1978 NBA draft

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1978 NBA Draft
General information
Date(s) June 9, 1978
Location New York City
First selection Mychal Thompson, Portland Trail Blazers
NBA draft
1977 1979 >

The 1978 NBA draft was the 32nd annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on June 9, 1978, before the 1978–79 season. In this draft, 22 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip.[1] The Indiana Pacers won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Kansas City Kings, who obtained the New Jersey Nets' first-round pick in a trade, were awarded the second pick.[2] The Pacers then traded the first pick to the Portland Trail Blazers before the draft. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. Before the draft, five college underclassmen were declared eligible for selection under the "hardship" rule.[3] These players had applied and gave evidence of financial hardship to the league, which granted them the right to start earning their living by starting their professional careers earlier.[4] Prior to the start of the season, the Buffalo Braves relocated to San Diego and became the San Diego Clippers.[5] The draft consisted of 10 rounds comprising the selection of 202 players.

Draft selections and draftee career notes[edit]

Mychal Thompson from the University of Minnesota was selected first overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. Thompson, who was born in the Bahamas, became the first foreign-born player to be drafted first overall.[6] Phil Ford from the University of North Carolina was selected second by the Kansas City Kings. He went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award and was also selected to the All-NBA Second Team in his rookie season.[7][8] A college underclassman from Indiana State University, Larry Bird, was selected sixth by the Boston Celtics. However, he opted to return to Indiana State for his senior season before entering the league in 1979. He won the Rookie of the Year Award and was also selected to both the All-NBA First Team and the All Star Game in his rookie season. Bird spent his entire 13-year career with the Celtics and won three NBA championships. He also won three consecutive Most Valuable Player Awards and two Finals Most Valuable Player Awards. He was also selected to ten All-NBA Teams and thirteen consecutive All-Star Games.[9] For his achievements, he has been inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.[10] Bird was also named to the list of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History announced at the league's 50th anniversary in 1996.[11] After retiring as a player, Bird went on to have a coaching career. He coached the Indiana Pacers for three seasons, leading them to an NBA Finals appearance.[9][12] He also won the Coach of the Year Award in 1998.[13]

Before the draft, Larry Bird had just finished his junior year at Indiana State. However, he was eligible to be drafted without applying for "hardship" because his original college class at the Indiana University had graduated.[9][14] He initially enrolled at Indiana in 1974 but dropped out before the season began. After sitting out a year, he enrolled at Indiana State.[15] Despite being eligible for the draft, he stated that he would return to college for his senior season. His hometown team, the Indiana Pacers, initially held the first overall pick. However, when they failed to persuade him to leave college early, they traded the first pick to the Blazers, who also failed to convince him into signing.[16][17] Five teams, including the Pacers who held the third pick, passed on Bird until the Celtics used the sixth pick to draft him. They drafted him even though they knew that they might lose the exclusive rights to him if he didn't sign before the next draft. He could reenter the draft in 1979 and sign with the other team that drafted him. Nevertheless, on April 1979, he signed a five-year, US$3.25-million contract with the Celtics, which made him the highest-paid rookie in the history of team sport at that time.[18]

Maurice Cheeks, the 36th pick, was selected to four All-Star Games and five consecutive All-Defensive Teams.[19] After retiring as a player, he coached the Portland Trail Blazers and the Philadelphia 76ers for four and a half seasons each. He then coached the Detroit Pistons for the first portion of the 2013/14 NBA season but was fired before finishing his first season with the team.[20] Micheal Ray Richardson, the fourth pick, Reggie Theus, the ninth pick, and Mike Mitchell, the fifteenth pick, are the only other players from this draft who were selected to an All-Star Game.[21][22][23] Michael Cooper, the 60th pick, won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1987 and was selected to eight consecutive All-Defensive Teams. He spent his entire 12-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers and won five NBA championships.[24] After retiring, he coached the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) for eight seasons, leading them to two consecutive WNBA championships in 2001 and 2002.[25] He also served as an interim head coach of the Denver Nuggets in the 2004–2005 season.[26] Four other players drafted also went on to have coaching careers in the NBA: Reggie Theus, 21st pick Mike Evans, 53rd pick Randy Ayers and 55th pick Marc Iavaroni.[27][28][29][30]

Key[edit]

