The NBA draft is an annual event dating back to 1947 in which the teams from the National Basketball Association (NBA) can draft players who are eligible and wish to join the league. These are typically college basketball players, but international players are also eligible to be drafted. College players who have finished their four-year college eligibility are automatically eligible for selection, while the underclassmen have to declare their eligibility and give up their remaining college eligibility. International players who are at least 22 years old are automatically eligible for selection, while the players younger than 22 have to declare their eligibility. Players who are not automatically eligible but have declared their eligibility are often called "early-entrants" or "early-entry candidates". The draft usually takes place near the end of June, during the NBA offseason. Since 1989, the draft has consisted of two rounds; this is much shorter than the entry drafts of the other major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, all of which run at least seven rounds. Sixty players are selected in each draft. No player may sign with the NBA until he has been eligible for at least one draft.
In the past, high school players were also eligible to be selected. However, starting in the 2006 draft, high school players were not eligible to enter the draft directly after graduating from high school. The rules now state that high school players will gain eligibility for draft selection one year after their high school graduation, and they must also be at least 19 years old as of the end of the calendar year of the draft. Some players have chosen to use that year to play professionally overseas for example, such as Brandon Jennings (Italy), Emmanuel Mudiay (China), and Terrance Ferguson (Australia). Thon Maker was eligible for the 2016 draft despite not going to college because he chose to undertake a postgraduate year, so he was technically one year removed from graduation.
Some players must be at least 19 years of age during the calendar year of the draft, and a player who completed basketball eligibility at an American high school must also be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class. Restrictions exist on players signing with sports agents and on declaring for, then withdrawing from, drafts—although most of them are enforced by the NCAA rather than the NBA. There had been only 44 draftees from high school to college to play in the NBA throughout this process. Any players who are not an "international player" must be at least one year out of the graduation of his high school class in order for them to qualify for the upcoming draft. Not many high school players went directly to the NBA draft for almost 20 years after Darryl Dawkins in 1975 because of the exposure of the college games.
In the early years of the draft, teams would select players until they ran out of prospects. The 1960 and 1968 drafts went 21 rounds. By 1974, it had stabilized to 10 rounds (except 1977, when the rounds were eight), which held up until 1985, when the draft was shortened to seven rounds. By agreement with the National Basketball Players Association, the drafts from 1989 onward have been limited to two rounds, which gives undrafted players the chance to try out for any team.
From 2009 through 2015, the college underclassmen had until the day before the April signing period to withdraw their name from the draft and retain NCAA eligibility. Since 2016, players could enter the draft and participate in the NBA Draft Combine multiple times and retain NCAA eligibility by withdrawing from the draft within 10 days after the end of the mid-May NBA draft combine.
The NBA Draft Lottery is an annual event held by the NBA, where the teams who did not make the playoffs in the past year participate in a state-lottery style process in order to determine the first three picks of the draft, until 2018. The team with the worst record receives the best odds of receiving the first pick. The NBA introduced the lottery process in 1985. The league was attempting to counter accusations that certain teams were purposefully losing in order to gain a chance to participate in the annual coin flip, where the worst team in each division flips a coin to see who will receive the first pick in the upcoming draft. In 2019, the first four picks will be determined.
In the lottery system, the league uses "a lottery-style ping-pong ball machine with 14 balls numbered 1–14, and 1,000 four-digit combinations are assigned to the 14 lottery teams." Until 2018, the worst team received 250 combinations, the second worst getting 199, the third worst team 156, and so on. The first three draft picks were determined. Starting in 2019, the three worst teams will receive 140 combinations each, the fourth worst 125, and so on. Those three teams will have an equal chance of winning the top overall pick. After the first four picks are determined, the rest of the teams are ordered in reverse order based on their record in the previous season, like in the previous system.
The lottery is generally held in the third or fourth week of May. The NBA goes to great lengths in order to keep the selection process both fair and not tampered with in any way. "The actual Lottery procedure will take place in a separate room just prior to the national broadcast on ESPN. Select media members, NBA officials and representatives of the participating teams and the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will be in attendance for the drawing." Attendees are not allowed cell phone or any other electronic access until the number one pick is revealed on the television broadcast.
The NBA draft was initially dominated by collegiate players after the draft began in 1950, but in recent years high school seniors were having larger impacts on the draft, players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady and Amar'e Stoudemire. To counteract this, the NBA implemented an age requirement in 2005 that made it so high school seniors were no longer eligible for the draft, unless they were declared as postgraduates by the league. This would not happen until 2015 with Indian prospect Satnam Singh Bhamara in the second round and again in 2016 with South Sudanese–Australian prospect Thon Maker in the first round.
