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The 24 best picks at No. 24 in NBA Draft history

by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 21, 2011

To understand what type of player the NBA Draft offers at pick No. 24, Thunder fans need not look any further than their own franchise.

In 2008, the franchise came away with Serge Ibaka. A year later, the same selection yielded Byron Mullens. One is on his way to becoming a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate. The other could be on his way out of town.

That's how much of a crapshoot the draft is when you're selecting 24th, as the Thunder is in Thursday night's draft. Sometimes you get a stud. Sometimes you land a dud.

But there is plenty of value expected to still be on the board late in the first round of this year's draft. The Thunder's challenge is to find that gem and pick it at 24. If the franchise can do that once again this year's selection could join a long list of players selected at 24 who have had successful NBA careers.

Here are the 24 best picks at No. 24 in NBA Draft history, listed chronologically.

Year: Player, Drafted by, Years pro

1953: Cliff Hagan, Boston, 13

A 6-4 guard, Hagan played 10 years in the NBA and scored 13,447 points, an 18-point average. He also averaged 6.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists during his NBA career. His best statistical season came when he averaged 24.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists during the 1959-60 season. Hagan played another three seasons in the ABA, averaging 15.1 points.

1954: Jim Tucker, Syracuse, 3

He appeared in just 99 games over three seasons with the Nationals and averaged 4.1 points and 3.5 rebounds. But as a rookie, he teamed with Earl Lloyd to become the first African-Americans to play for an NBA championship as Syracuse defeated Fort Wayne in seven games.

1959: George Lee, Detroit, 7

Lee averaged 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds as a rookie with the Pistons. He averaged 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 297 career games.

1965: Jon McGlocklin, Cincinnati, 11

He won a championship as the fourth-leading scorer behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson and Bob Dandridge on the 1971 Bucks team that won 66 regular-season games and swept Baltimore in the NBA Finals.

1970: Cornell Warner, Buffalo, 7

Warner, a 6-9 power forward/center, averaged 6.4 points and 7.5 rebounds during his career. His best statistical season was 1974-75, when he averaged 7.6 points and 10.3 rebounds for Milwaukee.

1971: Mike Newlin, Houston, 11

Newlin averaged double figures in all but two seasons — his first and his last. He averaged 14.9 points for his career and tallied a career-high 21.4-point average during his second-to-last season with New Jersey.

1972: Steve Hawes, Cleveland, 10

A 6-9 center from Washington, Hawes averaged 8.4 points and 6.2 rebounds for his career. He averaged a career-best 12.7 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Hawks in 1977-78.

1976: Scott Lloyd, Milwaukee, 6

When the expansion Dallas Mavericks finally gave him a chance in 1980, Lloyd averaged 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds in 30.4 minutes per game. His hustle and affable personality made him a fan favorite in Dallas.

1980: Larry Smith, Golden State, 13

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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