|1985 NBA Draft|
|Date(s)||June 18, 1985|
|Location||Felt Forum, New York City, New York|
|162 total selections in 7 rounds|
|First selection||Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks|
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 used it on Georgetown's Patrick Ewing. In addition to Ewing, this draft also resulted in several Hall of Famers, including Karl Malone taken by the Utah Jazz at pick 13.
|PG||Point guard||SG||Shooting guard||SF||Small forward||PF||Power forward||C||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 and All-NBA Team|
|+||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 has never appeared in an NBA regular season or playoff game|
*Further compensation for draft choices previously traded away by Ted Stepien.
Notable post-second round picks
- Nationality indicates the player's national team or representative nationality. If a player has not competed at the international level, then the nationality indicates the national team which the player is eligible to represent according to FIBA rules.
Notable undrafted players
These players were not selected in the 1985 draft but played at least one game in the NBA.
|David Cooke||PF||United States||Saint Mary's (Sr.)|
|Dennis Nutt||PG||United States||TCU (Sr.)|
|João Vianna||PF||Brazil||C.A. Monte Líbano (Brazil)|
Some have argued that NBA Commissioner David Stern fixed the first overall pick to help his hometown team, the struggling New York Knicks. The lottery system used in 1985 involved a random drawing of seven envelopes from a hopper, with each of the then-seven non-playoff teams having an equal chance of obtaining the first pick. Inside each of the envelopes was the logo of a non-playoff team.
The team whose envelope was drawn first would get the first pick. The process was then repeated until the rest of the first seven lottery picks were determined. In the U.S., CBS had live coverage of Stern pulling the envelopes from the hopper (as opposed to NBA Draft lotteries today where the actual drawing is held behind closed doors before the results are revealed on TV).
According to another theory, some claim that when an accountant from Ernst & Whinney (the same firm used by Gulf + Western, then-owners of the Knicks) inserted the seven envelopes into the glass drum, some have claimed that he banged the fourth one against the side of the drum to create a creased corner, thereby making it easier for Stern to determine which envelope to choose: the envelope containing the Knicks logo. According to this theory, as the drum was being spun by NBA security director Jack Joyce, Stern was watching the envelopes closely. He then opened the drum, took a deep breath, reached in and selected the envelope with the bent corner and the Knicks logo. This has not been confirmed or corroborated by any official source, as most note that the spinning of the drum was far more forceful than any movement by Joyce, deliberate or otherwise.
- George Almones – G, Southwestern Louisiana (junior)
- Joe Atkinson – F, Oklahoma State (junior)
- Benoit Benjamin – C, Creighton (junior)
- Manute Bol – C, Bridgeport (freshman)
- Kenny Brown – G, Texas A&M (junior)
- Derrick Gervin – F, Texas–San Antonio (junior)
- Kenny Green – F, Wake Forest (junior)
- Karl Malone – F, Louisiana Tech (junior)
- Jerry Reynolds – F, LSU (junior)
- Reggie Roberts – G, Texas A&M (junior)
- Wayman Tisdale – F, Oklahoma (junior)
- Carl Wright – G, SMU (junior)
- "1985 NBA Draft". Basketball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- Ewing was born in Jamaica, but had become a naturalized United States citizen while at Georgetown, as evidenced by his selection to the USA team at the 1984 Olympics.
- "1985 NBA Draft".
- "NBA Past Drafts - RealGM".
- McCallum, Jack (August 11, 2011). "Hoops giant Sabonis was a mystery man with indisputable talent". SI.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. Sabonis was subsequently selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 1986 NBA draft.
- "Griffin the big gift at lottery's 25th anniversary". USA Today. May 18, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- McManis, Sam (May 14, 1985). "NBA's New Showtime: It's Called the Lottery". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Rovell, Darren (May 16, 2002). "NBA out to prove conspiracy theorists wrong". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
- "The Ewing Conspiracy".
- Rosenberg, Michael (29 October 2010). "Viewpoint: Sports conspiracy theories". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- "NBA Draft Lottery 2020: Conspiracy theories that make us wonder if the lottery is rigged by the NBA".
- "1985 Underclassmen". The Draft Review. Retrieved December 13, 2022.