Foreign players have made a large impact on how teams are now drafting. When the draft began, foreign players were not selected. As the years progressed, things began to change and a few international players were selected. The first foreign player, in the sense of being a national of a country other than the U.S., to be chosen first overall in the draft was Bahamian Mychal Thompson in 1978. However, Thompson's selection was not a true harbinger of the game's globalization, as he had spent much of his childhood in Florida, and had played college basketball at Minnesota. One of the first foreign players selected in the draft to play in the NBA was Manute Bol out of the Sudan in 1983 in the 5th round by the San Diego Clippers. Bol's selection was later deemed ineligible by the NBA. Two years later Bol was drafted again by the NBA this time out of Division II University of Bridgeport in 1985 as the 31st pick overall in the second round. Although Bol did not have a stellar career, he is known for being one of the tallest players ever to play the game at 7 feet and 7 inches. He holds the record for being the tallest player ever to hit a 3-point field goal. The following two years saw two players born outside the U.S. selected first overall—Nigerian Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984 and Jamaica-born American Patrick Ewing in 1985.
By the 1999 draft, the number of foreign players being drafted dramatically increased. The top pick in the 1997 NBA draft, Tim Duncan, became the third international player picked number 1 overall—although his designation as "international" is a matter of semantics, as he is a native of the United States Virgin Islands and, like all USVI natives, is a U.S. citizen by birth. He also had played U.S. college basketball at Wake Forest. Including Duncan, 12 international players were selected in the two rounds of the draft—although half of them, including Duncan and the next two such players picked, had played college basketball. The 1998 draft saw another foreign player picked first overall, Nigerian Michael Olowokandi, but like Duncan he had played college basketball, in his case at Pacific. In 2001 the highest drafted foreign player, Pau Gasol, was selected 3rd overall by the Atlanta Hawks. That would all change the following season when Yao Ming became the first foreign player without U.S. college experience to be selected number 1 overall. Not only was the first overall pick an international player, but five more picks in the first round alone were also from overseas. In total, the 2002 draft produced 17 international players, with only three of them (all second-round picks) having U.S. college experience.
As noted earlier, four international players had gone first overall before 2002, although all had played college basketball in the U.S., and one of them was in fact a U.S. citizen by birth. It was not until 2002 that an international player without college experience went first overall—Yao Ming. His selection was not only a watershed moment for the NBA, but it also had a large impact in Yao's homeland of China. Hannah Beech (2003) wrote "Yao has single-handedly transformed his countrymen from nameless, faceless millions into mighty men who can jam with the very best". Yao has helped the NBA grow into a worldwide product. Beech (2003) goes on to write "Ratings for NBA games broadcast on Chinese TV have never been higher than this year as the nation keeps track of its new favorite team, Yao's Houston Rockets". For his career Yao averaged a solid 19.0 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, 1.89 blocks per game, and shot 82.6 percent from the free throw line. It had later gotten to a point where the last four drafts from 2013–2016 all held international prospects as #1 selections in their respective drafts before ending the run in 2017.
The 2002, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 NBA drafts saw international players picked first overall. In 2002, the Houston Rockets selected Yao Ming from China first in the draft, the first Asian number 1 selection. In 2005, the Milwaukee Bucks picked Andrew Bogut, from Australia by way of the University of Utah, #1. The next year, the Toronto Raptors drafted Andrea Bargnani from Italy, making him the second foreign player without U.S. college experience and the first European to be selected number 1 overall. In 2011, Australian born Kyrie Irving was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers after having played one year at Duke. In 2013, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Anthony Bennett, who played at UNLV, first overall and making Bennett the first Canadian to be drafted at #1. In the 2014 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers, again picking #1, selected Canadian shooting guard/small forward Andrew Wiggins. During the 2015 NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected U.S.-born center Karl-Anthony Towns, also born with Dominican Republic citizenship by way of his mother, as the first player from the latter country and therefore the first Latin American to become the #1 selection, teaming up with Andrew Wiggins in the process. During the 2016 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Australian forward Ben Simmons to be the #1 selection, the first time the franchise got one in 20 years since the 1996 NBA draft when they selected the first overall pick Allen Iverson, a sophomore from Georgetown. In the 2018 NBA draft, the Phoenix Suns selected Bahamian center Deandre Ayton as their first ever #1 selection, with Ayton being the second Bahamian taken at #1 behind Mychal Thompson, and the third Caribbean-born player after Patrick Ewing and Thompson.
Some of the most noted NBA draft years are 1984, 1996, and 2003: each of those is often referred to as one of, if not the, best NBA draft ever. The 2003 NBA draft is now considered the best draft in the last 20 years, with superstars such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh headlined.
The 2000 NBA draft has been regarded as the worst in history, with Sports Illustrated calling its first round "a horrible group of players". The 1986 Draft was notable for the number of solid and even outstanding players selected in later rounds, partly because of drug problems that claimed the life of second overall pick Len Bias and affected the careers of several other first-round picks.
