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NBA Draft

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NBA Draft is the annual event in which the 30 NBA teams get a chance to pick any eligible players either from college, different American basketball leagues, or from international leagues.

Structure Edit

The NBA draft is currently divided into two rounds, with thirty picks per round. The order of selections is based on several rules. The first fourteen picks of the draft belong to the teams that did not enter the playoffs in that year's season. These teams participate in a lottery to determine the order of the first three picks. Each team is assigned a number of chances based upon season standings to 'win' the lottery. After these three teams have been determined, the remaining picks are given out based on regular season record with the worst teams getting the highest remaining picks. This lottery assures each team can drop no more than 3 positions from its projected draft position. The lottery also prevents teams from throwing the season to ensure a top draft pick.

The next sixteen spots in the draft are reserved for the teams that made it into that season's playoffs. The order of these sixteen teams' selection is determined by their regular-season win-loss record, going from worst to best. Therefore, the team with the best record selects last. The team with the best record is not necessarily the champion; for example, in the 2004 NBA Draft, the last pick did not go to the 2004 NBA champion Detroit Pistons, but rather to the Indiana Pacers (this is unlike the NFL Draft, in which the Super Bowl champion always draws the final selection of the first round).

The order of selections in the second round are also based upon season standings, with the worst team picking first and the best picking last. There is no lottery for the second round. Teams are allowed to trade future draft picks (first and second round) as they would current players.

League rules prohibit a team from trading away their own future first-round picks in consecutive years. This rule was created partially as a reaction to the practices of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the early 1980s. Ted Stepien, who owned the team from 1980 to 1983, made a series of trades for players of questionable value that cost the team several years of first-round picks. The trades nearly destroyed the franchise; the NBA pressured Stepien into selling out, and in order to get a solid local owner (Gordon Gund), the league had to sweeten the deal by giving the Cavaliers several future bonus draft picks.

Selection process Edit

All U.S. players are automatically eligible upon the end of their college eligibility. Through 2005, U.S. players were also allowed to declare eligibility for the draft at any time between high school graduation and the completion of college eligibility. International players could declare eligibility in the calendar year of their 18th birthday, or later.

Starting with the 2006 NBA Draft, the eligibility rules have changed:

  • All players, regardless of nationality, must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft.
  • A U.S. player must also be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class.
  • This age limit for draftees is part of the new collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players union.

The NBA has established two draft declaration dates. All players who wish to be drafted, and are not automatically eligible, must declare their eligibility on or before the first declaration date. After this date, prospective draftees may attend NBA pre-draft camps and individual team workouts to show off their skills and obtain feedback regarding their draft positions. A player may withdraw his name from consideration from the draft at any time before the final declaration date, which is one week before the draft. A player who declares for the draft will lose his college eligibility, even if he is not drafted, if any of the following is true:

The player signs with an agent. The player has declared for and withdrawn from the draft in any previous year. When a player is selected in the first round of the draft, the team that selected him is required to sign him to at least a one-year contract. Players selected in the second round are "owned" by the team for three years, but the teams are not required to sign them.

Players chosen earlier in the draft are generally regarded as better prospects than those selected later, but there is always a level of uncertainty around the selections. Past drafts are filled with examples of late-pick superstars and early-pick busts. Perhaps the most famous example of a draft bust came in 1984, when the Portland Trail Blazers selected Sam Bowie with the second pick. Bowie went on to become a journeyman with an injury-riddled career, while the Chicago Bulls used the third pick to draft Michael Jordan, who is generally recognized as the greatest player of all time.

First overall picks since 1950 Edit

All players are American nationals unless otherwise indicated.