Pos. G F C
Position Guard Forward Center
^ Denotes player who has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
+ Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game
x Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-NBA Team
# Denotes player who never played in the NBA regular season or playoffs

Draft[edit]

Mychal Thompson was selected 1st overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Larry Bird was selected 6th overall by the Boston Celtics.
A man, wearing a black jacket and black t-shirt, is walking onto the basketball court.
Jack Givens (left) was selected 16th overall by the Atlanta Hawks.
Maurice Cheeks (right) was selected 36th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Round Pick Player Pos. Nationality Team School/club team
1 1 Thompson, MychalMychal Thompson F/C  Bahamas Portland Trail Blazers (from Indiana)[a] Minnesota (Sr.)
1 2 Ford, PhilPhil Fordx G  United States Kansas City Kings (from New Jersey)[b] North Carolina (Sr.)
1 3 Robey, RickRick Robey F/C  United States Indiana Pacers (from Buffalo via Portland)[a] Kentucky (Sr.)
1 4 Richardson, Micheal RayMicheal Ray Richardson+ G/F  United States New York Knicks (from Houston via Buffalo and New Jersey)[c] Montana (Sr.)
1 5 Short, PurvisPurvis Short G/F  United States Golden State Warriors (from Kansas City via Los Angeles)[d] Jackson State (Sr.)
1 6 Bird, LarryLarry Bird^ F  United States Boston Celtics Indiana State (Jr.)1[›]
1 7 Brewer, RonRon Brewer G  United States Portland Trail Blazers (from Detroit via Seattle)[e] Arkansas (Sr.)
1 8 Williams, FreemanFreeman Williams G/F  United States Boston Celtics (from New Orleans via Los Angeles)[f] Portland State (Sr.)
1 9 Theus, ReggieReggie Theus+ G  United States Chicago Bulls UNLV (Jr.)
1 10 Lee, ButchButch Lee G  Puerto Rico Atlanta Hawks Marquette (Sr.)
1 11 Hardy, JamesJames Hardy F/C  United States New Orleans Jazz (from Golden State)[g] San Francisco (Jr.)
1 12 Johnson, GeorgeGeorge Johnson F/C  United States Milwaukee Bucks (from Cleveland)[h] St. John's (Sr.)
1 13 Boynes, WinfordWinford Boynes G/F  United States New Jersey Nets (from New York)[c] San Francisco (Jr.)
1 14 Phegley, RogerRoger Phegley G/F  United States Washington Bullets Bradley (Sr.)
1 15 Mitchell, MikeMike Mitchell+ F  United States Cleveland Cavaliers (from Milwaukee)[i] Auburn (Sr.)
1 16 Givens, JackJack Givens G/F  United States Atlanta Hawks (from Los Angeles via New Orleans)[f] Kentucky (Sr.)
1 17 Griffin, RodRod Griffin# F  United States Denver Nuggets (from Seattle)[j] Wake Forest (Sr.)
1 18 Corzine, DaveDave Corzine C  United States Washington Bullets (from Denver)[k] DePaul (Sr.)
1 19 Byrnes, MartyMarty Byrnes F  United States Phoenix Suns Syracuse (Sr.)
1 20 Sanders, FrankieFrankie Sanders G/F  United States San Antonio Spurs Southern (Jr.)
1 21 Evans, MikeMike Evans G  United States Denver Nuggets (from Philadelphia)[l] Kansas State (Sr.)
1 22 Townsend, RaymondRaymond Townsend G  United States
 Philippines
Golden State Warriors (from Portland)[m] UCLA (Sr.)
2 23 Tyler, TerryTerry Tyler G/F  United States Detroit Pistons (from New Jersey) Detroit (Sr.)
2 24 Herron, KeithKeith Herron G/F  United States Portland Trail Blazers (from Buffalo via Atlanta) Villanova (Sr.)
2 25 Wilson, RickRick Wilson G  United States Atlanta Hawks (from Houston) Louisville (Sr.)
2 26 Carter, RonRon Carter G  United States Los Angeles Lakers (from Kansas City)[d] Virginia Military (Sr.)
2 27 Radford, WayneWayne Radford G  United States Indiana Pacers Indiana (Sr.)
2 28 Matheney, BusterBuster Matheney# F  United States Houston Rockets (from Boston) Utah (Sr.)
2 29 Long, JohnJohn Long G/F  United States Detroit Pistons Detroit (Sr.)
2 30 Judkins, JeffJeff Judkins G/F  United States Boston Celtics (from New Orleans) Utah (Sr.)
2 31 Johnson, MarvinMarvin Johnson# F  United States Chicago Bulls New Mexico (Sr.)
2 32 Rudd, JohnJohn Rudd F  United States New York Knicks (from Atlanta) McNeese State (Sr.)
2 33 Davis, HarryHarry Davis F  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Florida State (Sr.)
2 34 Bunch, GregGreg Bunch F  United States New York Knicks Cal State Fullerton (Sr.)
2 35 Green, TommieTommie Green G  United States New Orleans Jazz (from Golden State) Southern (Sr.)
2 36 Cheeks, MauriceMaurice Cheeks+ G  United States Philadelphia 76ers (from Milwaukee) West Texas State (Sr.)
2 37 Sykes, TerryTerry Sykes# F  United States Washington Bullets Grambling State (Sr.)
2 38 Massey, LewLew Massey# G  United States Los Angeles Lakers UNC Charlotte (Sr.)
2 39 Lee, JamesJames Lee# F  United States Seattle SuperSonics Kentucky (Sr.)
2 40 Cooper, WayneWayne Cooper F/C  United States Golden State Warriors (from Denver) New Orleans (Sr.)
2 41 Whitehead, JeromeJerome Whitehead F/C  United States Buffalo Braves (from Phoenix) Marquette (Sr.)
2 42 McDonald, KevenKeven McDonald# F  United States Seattle SuperSonics (from San Antonio) Pennsylvania (Sr.)
2 43 Hagan, GlennGlenn Hagan G  United States Philadelphia 76ers St. Bonaventure (Sr.)
2 44 Johnson, ClemonClemon Johnson F/C  United States Portland Trail Blazers Florida A&M (Sr.)