The NBA draft has been televised since 1980, the same year the NFL and NHL televised (or publicized) theirs. USA Network broadcast the draft as part of its contract with the NBA until 1984; starting in 1985, TBS did so as part of its NBA on TBS package. From 1990 to 2002, TNT took over the draft as more NBA properties moved to the network (the NBA on TNT). When ESPN acquired the rights to the NBA from NBC in 2002, ESPN began broadcasting the draft (starting in 2003) with the NBA on ESPN, which it continues to do today.
The 1985 NBA draft took place on June 18, 1985. It was also the first NBA draft of the "lottery" era. It was also around this time where the league decreased the amount of rounds the draft spent, with the previous few years lasting up to 10 rounds total. A total of 162 players were selected over seven rounds by the league's 23 teams. The New York Knicks were awarded the first overall pick by winning the first-ever NBA draft lottery, which was held in May of that year. The Knicks ultimately used it on Georgetown's Patrick Ewing. In addition to Ewing, this draft was also notable for being the draft that Karl Malone was taken by the Utah Jazz at pick 13. Malone spent all but one season with the Jazz, eventually being the player with the second-highest point total in league history, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as of the 2018–19 season.2003 NBA draft
The 2003 NBA draft was held on June 26, 2003, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The NBA announced that 41 college and high school players and a record 31 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the 2003 NBA draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had a 22.50 percent probability of obtaining the first selection, won the NBA draft lottery on May 22, and Cleveland chairman Gordon Gund said afterward his team would select LeBron James. The Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets were second and third respectively.
The 2003 draft is known for having one of the most talented draft pools in draft history. The draft contained fifteen players that combined for twenty-six championships. Four of the top five picks are NBA All-Stars and "Redeem Team" Olympic Gold Medalists: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James. Many players have been in the starting line-ups of their respective teams; nine have participated in an All-Star Game, Dwyane Wade was named NBA Finals MVP in 2006 and won the NBA All Star Game MVP in 2010. Boris Diaw won the Most Improved Player Award in 2006, Jason Kapono won the three point shootout back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008, James Jones won the three point shootout in 2011, Leandro Barbosa won the Sixth Man Award in 2007, Kyle Korver set the NBA record for three point shooting percentage in 2010 (53.6%), and in the 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 seasons LeBron James won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, and the NBA Finals MVP in 2012, 2013 and 2016. Carmelo Anthony won the 2013 NBA Scoring Title and is the only player in NBA history to win at least three Olympic gold medals. Zaza Pachulia and David West won NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. Matt Bonner won NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 and 2014. Dahntay Jones and Mo Williams won the NBA championship in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Luke Walton won three NBA championships, two as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 and one as an assistant coach with the Warriors in 2015. Chris Bosh left Toronto in 2010 as its all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks, double doubles, free throws made and attempted, and minutes played. The 2003 draft class has drawn comparisons to the 1984 and 1996 NBA draft classes, but is also known for the Detroit Pistons having made the selection of Darko Miličić with the second pick over other prospects. Out of the entire draft, only Nick Collison has played his entire career for the team that drafted him.2004 NBA draft
The 2004 NBA draft was held on June 24, 2004, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and was broadcast live on ESPN at 7:00 pm (EDT). In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players. The NBA announced that 56 college and high school players and 38 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the 2004 draft. On May 26, the NBA draft lottery was conducted for the teams that did not make the NBA Playoffs in the 2003–04 NBA season. The Orlando Magic, who had a 25 percent chance of obtaining the first selection, won the lottery, while the Los Angeles Clippers and the Chicago Bulls were second and third respectively. As an expansion team, the Charlotte Bobcats had been assigned the fourth selection in the draft and did not participate in the lottery. The Minnesota Timberwolves forfeited their first-round pick due to salary cap violations.By the end of the draft, around 40% of the players selected in it were born from countries outside the United States. It would remain the highest influx of international players selected in the modern NBA draft era until the 2016 NBA draft, where almost half of the selected players were born in countries outside the US. In addition, four of the players selected in the draft were Russians, which not only marked the highest number of players born in that region to be taken in one draft, but also was the highest representation of a country in one draft until 2016 when five Frenchmen would be taken in the draft.
