PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 24: Jamaal Franklin #21 of the San Diego State Aztecs puts up a shot against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles during the Third Round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 24, 2013 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jamaal Franklin
When Jamaal Franklin announced he was leaving San Diego State after his junior year to enter the NBA Draft, he said he wasn't concerned about being a first round pick or a second round pick. He knew he'd fight his way on to an NBA roster.
But, the difference between a first rounder and a second rounder is, the former get guaranteed contracts while the latter get an invitation to training camp and a "hey, good luck, kid."
The 30th and final player taken in the first round gets at least $1.7 million. All Franklin is guaranteed is that many questions about whether or not he should have stayed in school.
He was projected as a mid-to-late first rounder, and one of the top-20 talents in this year's Draft class, but Jamaal fell all the way to the 41st pick, where the Memphis Grizzlies finally scooped him up.
To find a positive here, Memphis might actually be a good spot for him. The Grizzlies (who lost to the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals) have three guards, Tony Allen, Jarryd Bayless and Keyon Dooling, who are unrestricted free agents. So Franklin could work his way on to the roster and even work his way in to the rotation.
The big questions about Franklin were his outside shooting and ability to guard NBA players. But, nobody ever questioned his work ethic, and that put him on the good side of coaches and team mates awfully fast.
There have been second round picks who went on to successful NBA careers. Grizzlies All-Star forward Marc Gasol is one. So are Manu Ginobili and Hall of Famers Dennis Rodman and Willis Reed.