than 1,500 minutes (18.3 per game).

- 20.2 percent started 70 games during one of their first four seasons.

- 6.7 percent (seven of 104) have made an All-Star team.

- 29.8 percent (31 of 104) no longer are in the NBA.


Players selected No. 24 in the NBA Draft since 1988, when it became a first-round pick:

2010: F Damion James (Texas) – Atlanta

2009: C Byron Mullens (Ohio State) – Dallas

2008: F Serge Ibaka (Rep. of Congo) – Thunder

2007: G Rudy Fernandez (Spain) – Phoenix

2006: G Kyle Lowry (Villanova) – Memphis

2005: G Luther Head (Illinois) – Houston

2004: G Delonte West (St. Joseph's) – Boston

2003: C Brian Cook (Illinois) – LA Lakers

2002: C Nenad Krstic (Serbia) – New Jersey

2001: G Raul Lopez (Spain) – Utah

2000: C Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia) – Chicago

1999: F Andrei Kirilenko (Russia) – Utah

1998: G Felipe Lopez (St. John's) – San Antonio

1997: F Rodrick Rhodes (USC) – Houston

1996: G Derek Fisher (UALR) – LA Lakers

1995: C Loren Meyer (Iowa State) – Dallas

1994: F Monty Williams (Notre Dame) – New York

1993: G Sam Cassell (Florida State) – Houston

1992: F Latrell Sprewell (Alabama) – Golden State

1991: F Rick Fox (North Carolina) – Boston

1990: C Dwayne Schintzius (Florida) – San Antonio

1989: F Anthony Cook (Arizona) – Phoenix

1988: G Brian Shaw (UCSB) – Boston

Source: Basketball Reference


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