After the completion of the regular season, Emeka Okafor, the Bobcats' historical first rookie draft pick back when they were considered an expansion franchise, was named Rookie of the Year, while Ben Gordon earned the Sixth Man Award, becoming the first rookie in NBA history to do so.Dwight Howard has become an eight-time All-Star and has received seven All-NBA selections, and a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He also had the distinction as the only NBA player straight out of high school to start all 82 games as a rookie. There are also four other players that would be named All-Stars at some point in their careers, and Al Jefferson would be named to an All-NBA team. The draft is also notable for many high schoolers being drafted within a few picks from each other.2005 NBA draft
The 2005 NBA draft took place on June 28, 2005, in the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In this draft, NBA teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, such as players from high schools and non-North American leagues. The NBA announced that 49 college and high school players and 11 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the draft.This was the last NBA draft for which high school players were eligible. The new collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players union established a new age limit for draft eligibility. Starting with the 2006 NBA draft, players of any nationality who complete athletic eligibility at a U.S. high school cannot declare themselves eligible for the draft unless they turn 19 no later than December 31 of the year of the draft and are at least one year removed from the graduation of their high school classes. International players, defined in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement as non-US nationals who did not complete athletic eligibility at a U.S. high school, must turn 19 (or older) in the calendar year of the draft, up from 18. As of 2016, the only players to have declared for the NBA draft straight out of high school ever since these restrictions took place were Satnam Singh Bhamara (2015), Thon Maker (2016) , and Anfernee Simons (2018).
This draft is notable for a most recent draft pick from an NAIA (and non-NCAA) school in any round (that pick is Robert Whaley, the 51st pick from Walsh University, which is now in NCAA Division II).2006 NBA draft
The 2006 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2006, at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This was also the only time the New Orleans Hornets would draft under the temporary name of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets as the city of New Orleans was still recovering from the events of Hurricane Katrina after the 2005-06 NBA season.
Italian Andrea Bargnani was selected first overall by Toronto Raptors, who won the draft lottery. He became the second player without competitive experience in the United States to be drafted first overall. Prior to the draft he was playing with Italian club Benetton Treviso for 3 years. Sixth overall pick Brandon Roy from University of Washington was named Rookie of the Year for the 2006–07 season. Roy was originally drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves but his draft rights were traded to Portland Trail Blazers on draft day. Portland also acquired the draft rights to second overall pick from University of Texas, LaMarcus Aldridge from Chicago Bulls on draft day.The University of Connecticut had four players selected in the first round, tying the record set by Duke University in 1999 and the University of North Carolina in 2005. These players were Rudy Gay, Hilton Armstrong, Marcus Williams, and Josh Boone. With Denham Brown also selected in the second round, Connecticut became the first school ever to have five players selected in a two-round draft. Connecticut joined eight other schools that had five players selected in a single draft, second only to the UNLV, who had six players selected in the eight-round 1977 draft.2007 NBA draft
The 2007 NBA draft was held on June 28, 2007 at the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. It was broadcast on television in 115 countries. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players.
Freshman Greg Oden from Ohio State University was drafted first overall by the Portland Trail Blazers, who won the draft lottery. However, he missed the 2007–08 season due to microfracture surgery on his right knee during the pre-season. Another freshman, Kevin Durant, was drafted second overall from the University of Texas by the Seattle SuperSonics, and went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award for the 2007–08 season. Oden and Durant became the first freshmen to be selected with the top two picks in the draft. Al Horford, the son of former NBA player Tito Horford, was drafted third by the Atlanta Hawks. Of the three top picks, Durant and Horford were able to enjoy solid All-Star careers, while Oden was beset by numerous microfracture surgeries on both knees that limited him to only 82 games from 2008 to 2010.
On the night after the draft, the Seattle Supersonics traded seven-time All-Star Ray Allen along with the draft rights of the 35th pick Glen Davis to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and the draft rights to the 5th pick, Jeff Green. The Portland Trail Blazers and the New York Knicks were also involved in a multi-player trade that sent Zach Randolph to the Knicks and Steve Francis to the Blazers. Apart from those two trades, nine further draft-day trades were announced.The 2007 draft marked the first time three players drafted in the top 10 came from the same school: the University of Florida. Florida, the 2007 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Basketball champion, tied the record set by the University of Connecticut in 2006 with five players selected in the first two rounds of an NBA draft. Florida joined nine other schools, including Connecticut, that had five players selected in an NBA draft, second only to UNLV, which had six players selected in the eighth-round 1977 draft. Five players who competed in the 2007 NCAA Basketball National Championship Final were selected in the top 10; three players came from Florida, and two players came from the runner-up, Ohio State University. This draft also set the record number of freshmen drafted in the first round when eight freshmen were selected. Of the 60 players drafted, eight were freshmen, five were sophomores, 14 were juniors, 20 were seniors, and 13 were international players without U.S. college basketball experience. The Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and Toronto Raptors all did not have a draft pick this year, although Indiana and Toronto each acquired a drafted player's rights after the draft.2008 NBA draft
The 2008 NBA Draft was held on June 26, 2008 at the Washington Mutual Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, including international players from non-North American professional leagues. According to the NBA, 44 players, 39 collegiate players and five international players, filed as early-entry candidates for the 2008 NBA Draft. These numbers do not include players who are automatically eligible for the draft. The Chicago Bulls, who had a 1.7 percent probability of obtaining the first selection, won the NBA Draft Lottery on May 22. The Bulls' winning of the lottery was the second-largest upset in NBA Draft Lottery history behind the Orlando Magic, who won it in 1993 with just a 1.5% chance. The Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves obtained the second and third picks respectively.For the first time in draft history the first three draft picks were all freshmen. The Chicago Bulls used the first overall pick to draft Chicago native Derrick Rose from the University of Memphis, who later went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, making him the first player to be drafted first overall and to win Rookie of the Year since LeBron James in 2003. The Miami Heat used the second pick to draft Michael Beasley from Kansas State University, and the Minnesota Timberwolves used the third pick to draft O. J. Mayo from University of Southern California. With five players taken in the draft, the University of Kansas tied University of Connecticut (2006) and University of Florida (2007) for the record with the most players selected in the first two rounds of an NBA draft. Another record was set when twelve freshmen were drafted, ten of whom were drafted in the first round. Of the players drafted, 29 are forwards, 19 are guards, and 12 are centers.
