Rising Aussie star Johnny Furphy realises NBA dream

Johnny Furphy is the latest Australian to join an elite list of players to realise their NBA dream.

The Melburnian was taken at pick No.35 on Thursday by San Antonio, after missing out on selection on the opening day of the draft.

The Spurs then traded the pick to the Indiana Pacers.

Furphy is a Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence graduate and played for the COE in 2022 and 2023.

The league went to a two-day format this year instead of having its draft drag too late into the night. The second round was held at ESPN's Seaport District studios in Manhattan after the first round took place at Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.

Ten players and their families attended, sitting in a room off the studio set, though the two players who were left in the green room at the end of the first round - Duke's Kyle Filipowski and Furphy of Kansas - didn't return for the second round.

Filipowski was selected at No.32 by Utah with the second pick of the second round.

Swede Bobi Klintman, who played last year in Australia's National Basketball League, was the first player in attendance to be selected, with his family cheering loudly after Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum announced his name at No.37.

Bronny James - the oldest son of the NBA's all-time scoring leader and four-time champion LeBron - was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, the team his father has played for since 2018.

Bronny James was taken with the No.55 overall pick, deep in the second round and with only three picks remaining in this year's draft.

"Beyond blessed," Bronny James wrote in an Instagram post.

Adding further intrigue to the move, LeBron James can become a free agent next week, which means he could choose to leave the Lakers and sign elsewhere.

The players who did attend treated the event like the glitzy first round, wearing sharp suits and seated at tables - albeit much smaller ones — that had the same gold basketballs as centrepieces at Barclays Centre.

And perhaps some of them will have better careers than some of the players who were picked Wednesday.

The NBA has sought to spur interest in the second round with an "every pick matters" slogan, highlighting the success of MVP Nikola Jokic and New York guard Jalen Brunson, who finished fifth in this year's voting, along with former Defensive Players of the Year Draymond Green and Marc Gasol.

Both Filipowski and Furphy were viewed as potential picks in the middle of the first round, and their experience at some of college basketball's traditional powers could have them ready to make quick impacts as rookies.

The Detroit Pistons also agreed in principle to acquire the draft rights to Bobi Klintman after the Minnesota Timberwolves selected him at No.37. Klintman played at Wake Forest in 2022-23 but spent the 2023-24 season with the NBL's "Next Stars" program.

The Milwaukee Bucks drafted AJ Johnson at No.23. Johnson is from California but played most recently for the Illawarra Hawks in the NBL

Bucks general manager Jon Horst said Johnson was an athletic 6-5 combo guard with a 6-8 wingspan, but he didn't play much in Australia and may need time to develop into an NBA rotation player.

Zaccharie Risacher was No.1 in this year's draft and moved to the Atlanta Hawks, while Perth Wildcats star Alex Sarr was the second pick and ended at the Washington Wizards.