1950 - Chuck Share; Boston Celtics
1951 - Gene Melchiorre; Baltimore Bullets
1952 - Mark Workman; Milwaukee Hawks
1953 - Ernie Beck; Philadelphia Warriors
1954 - Frank Selvy; Baltimore Bullets
1955 - Dick Ricketts; St. Louis Hawks
1956 - Si Green; Rochester Royals
1957 - Hot Rod Hundley; Cincinnati Royals
1958 - Elgin Baylor; Minneapolis Lakers
1959 - Bob Boozer; Cincinnati Royals
1960 - Oscar Robertson; Cincinnati Royals
1961 - Walt Bellamy; Chicago Packers
1962 - Bill McGill; Chicago Zephyrs
1963 - Art Heyman; New York Knicks
1964 - Jim Barnes; New York Knicks
1965 - Fred Hetzel; San Francisco Warriors
1966 - Cazzie Russell; New York Knicks
1967 - Jimmy Walker; Detroit Pistons
1968 - Elvin Hayes; San Diego Rockets
1969 - Lew Alcindor; Milwaukee Bucks
1970 - Bob Lanier; Detroit Pistons
1971 - Austin Carr; Cleveland Cavaliers
1972 - LaRue Martin; Portland Trail Blazers
1973 - Doug Collins; Philadelphia 76ers
1974 - Bill Walton; Portland Trail Blazers
1975 - David Thompson; Atlanta Hawks
1976 - John Lucas; Houston Rockets
1977 - Kent Benson; Milwaukee Bucks
1978 - Mychal Thompson; Portland Trail Blazers (Bahamas)
1979 - Magic Johnson; Los Angeles Lakers
1980 - Joe Barry Carroll; Golden State Warriors
1981 - Mark Aguirre; Dallas Mavericks
1982 - James Worthy; Los Angeles Lakers
1983 - Ralph Sampson; Houston Rockets
1984 - Hakeem Olajuwon; Houston Rockets (Nigeria)
1985 - Patrick Ewing; New York Knicks
1986 - Brad Daugherty; Cleveland Cavaliers
1987 - David Robinson; San Antonio Spurs
1988 - Danny Manning; Los Angeles Clippers
1989 - Pervis Ellison; Sacramento Kings
1990 - Derrick Coleman; New Jersey Nets
1991 - Larry Johnson; Charlotte Hornets
1992 - Shaquille O'Neal; Orlando Magic
1993 - Chris Webber; Orlando Magic (traded to GSW)
1994 - Glenn Robinson; Milwaukee Bucks
1995 - Joe Smith; Golden State Warriors
1996 - Allen Iverson; Philadelphia 76ers
1997 - Tim Duncan; San Antonio Spurs (U.S. Virgin Islands)
1998 - Michael Olowokandi; Los Angeles Clippers (Nigeria)
1999 - Elton Brand; Chicago Bulls
2000 - Kenyon Martin; New Jersey Nets
2001 - Kwame Brown; Washington Wizards
2002 - Yao Ming; Houston Rockets (China)
2003 - LeBron James; Cleveland Cavaliers
2004 - Dwight Howard; Orlando Magic
2005 - Andrew Bogut; Milwaukee Bucks (Australia)
2006 - Andrea Bargnani; Toronto Raptors (Italy)
2007 - Greg Oden; Portland Trail Blazers
2008 - Derrick Rose; Chicago Bulls
2009 - Blake Griffin; Los Angeles Clippers
2010 - John Wall; Washington Wizards
2011 - Kyrie Irving; Cleveland Cavaliers
2012 - Anthony Davis; New Orleans Hornets
2013 - Anthony Bennett; Cleveland Cavaliers (Canada)
2014 - Andrew Wiggins; Cleveland Cavaliers (Canada)


Olajuwon did not become a U.S. citizen until 1993. Ewing was born in Jamaica, but had become a naturalized U.S. citizen by the time he was drafted. The NBA considers all players from outside the 50 United States and the District of Columbia to be "international," even if they come from political entities that share a common citizenship with the U.S., such as Duncan's original home of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Until 1965, teams could choose, in lieu of their first round pick, to designate a player who went to high school within fifty miles of their location. Wilt Chamberlain was the best-known "territorial pick"

External links Edit Draft Historian Matthew Maurer chronicles every pick ever made in the NBA Draft from 1950 - present day JustBBall Draft Coverage's draft page, with selections organized by year and college. Complete list of every NBA draft pick, from 1951 to present day TheDraftInsider DraftExpress NBA Draft World NBA Mock Draft Madness! NBA Draft News @ NBA Mock Draft NBA Draft from RealGM NBA Draft Simulator CenterCourt Hoops Daily Basketball blog NBA Mock Draft and Draft Analysis Reports about European Draft prospects NBA Mock Drafts/Historical Draft Grades

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