The 2008 NBA Draft was the final time that the Seattle SuperSonics made an NBA Draft appearance, as well as the final time that the Sonics appeared in official media publications. In early July, the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder made their first NBA Draft appearance in 2009. This draft also marked the first time that an NBA D-League player was drafted.2009 NBA draft
The 2009 NBA draft was held on June 25, 2009, at the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In this draft, the National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players.
The Los Angeles Clippers, who won the draft lottery on May 19, 2009, used their first overall draft pick to draft Blake Griffin from University of Oklahoma. However, he missed the entire 2009–10 season due to surgery on his broken left kneecap, which he injured during the pre-season. Tanzanian-born Hasheem Thabeet from University of Connecticut was drafted second by the Memphis Grizzlies. Thabeet became the first player born in Tanzania to be drafted by an NBA team. James Harden was drafted 3rd by the Oklahoma City Thunder. This made him the first player to be drafted by the franchise as the Oklahoma City Thunder whose franchise moved from Seattle to OKC in 2008. The Sacramento Kings drafted Tyreke Evans 4th; he was named 2009–10 NBA Rookie of the Year, after he became the fourth NBA player in history to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in his rookie season, joining the elite club of Oscar Robertson (1960), Michael Jordan (1984) and LeBron James (2003). Spanish teenager Ricky Rubio was drafted 5th by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rubio became the fifth-highest-drafted international player who never played U.S. college basketball to be drafted in the NBA, tied with Nikoloz Tskitishvili (5th in 2002), and behind Yao Ming (1st in 2002), Andrea Bargnani (1st in 2006), Darko Miličić (2nd in 2003) and Pau Gasol (3rd in 2001). Twenty-third pick Omri Casspi became the first Israeli player to be drafted in the first round, and later he became the first Israeli to play in the NBA.The 2009 draft marked the first time three sons of former NBA players were selected in the top 15 picks of the draft. Stephen Curry, son of Dell Curry, was drafted 7th by the Golden State Warriors. Gerald Henderson Jr., son of Gerald Henderson, was drafted 12th by the Charlotte Bobcats. Austin Daye, son of Darren Daye, was drafted 15th by the Detroit Pistons. The draft also marked the first time a former high school player who skipped college to play professional basketball in Europe was selected in an NBA draft. Brandon Jennings, who skipped college to play professional basketball with Italian team Lottomatica Roma, was drafted 10th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the draft. Stephen Curry was named NBA MVP for 2 consecutive years (2015–2016), and won his first NBA championship in 2015.
Of the 60 players drafted, four were freshmen, nine were sophomores, 12 were juniors, 22 were seniors, and 13 were international players without U.S. college basketball experience. The University of North Carolina's Tar Heels had the most players selected in the draft; three players were selected in the first round and one was selected in the second round. This marked the second time ever that four Tar Heels players were selected in the first two rounds of an NBA draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves had the league-high four first-round draft picks and the first time in team history that the team held two top-10 draft picks. The Timberwolves also had two second-round draft picks and became the team with the most draft picks in the 2009 draft with a total of six. The Houston Rockets and the Orlando Magic were the only NBA teams who did not have a draft pick this year, although Houston acquired three drafted players' rights after the draft.2010 NBA draft
The 2010 NBA draft was held on June 24, 2010, at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The draft, which started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (2300 UTC), was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This draft set a record with five players being drafted from the same school in the first round. The players were John Wall (first), DeMarcus Cousins (fifth), Patrick Patterson (fourteenth), Eric Bledsoe (eighteenth), and Daniel Orton (twenty-ninth), all from the University of Kentucky. This draft also marked the second time that an NBA D-League player was drafted, with the first case coming in 2008.The Washington Wizards, who won the draft lottery on May 18, 2010, used their first overall draft pick to draft John Wall from the University of Kentucky. The Philadelphia 76ers, who also beat the odds in the draft lottery to obtain the second pick, selected Evan Turner from Ohio State University. The New Jersey Nets, who had the worst win-loss record in the previous season, used the third pick to select Derrick Favors from Georgia Tech.