Other picks[edit]

The following list includes other draft picks who have appeared in at least one NBA game.

Three men, wearing black suits, white shirts and ties, is sitting in front of a crowd.
Marc Iavaroni (center) was selected 55th overall by the New York Knicks.
Round Pick Player Pos. Nationality Team School/club team
3 46 Copeland, HollisHollis Copeland F  United States Denver Nuggets (from Buffalo) Rutgers (Sr.)
3 47 Bates, Billy RayBilly Ray Bates G  United States Houston Rockets Kentucky State (Sr.)
3 49 Cook, JeffJeff Cook F/C  United States Kansas City Kings Idaho State (Sr.)
3 55 Iavaroni, MarcMarc Iavaroni F  United States New York Knicks Virginia (Sr.)
3 57 Higgs, KennyKenny Higgs G  United States Cleveland Cavaliers LSU(Sr.)
3 59 Cummings, PatPat Cummings F/C  United States Milwaukee Bucks Cincinnati (Sr.)
3 60 Cooper, MichaelMichael Cooper G/F  United States Los Angeles Lakers New Mexico (Sr.)
3 62 Batton, DaveDave Batton C  United States New Jersey Nets (from Denver) Notre Dame (Sr.)
3 63 Kramer, JoelJoel Kramer F/C  United States Phoenix Suns San Diego State (Sr.)
3 64 Henderson, GeraldGerald Henderson G  United States San Antonio Spurs Virginia Commonwealth (Sr.)
4 67 Robinson, JackieJackie Robinson F  United States Houston Rockets (from New Jersey) UNLV (Sr.)
4 70 Crompton, GeoffGeoff Crompton C  United States Kansas City Kings North Carolina (Sr.)
4 80 Howard, OtisOtis Howard F  United States Milwaukee Bucks Austin Peay (Sr.)
4 81 Boston, LawrenceLawrence Boston F  United States Washington Bullets Maryland (Sr.)
4 84 Jordan, WalterWalter Jordan F  United States New Jersey Nets (from Denver) Purdue (Sr.)
4 85 Miller, BobBob Miller F  United States Phoenix Suns Cincinnati (Sr.)
4 87 Vroman, BrettBrett Vroman C  United States Philadelphia 76ers UNLV (Sr.)
5 96 Williams, DuckDuck Williams G  United States New Orleans Jazz Notre Dame (Sr.)
5 101 Wilson, BubbaBubba Wilson G  United States Golden State Warriors Western Carolina (Sr.)
5 104 , Carlos TerryCarlos Terry G/F  United States Los Angeles Lakers Winston-Salem State (Sr.)
5 105 Drollinger, RalphRalph Drollinger C  United States Seattle SuperSonics UCLA (Sr.)
5 107 Wakefield, AndreAndre Wakefield G  United States Phoenix Suns Loyola (Illinois) (Sr.)
5 110 Johnson, ClayClay Johnson G  United States Portland Trail Blazers Missouri (Sr.)
6 118 Douglas, JohnJohn Douglas G  United States New Orleans Jazz Kansas (Sr.)
7 133 Pietkiewicz, StanStan Pietkiewicz G/F  United States Buffalo Braves Auburn (Sr.)
7 146 Anderson, KimKim Anderson F  United States Milwaukee Bucks Missouri (Sr.)
7 149 Malovic, SteveSteve Malovic F  United States Phoenix Suns San Diego State (Sr.)
8 157 Evans, EarlEarl Evans F  United States Detroit Pistons UNLV (Sr.)
8 158 Kilpatrick, CarlCarl Kilpatrick C  United States New Orleans Jazz Northeast Louisiana (Sr.)
8 159 Cox, ChubbyChubby Cox G  United States Chicago Bulls San Francisco (Sr.)
10 190 Williams, RickeyRickey Williams G  United States New Orleans Jazz Long Beach State (Sr.)

