The 1984 NBA draft was the 38th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held at the Felt Forum at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York on June 19, 1984 before the 1984–85 season. The draft was broadcast in the United States on the USA Network. In this draft, 23 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The Houston Rockets won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Portland Trail Blazers, who obtained the Indiana Pacers' first-round pick in a trade, were awarded the second pick. 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. The Cleveland Cavaliers were awarded an extra first-round draft pick as compensation for the draft picks traded away by their previous owner, Ted Stepien. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was automatically eligible for selection. Before the draft, five college underclassmen announced that they would leave college early and would be eligible for selection. Prior to the draft, the San Diego Clippers relocated to Los Angeles, California and became the Los Angeles Clippers. The draft consisted of 10 rounds comprising the selection of 228 players. This draft was the last to be held before the creation of the Draft Lottery in 1985. The draft is generally considered to be one of the greatest in NBA history, with four Hall of Famers being drafted in the first sixteen picks. Olajuwon, Barkley, and Stockton are each among the greatest to ever play their respective positions, while Jordan is held to be one of the greatest—if not the single greatest—basketball player in history.
The 1984 draft class is considered to be one of the best in NBA history as it produced four Hall of Famers and seven All-Stars. However, it was also marked by the Blazers' selection of Sam Bowie, considered one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history. It is believed that the Blazers picked Bowie over Michael Jordan because they already had an All Star shooting guard in Jim Paxson and a young shooting guard in Clyde Drexler, whom they drafted in the 1983 Draft. Although Drexler went on to have a successful career, Bowie's career was cut short by injuries; he had missed two of the past three seasons in his college career as well. Despite having a 10-year career in the NBA and averaging 10.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, Bowie's career was interrupted by five leg surgeries, which limited him to 139 games in 5 years with the Blazers.
g On August 28, 1980, the L.A. Clippers (as San Diego) acquired Phil Smith and a first-round pick from Golden State in exchange for World B. Free. The L.A. Clippers used the pick to draft Lancaster Gordon.
l On October 5, 1982, Seattle acquired a second-round pick from Houston in exchange for Wally Walker. Seattle used the pick to draft Cory Blackwell.
m On February 15, 1983, Indiana acquired Russ Schoene a second-round pick and a 1983 first-round pick from Philadelphia in exchange for Clemon Johnson and a third-round pick. Previously, Philadelphia acquired the pick and a 1983 fourth-round pick on October 27, 1982 from the L.A. Clippers (as San Diego) in exchange for Lionel Hollins. Indiana used the pick to draft Stuart Gray.
n On October 19, 1981, Golden State acquired 1982 and 1984 second-round picks from Washington in exchange for John Lucas. Golden State used the pick to draft Steve Burtt.
p On August 15, 1980, Portland acquired a second-round pick and a 1983 first-round pick from Denver in exchange for T. R. Dunn and a 1983 first-round pick. Portland used the pick to draft Steve Colter.
q On July 5, 1983, Washington acquired Tom McMillen and a second-round pick from Atlanta in exchange for Randy Wittman. Previously, Atlanta acquired the pick and a 1985 second-round pick on February 13, 1983 from Detroit in a three-team trade with Detroit and Seattle. Previously, Detroit acquired the pick and a 1982 second-round pick on August 26, 1981 from Kansas City in exchange for Larry Drew. Washington used the pick to draft Tony Costner.
r On February 15, 1983, Golden State acquired a second-round pick from Atlanta in exchange for Rickey Brown. Golden State used the pick to draft Othell Wilson.
s On June 28, 1983, Chicago acquired the draft rights to Ennis Whatley, the draft rights to Chris McNealy and a second-round pick from Kansas City in exchange for Mark Olberding and the draft rights to Larry Micheaux. Previously, Kansas City acquired the pick on June 30, 1982 from Atlanta in exchange for the draft rights to Jim Johnstone. Previously, Atlanta acquired the pick and a 1983 second-round pick on December 2, 1980 from Seattle in exchange for Armond Hill. Chicago used the pick to draft Ben Coleman.
u On September 11, 1980, Dallas acquired a second-round pick and a 1983 second-round pick from Utah in exchange for Billy McKinney. Dallas used the pick to draft Anthony Teachey.
v On August 12, 1983, Dallas acquired Foots Walker, a second-round pick and a 1985 first-round pick from New Jersey in exchange for Kelvin Ransey. Previously, New Jersey acquired the second-round pick on June 22, 1983 from New York in exchange for Len Elmore. Dallas used the pick to draft Tom Sluby.
x On February 15, 1984, Chicago acquired Steve Johnson, a second-round pick and two 1985 second-round picks from Kansas City in exchange for Reggie Theus. Previously, Kansas City acquired Billy Knight and the pick on September 17, 1983 from Indiana in a three-team trade with Indiana and New York. Previously, Indiana acquired the pick on September 22, 1982 from Detroit in exchange for Tom Owens. Chicago used the pick to draft Greg Wiltjer.
y On September 30, 1983, Washington acquired a second-round pick from Milwaukee in exchange for Kevin Grevey. Washington used the pick to draft Fred Reynolds.
z On November 12, 1983, Golden State acquired a second-round pick from Philadelphia in exchange for Sam Williams. Golden State used the pick to draft Gary Plummer.
aa On October 8, 1980, Portland acquired a second-round pick from the L.A. Lakers in exchange for Jim Brewer. Portland used the pick to draft Jerome Kersey.
ab On January 21, 1984, San Antonio acquired a third-round pick from Denver in exchange for Keith Edmonson. San Antonio used the pick to draft Joe Binion.
ac On March 8, 1984, San Antonio acquired a fourth-round pick from Milwaukee as compensation for the signing of Mike Dunleavy as a free agent. San Antonio used the pick to draft Ozell Jones.
ad On October 5, 1983, Milwaukee acquired a sixth-round pick from Houston as compensation for the signing of Phil Ford as a free agent. Milwaukee used the pick to draft McKinley Singleton.
^1: When Hakeem Olajuwon first arrived in the United States in 1981, his first name was incorrectly spelled as "Akeem". He used that spelling until March 9, 1991, when he announced that he would add an H and changed it to "Hakeem", the original Arabic spelling of his name. ^2: Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Nigeria, but became a naturalized United States citizen in 1993. He has represented the United States national team. ^3: As compensation for the first-round draft picks traded away by the previous owner, Ted Stepien, the Cleveland Cavaliers were awarded extra first-round draft picks in the 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986 drafts in exchange for cash. ^4: Even though Tim McCormick was a senior, he had one year of college eligibility remaining and thus had to apply for early entry. ^5: Stuart Gray was born in the Panama Canal Zone which was controlled by the United States. He has represented Panama national team.