The 2010 NBA draft is the last draft conducted at Madison Square Garden. The 2011 and 2012 NBA drafts were temporarily moved to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, while the 2013 NBA draft would be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York as the Garden underwent renovations during those summers of 2011–2013. After 2014, the draft would continue being hosted at the Barclays Center despite the renovations being done by the 2014 deadline.
Interestingly, this draft class had no Rookie of the Year because Blake Griffin, who was drafted first overall in the previous year's draft, missed his first season with an injury, but played in the 2010-2011 season and won Rookie of the Year.2011 NBA draft
The 2011 NBA draft was held on June 23, 2011, at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The draft started at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (2300 UTC), and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The Cleveland Cavaliers had the first pick due to a previous trade they had involving the Los Angeles Clippers, choosing point guard Kyrie Irving of Duke. Of the 60 players drafted, 7 were freshmen, 7 were sophomores, 14 were juniors, 19 were seniors, 12 were international players without U.S. college basketball experience (including the first-ever Qatari-selected player), and 1 was a D-League player.
The 2011 NBA draft marked the final time the New Jersey Nets made an NBA draft appearance. After the end of the Nets' 2011–12 season, the franchise relocated to Brooklyn, New York and was renamed to the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets made their first draft appearance with the Brooklyn moniker in 2012. Four of the first-round picks, including three of the top four picks, Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Tristan Thompson, and Iman Shumpert would all eventually become teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is considered one of the most loaded drafts in NBA history. Seven players in the draft would play in at least one All-Star game, including the final pick of the draft, Isaiah Thomas.2012 NBA draft
The 2012 NBA Draft was held on June 28, 2012, at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The draft started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (2300 UTC), and was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This draft marked the first time that the first two players selected were from the same school (Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were teammates at Kentucky). It also set a record of having six players from one school (Kentucky) being selected in the two rounds of the draft and was the first draft to have the first three selections be college freshmen all from the same conference, the Southeastern Conference. Not only that, but it also featured the oldest player to ever get selected in an NBA draft, with Bernard James being 27 years old at the time of the draft. Of the players drafted, 30 are forwards, 21 are guards, and 9 are centers.
The 2012 NBA draft marked the first appearance of the Brooklyn Nets. This draft also marks the last draft appearance for the New Orleans Hornets. After the 2012–13 season, the franchise was renamed as the New Orleans Pelicans. New Orleans made their first draft appearance as the Pelicans in 2013.2013 NBA draft
The 2013 NBA draft was held on June 27, 2013, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The lottery took place on May 21, 2013. This was the first draft for New Orleans under their new Pelicans name after playing as the New Orleans Hornets previously. It would also be the last draft for the Charlotte Bobcats under their old name, as they went back to playing under their old Hornets moniker that they last used in 2002 once the 2013–14 NBA season was over. Anthony Bennett, the first pick, bounced around the league, and then was finally released by the Brooklyn Nets after averaging just 5.2 PPG. He is considered the most recent candidate of being named the worst #1 draft pick in recent memory, with next to no major media outlets even considering him a potential #1 pick up until the day of the draft.Highlights of the draft included the first Canadian number one selection (Anthony Bennett). The draft also included the first Canadian pair of lottery picks (Bennett and Kelly Olynyk), the first Iranian draft choice (Arsalan Kazemi), the first New Zealander first round pick (Steven Adams) and the last first round draft selections announced by then-NBA commissioner David Stern, the very last of which included a visit by Hakeem Olajuwon, Stern's first pick he ever announced back in 1984. He was replaced by current commissioner Adam Silver beginning with the 2014 NBA draft.2014 NBA draft
The 2014 NBA draft was held on June 26, 2014, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The draft lottery took place on May 20, 2014. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the draft lottery to earn the first overall pick in the draft; this is the fourth number-one pick for Cleveland since 2003 and third number-one pick over a four-year span from 2011–2014. This draft would also be the first for the reborn Charlotte Hornets, who played as the Bobcats from 2004–2014, since 2001, when the original Charlotte Hornets last selected as the Charlotte Hornets before moving to New Orleans and eventually becoming the current New Orleans Pelicans.
Television rights in the United States belonged to ESPN. It was tipped by many to be one of the deepest and most hyped draft classes in recent years, with several players touted as future stars. College underclassmen that were highly touted by NBA scouts and executives included: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, Zach LaVine, T. J. Warren, and Gary Harris. Other highly sought after talents included Australian player Dante Exum and Croatian player Dario Šarić, who both declared for the draft, and Doug McDermott, who was automatically eligible as a graduating college senior.