Trades[edit]

  • c 1 2 On June 8, 1978, the New York Knicks acquired the fourth pick and a 1979 first-round pick from the New Jersey Nets in exchange for Phil Jackson, the thirteenth pick and US$3.2-million settlement of their indemnification debt to the Knicks.[33][34] Previously, the Nets acquired George E. Johnson, the pick and a 1979 first-round pick on September 1, 1977 from the Buffalo Braves in exchange for Nate Archibald.[33] Previously, the Braves acquired the pick and a 1977 first-round pick on October 24, 1976 from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Moses Malone.[32] The Knicks used the pick to draft Micheal Ray Richardson. The Nets used the pick to draft Winford Boynes.
  • e On November 11, 1977, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired a 1978 first-round pick and a 1979 second-round pick from the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for Wally Walker.[38] Previously, the Sonics acquired the pick on September 25, 1975 from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Archie Clark.[39] The Blazers used the pick to draft Ron Brewer.
  • f 1 2 On December 27, 1977, the Boston Celtics acquired Don Chaney, Kermit Washington and a first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Charlie Scott.[40] On October 13, 1977, the Atlanta Hawks acquired a first-round pick from the New Orleans Jazz in exchange for Joe Meriweather.[41] Previously, the Lakers acquired 1977, 1978 and 1979 first-round picks, and a 1980 second-round pick on August 5, 1976 from the Jazz in exchange for a 1978 first-round pick and a 1977 second-round pick. This trade was arranged as compensation when the Jazz signed Gail Goodrich on July 19, 1976.[42] The Celtics used the pick to draft Freeman Williams. The Hawks used the pick to draft Jack Givens.
  • g On October 3, 1977, the New Orleans Jazz acquired a first-round pick from the Golden State Warriors as compensation for the signing of E. C. Coleman as a free agent.[43] The Jazz used the pick to draft James Hardy.
  • i On June 1, 1978, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired the 15th pick from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for a 1979 first-round pick.[45] The Cavaliers used the pick to draft Mike Mitchell.
  • j On the draft-day, the Denver Nuggets acquired the 17th pick from the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for Tom LaGarde.[46] The Nuggets used the pick to draft Rod Griffin.
  • k On October 11, 1977, the Washington Bullets acquired a first-round pick from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Bo Ellis.[47] The Bullets used the pick to draft Dave Corzine.
  • l On the draft-day, the Denver Nuggets acquired the 21st pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a 1984 first-round pick.[48][49] The Nuggets used the pick to draft Mike Evans.
  • m On June 7, 1978, the Golden State Warriors acquired the 22nd pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a 1981 first-round pick.[50] The Warriors used the pick to draft Raymond Townsend.

Notes[edit]

^ 1: Even though Larry Bird was a junior, he was eligible to be drafted because he was already four years out of high school and therefore he did not need to apply for early entry.[9]

References[edit]

General
Specific
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External links[edit]