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Purdue and the NBA Draft

Purdue has more No. 1 overall NBA Draft picks in the last 25 years than anyone else in the state.

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It is highly unlikely that Purdue will have a player drafted tonight in the NBA Draft. Point guard Jon Octeus has a small chance at being a second rounder and has worked out for several teams, but he is no mock drafts that I can find. The only other player eligible is senior walk-on Neal Beashears. While I am sure he wowed scouts in the single minute he got to play against Indiana in Mackey Arena, seeing him drafted would be one of the most shocking moments in NBA history.

That doesn't mean the draft has not been kind to our Boilers. Plenty of players have had excellent draft nights for us in the past 25 years:

2016: A.J. Hammons, Vince Edwards, & Caleb Swanigan - After hte trio led Purdue to an undefeated National Title they were drafted 1, 2, 3, by... Oh, sorry. I am ahead of myself.

2012: Robbie Hummel - Oh, what might have been. Rob battled through two knee injuries and was drafted 58th overall, the lowest selection since Jim Rowinski in 1984 when the draft had four rounds instead of the current two. Rob is a free agent this summer after spending a year in Spain and two with the Timberwolves. He could be an inexpensive addition for a team looking for solid bench help.

2011: JaJuan Johnson & E'Twaun Moore - Draft night in 2011 was fun. We knew that JJ and Smooge were going somewhere and Purdue would have two players selected in one draft for the first time since 1988. JJ went first, going to the Nets at 27th overall before he was traded to Boston. Later that night we got a surprise as Smooge was picked 55th overall by Boston. After seeing these two grow up for four years BTN's The Journey had cameras for both draft parties. Seeing E'Twaun take the call from JJ and say, "together again" was a proud moment for every Purdue fan.

JJ only lasted a year in Boston before he was traded (along with E'Twaun)  to Houston. Both were cut, and JJ has been playing in Europe while E'Twaun spent two years in Orlando and this past season in Chicago. He always seems to have one vintage Red Button game per season, but he is battling hard to hang on in the league as a veteran now.

2007: Carl Landry - Draft night in 2007 was interesting because, for the first time in years, we could feel good about ourselves. Carl Landry has just taken Purdue back to the NCAA Tournament after one appearance in the previous six years, and he was rewarded by going 31st overall to Seattle. He has played for Houston, Sacramento, New Orleans, Golden State, and now Sacramento again in a journeyman career. Oh, let's not forget he was also SHOT IN THE FREAKING LEG in 2009 in Houston.

2000: Brian Cardinal - The Custodian was not a highly regarded talent, but grit alone got him drafted 44th overall in 2000 by the Pistons. It took him three years and two teams before he finally latched on with Golden State in 2003-04. He played in just 28 games for Detroit and Washington in those first three years. A begin season for Golden State led to him getting paid big by Memphis before he ended up in Minnesota. In 2010-11 Dallas took a flyer on him and it paid off with an NBA Championship ring.

1995: Cuonzo Martin - The current coach at Cal was taken 57th overall by Atlanta in the 1995 draft after he won a pair of Big Ten championships. He never played for Atlanta, and only played seven total NBA games for Vancouver and Milwaukee (including three games with the Big Dog) before going overseas.

1994: Glenn Robinson - The Big Dog. He was the overwhelming top choice in the 1994 NBA Draft as the reigning Player of the Year. He was just the second No. 1 overall selection from Purdue, joining Joe Barry Carroll in 1980. Since this was last year before the rookie salary scale the Bucks got into a contract dispute with him, but in the end he got a 10-year, $68 million deal that was unheard of at the time. He ended up having a good, but not great NBA career with two All-Star selections and an NBA championship ring as a reserve with San Antonio in 2005.

1991 Jimmy Oliver - Cleveland took Oliver 39th overall in the 1991 draft after a solid four-year career in West Lafayette. He never solidly caught on, as he played for Cleveland, Detroit, Boston, Toronto, Washington, and Phoenix. He ended up playing only 78 total games before going over to the Greek league. Interestingly enough, he was able to play for the Greek National Team that won bronze at the 1998 World Championships.

1990 Steve Scheffler - Scheffler was Brian Cardinal before Brian Cardinal. He went 29th overall to Charlotte in the 1990 Draft. I was surprised to see he had an eight year NBA career with Seattle, Charlotte, Sacramento, and Denver, but he never played more than 40 games in a season.

So the draft has been up and down for Purdue, but there is hope yet for Octeus. Brad Miller was undrafted and became a two-time All-Star that earned $91 million over the course of his career, so you don't have to be drafted to make a shit-ton of money. Purdue also has more No. 1 overall selections in the last 25 years than Indiana, North Carolina, UCLA, and Louisville combined. Then again, so does Pacific.