No first-round pick? No worriesWhile the Warriors battle the Rockets and the Celtics take on LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kyle Korver, and a pack of warmish bodies in the 2018 conference finals, fans of the NBA’s other 26 teams are looking forward to the NBA draft on June 21. But as things stand, the Rockets and five of those teams — the Pistons, Pelicans, Heat, Raptors, and Thunder — won’t get a chance to pick in the draft’s first round. Fortunately, there are always diamonds in the rough. Here’s a list of the best NBA draft steals to be taken off the board after the 30th overall pick. (Players who opted not to come to the NBA from the ABA don’t count; sorry, George Gervin.)
22. Nick Van Exel
A point guard who rarely met a shot he didn’t like, Nick the Quick was named to the 1998 Western Conference All-Star team five years into his NBA tenure. Over his 13-year career, the 37th overall pick in 1993 averaged 14.4 points and 6.6 assists per game, and reached the Western Conference Finals with the Mavericks in 2003.