The Best Facts From the NBA Draft

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Trivial Diversions

The Best Facts From the NBA Draft

The Best Facts From the NBA Draft

As the NBA season moves towards an end, it’s time to start thinking about the draft. But the lottery system of the NBA can sometimes make for some odd stories. Here are the very best of the NBA draft facts.

1. In 1994, the NBA adopted its current lottery system. That means the lowest ranked team isn’t guaranteed the top pick. Since then, the worst ranked team hasn’t managed to grab the #1 pick since 2004, when Orlando did it. The No. 1 pre-slotted team has even fallen out of the top three 11 times, the most recent being 2009.

2. There have been 7 teams that were originally slotted 7th or lower that moved up into the top three in the current format. Last year the number one pick went to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were ranked at 9th. Amazingly, the lowest rank to ever move up was the No. 13 team (Charlotte took the 3rd pick in 1999).

3. The San Antonio Spurs haven’t been in the lottery since 1997, and that was only their third ever. The Lakers tie their record, with their third draft just last year. On the other end of the spectrum. the Clippers have taken part in the draft 22 times.

4. The first No. 1 draft pick ever was in 1947, when the NBA was still the BAA. The Pittsburgh Ironmen chose Clifton McNeely, but he decided to become a coach and never played in the league.

5. Colleges provide most of the players who are selected in the draft these days, and 45 different schools have given birth to the No. 1 pick since 1947. Duke has the most, with three total.

6. It’s fairly rare for college students to finish their studies and graduate before going into the draft. The last time a college senior was the first overall pick in the draft was in 2000, when the New Jersey Nets selected Kenyon Martin.

7. In 1978, Larry Bird was selected by the Boston Celtics, but he decided he wanted to finish his final year in school. The NBA instituted the “Bird Collegiate Rule” that said teams could only draft players who were ready to sign.

8. The first NBA player ever to be drafted straight out of high school was Darryl Dawkins in 1975, who went to the 76ers. Exactly 20 years later, Kevin Garnett was the next. Both players were picked No. 5 overall.

9. In 1968, the draft lasted 21 rounds, with 214 players drafted.

10. 1984 was a strong year. It was the class of four future Hall of Famers (Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton) and three All-Stars to be (Alvin Robertson, Otis Thorpe and Kevin Willis).

11. The Cleveland Cavaliers have gotten the No. 1 selection more than any other franchise. They’ve gotten six number one picks.

12. The only country other than the U.S. to give us more than one No. 1 pick is Nigeria (Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Olowakandi).

 

Related topics draft, NBA
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