Highlights from the draft included the first selections made by Adam Silver as commissioner and Mark Tatum as deputy commissioner, the second Canadian to be the first overall pick (Andrew Wiggins), the first pair of Canadian top 10 picks and second pair of Canadian lottery picks (Wiggins and Nik Stauskas), three top 20 Canadian selections (Wiggins, Stauskas, and Tyler Ennis), the first NBA Development League player to be selected in the first round (P. J. Hairston), the first time multiple NBA Development League players were selected in the same draft (Hairston and Thanasis Antetokounmpo), and the first Cape Verdean player to be selected in the draft (Walter Tavares). In addition, a standing ovation for Isaiah Austin occurred between the 15th and 16th picks of the draft, which included having the NBA itself hold a ceremonial pick to select him as a means of letting his dream of having his name be heard in the NBA draft come true, which happened days after he was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome and originally was never considered to play professional basketball again. Nearly two months after the draft ended, Andrew Wiggins was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a three-team deal that brought Kevin Love to Cleveland; this resulted in the second time since the NBA–ABA merger that a first overall draft pick would not play a single game for the team that drafted him (the first time being the Orlando Magic drafted Chris Webber first overall in 1993 and then minutes later, traded Webber to the Golden State Warriors for Golden State's third overall pick in the 1993 Draft, Anfernee (Penny) Hardaway plus three of Golden State's future first-round draft selections).2016 NBA draft
The 2016 NBA draft was held on June 23, 2016, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It was televised nationally in the U.S. by ESPN, and was live streamed for the first time in NBA draft history by The Vertical. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The draft lottery took place during the playoffs, on May 17, 2016. This was the first time since the lottery system was introduced in 1985 that all NBA teams that missed out on the playoffs remained in the exact spots they were designated, meaning the 10-win/72-loss Philadelphia 76ers received the No. 1 pick, the Los Angeles Lakers kept the No. 2 pick, the Boston Celtics via the Brooklyn Nets got the No. 3 pick, and everyone else stayed in their same spots based on the regular season standings from the 2015–16 season.
Highlights from the draft include the third Australian No. 1 draft pick (Ben Simmons; the first being Andrew Bogut and the second being Kyrie Irving), the first Austrian to be selected into the NBA (Jakob Pöltl), the first high school prospect to be taken in the first round since the 2005 NBA draft (Thon Maker), the first Ghanaian to be selected into the NBA (Ben Bentil), the most Frenchmen to be taken overall (Guerschon Yabusele, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, David Michineau, Isaia Cordinier, Petr Cornelie), the first time since the 1990 NBA draft that an Egyptian has been selected into the NBA (Abdel Nader), and the first time that two Chinese players have been selected into the same draft (Zhou Qi and Wang Zhelin) since the 2007 NBA draft. This draft was also notable for providing the most international draft prospects in draft history, with 28 different players representing different countries instead of the United States of America. It beat out the 2004 NBA draft for the most culturally diverse draft in league history. It was the second time that three players were selected from Serbian team Mega Leks in the same draft (Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, Ivica Zubac, Rade Zagorac), the first time being the 2014 NBA draft.2017 NBA draft
The 2017 NBA draft was held on June 22, 2017, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players.
The draft lottery took place during the playoffs on May 16, 2017. The 53–29 Boston Celtics, who were also the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and reached the Eastern Conference Finals at the time of the NBA draft lottery, won the #1 pick with pick swapping rights thanks to a previous trade with the Brooklyn Nets, who had the worst record the previous season. The Los Angeles Lakers, who had risked losing their 2017 first round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, moved up two spots to get the No. 2 pick, while Philadelphia moved up to receive the No. 3 pick due to the Sacramento Kings moving up in the draft, which activated pick swapping rights the 76ers had from an earlier trade. On June 19, four days before the NBA draft began, the Celtics and 76ers traded their top first round picks to each other, meaning the holders of the top four picks of this year's draft would be exactly the same as the previous year's draft.The draft class is the youngest draft class ever, with the most freshmen and fewest seniors selected in the first round; the top seven picks in the draft were all college freshmen. It was the third time, and the second in a row, that three players were selected from Serbian team KK Mega Basket in the same draft (Vlatko Čančar, Ognjen Jaramaz, Alpha Kaba), with it previously occurring during the 2014 and 2016 NBA draft. The draft also received a lot of media coverage from ESPN pertaining to eventual No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball and his outspoken father, LaVar Ball, much to the chagrin of many sports fans and even some ESPN employees. This was one of the rare occasions where a player drafted from their year did not win rookie of the year; the award went to 2016 first overall pick Ben Simmons, the first player to win the award in a year they weren’t drafted since Blake Griffin.2018 NBA draft
The 2018 NBA draft was held on June 21, 2018, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur United States college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. It was televised nationally by ESPN. This draft was the last to use the original weighted lottery system that gave teams near the bottom of the NBA draft better odds at the top three picks of the draft while teams higher up had worse odds in the process; the rule was agreed upon by the NBA on September 28, 2017, but would not be implemented until the 2019 draft. It was also considered the final year where undrafted college underclassmen were forced to begin their professional careers early; on August 8, 2018, the NCAA announced that players who declared for the NBA draft and were not selected would have the opportunity to return to their school for at least another year. With the last year of what was, at the time, the most recent lottery system (with the NBA draft lottery being held in Chicago instead of in New York), the Phoenix Suns won the first overall pick on May 15, 2018, with the Sacramento Kings at the second overall pick and the Atlanta Hawks at third overall pick. The Suns' selection was their first No. 1 overall selection in franchise history. They used the selection on the Bahamian center Deandre Ayton from the nearby University of Arizona.
