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The Cincinnati Draft: Picks 21-24

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Summer League has passed us by, but the Cincinnati Draft is still in full swing, with 12 picks still left to be made. This week, four more Cincinnati greats will come off the board.

Cincinnati Enquirer

Before we get to the picks, it is worth noting that Sean Kilpatrick, the player selected fourth in this highly fictional draft, absolutely devastated his opponents in the NBA Summer League while running with the Milwaukee Bucks. Here's hoping he can break onto an NBA roster and end our long (two-week) national nightmare of not having a Bearcat to root for in the NBA.

Now, with just under two thirds of this draft over with, and LaZelle Durden, Devonta Vaughn, Tony Yates and Dontonio Wingfield scooped up in the last installment, let's get to the next picks.

With the 21st pick in the likely never to be repeated Cincinnati Draft, the Dallas Mavericks select...

21. Jason Maxiell

Congratualtions, Mark Cuban! You may not have gotten DeAndre Jordan, but you have won the right to a solid NBA role player in this fictitious article. Maxiell played eight of his 10 NBA seasons with the Detroit Pistons and was part of a great, but also disappointing, time in the franchise's history. He came in for the tail end of the Chauncey Billups/Rasheed Wallace/Tayshaun Prince/Richard Hamilton era. The Pistons went to the Eastern Conference Finals in each of Maxiell's first four seasons in the league, and lost every time.

But we're not here to talk about Maxiell's actual time in the NBA.

Maxiell collected plenty of hardware in his Cincinnati career, winning Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year and Freshman of the Year in his first year on campus, before adding second-team all-league honors in his junior and senior campaigns. A steadily improving player, the 6-foot-7 power forward made up for his lack of traditional size at the position with the ferocious intensity with which he played. He increased his scoring numbers each year of his career, going from 8.1 ppg, to 11.9, to 13.6 before finishing up as a 15.3-points per game scorer as a senior. He also averaged seven rebounds per game for his career and averaged nearly two blocks per contest as well.

His team's won a pair of Conference USA titles and he never had to live through the bitter experience of sitting at home and watching the NCAA Tournament, as he went dancing in each of his four seasons.

Now it is time for the Chicago Bulls to make a selection. They will go with...

22. DeMarr Johnson

If you blinked during the turn of the century, you might have missed Johnson, or at least his collegiate career. A highly touted recruit, who was a consensus McDonalds, Parade and USA Today All-American, he came to Cincinnati with much fanfare and he lived up to the hype, more or less. He averaged 12.6 points per game and was chosen as the Conference USA's Freshman of the Year. He was, of course, overshadowed by world-dominator Kenyon Martin, but still did plenty in just one season to be selected in the 2000 NBA Draft, going sixth to the Atlanta Hawks. Some of his draft classmates include Darius Miles, Jamal Crawford, Martin, Eddie House, Michael Redd and the immortal Speedy Claxton.

Although he was drafted rather high, Johnson really should have stuck around in college a bit longer, as he never really caught on in the NBA, spending parts of the next eight years kicking between the NBA and D-League, before taking off to play overseas. Johnson was only ever a scorer, and that is what the Bulls need, so maybe he would have been had more value if this draft was anything more than an interesting ramble through Cincinnati basketball history.

Up next, the Portland Trail Blazers will spend the 23rd pick on...

23. Pete Mickeal

It appears there is a fire sale happening on players from the 1999-00 squad. Mickeal stuck around in Cincinnati a bit longer than Johnson, as he played two years for the Bearcats, after transferring from Indian Hills Community College. Best remembered as a potent frontcourt partner for Martin,  Mickeal played above his 6-foot-6 stature, averaging 6.8 rebounds per game and scoring 14.2 a contest during his two seasons. He was also a very good defender, with a total of 5.7 defensive win shares. Just like Johnson, Mickeal was lost in the globe-enveloping shadow set by Martin, but he was still an honorable mention All-American in the eyes of the Associated Press as a senior, when he put up 13.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, which was actually a slide down from his junior campaign.

Mickael was drafted 58th overall in the 2000 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, but he never played a minute in the NBA. Instead, he went on to have a successful career in the American Basketball Association and overseas, winning a Euroleague title with FC Barcelona in 2010 and an ABA MVP award in 2002 with the Kansas City Knights. Oh, and he played for a team called the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals. Yes, that is an actual basketball team and not a children's cartoon special sponsored by AT&T.

Now it is the distinct honor of the Cleveland Cavaliers to finish up this week's episode by selecting...

24. Melvin Levett

Is that enough? Do you need more? That dunk alone has Levett on the board. It doesn't hurt that he was a fine college basketball player as well.

A 2009 inductee into the Cincinnati Athletic Hall of Fame, Levett, better known as "The Helicopter", is tied for 34th all-time in scoring at Cincinnati (1,119 points). He was a two-time All-Conference USA Second Team selection as well. But perhaps Levett's greatest claim to fame is that he holds the all-time record for 3-pointers in a game at Cincinnati, as he drained 10 triples against Eastern Kentucky during his junior season.

Unfortunately, Levett never found his way in the NBA, failing to make a roster after being selected 54th overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1999 NBA Draft. Instead, he played for the Cincinnati Stuff of the now defunct International Basketball League and even spent a year with the Harlem Globetrotters. You can now find him coaching high school basketball in Cincinnati or updating his Linkedin profile.

And that does it for this episode. Make sure to check back next week for the penultimate edition of the Cincinnati Draft.