This draft was also notable for its lack of draft-day trades involving NBA veterans. An average of more than five veterans per year were traded on the day of the last three drafts, but this draft was the first since 2003 in which no such trades were announced. At the end of the 2018-19 season the top 5 picks from the draft were picked as the All-Rookie 1st Team, the first time this had happened since the 1984 draft.2019 NBA draft
The 2019 NBA draft will be held on June 20, 2019. It will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. National Basketball Association (NBA) teams will take turns selecting amateur United States college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. It will be televised nationally on ESPN. This draft was the first to feature a new weighted lottery system in which the three worst teams each had a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery; these teams were the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers. The lottery took place on May 14, during the NBA playoffs. Three of the four teams who held the top four picks of the draft this year rose up from at least six spots in the lottery, including the New Orleans Pelicans, who won with 6 percent odds.List of first overall NBA draft picks
The National Basketball Association's first overall pick is the player who is selected first among all eligible draftees by a team during the annual National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. The first pick is awarded to the team that wins the NBA draft lottery; in most cases, that team had a losing record in the previous season. The team with the first pick attracts significant media attention, as does the player who is selected with that pick.
Eleven first picks have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award: Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (record six-time winner), Bill Walton, Magic Johnson (three-time winner), Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan (two-time winner), LeBron James (four-time winner), and Derrick Rose (youngest winner).
Since the advent of the draft lottery in 1985, seven number one overall picks have won an NBA title. They are David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Glenn Robinson, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Andrew Bogut, and Kyrie Irving.
China's Yao Ming (2002) and Italy's Andrea Bargnani (2006) are the only two players without competitive experience in the United States to be drafted first overall. Eleven other international players with U.S. college experience have been drafted first overall—Mychal Thompson (Bahamas) in 1978, Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) in 1984, Patrick Ewing (Jamaica) in 1985, Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands) in 1997, Michael Olowokandi (Nigeria) in 1998, Andrew Bogut (Australia) in 2005, Kyrie Irving (Australia) in 2011, Anthony Bennett (Canada) in 2013, Andrew Wiggins (Canada) in 2014, Ben Simmons (Australia) in 2016, and Deandre Ayton (Bahamas) in 2018. Duncan is an American citizen, but is considered an "international" player by the NBA because he was not born in one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. Ewing had dual Jamaican-American citizenship when he was drafted and Irving and Simmons had dual Australian-American citizenship when they were drafted.
Note that the drafts between 1947 and 1949 were held by the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The Basketball Association of America became the National Basketball Association after absorbing teams from the National Basketball League in the fall of 1949. Official NBA publications include the BAA Drafts as part of the NBA's draft history.NBA draft lottery
The NBA draft lottery is an annual event held by the National Basketball Association (NBA), in which the teams who had missed the playoffs the previous year participate in a lottery process to determine the draft order in the NBA draft. The NBA Draft lottery started in 1985. In the NBA draft, the teams obtain the rights to amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The lottery winner would get the first selection in the draft. The term "lottery pick" denotes a draft pick whose position is determined through the lottery, while the non-playoff teams involved in the process are often called "lottery teams."
Under the current rules, only the top four picks are decided by the lottery, and are chosen from the 14 teams that do not make the playoffs. The team with the worst record, or the team that holds the draft rights of the team with the worst record, has the best chance to obtain a higher draft pick. After the top four positions are selected (from the lottery slotting system), the remainder of the first-round draft order is in inverse order of the win-loss record for the remaining teams, or the teams who originally held the lottery rights if they were traded. The lottery does not determine the draft order in the subsequent rounds of the draft.
Beginning with the 2019 draft, the NBA changed the lottery odds (the bottom three teams will all have an equal 14% chance of winning the top pick) and increase the number of teams selected in the lottery from three to four.
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