1998 NBA draft
|1998 NBA draft|
|Date(s)||June 24, 1998|
|Location||General Motors Place, Vancouver, British Columbia|
|58 total selections in 2 rounds|
|First selection||Michael Olowokandi, Los Angeles Clippers|
The 1998 NBA draft took place on June 24, 1998, at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This draft helped turn around three struggling franchises: the Dallas Mavericks, the Sacramento Kings, and the Toronto Raptors.
The Mavericks, despite having a talented nucleus of Jason Kidd, Jamal Mashburn and Jimmy Jackson in the mid-1990s, had not had a winning season since 1989–1990. By the end of the 1997 season, all three players were traded and it was time to rebuild. With the sixth selection in 1998, they drafted Robert Traylor and quickly traded him to the Milwaukee Bucks for Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity. They then traded Garrity in a package to the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash. With Nash and Nowitzki, the Mavericks quickly went from a lottery team in the late 1990s to a perennial playoff contender throughout the 2000s. Nowitzki went on to win the 2011 NBA Finals with Dallas without Nash, but with Kidd.
Meanwhile, the Raptors were a recent expansion team that had failed to win more than 30 games in its first three seasons. With the fourth pick they selected Antawn Jamison, whom they quickly dealt to the Golden State Warriors for Vince Carter.
The Kings, having been a perennial lottery bound franchise, skyrocketed in popularity with the addition of Chris Webber and 7th pick Jason Williams. The Kings went to the playoffs that year and took the defending Western Conference Champions to the final game of their first round Playoff series.
First overall pick Michael Olowokandi from mid-major University of the Pacific is regarded by Sports Illustrated as one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history. As of February 2019, he is the last top selection to come out of a university that is considered mid-major.
Five players from the 1998 draft class have played in the NBA All-Star Game at least once in their careers: Nowitzki, Carter, Jamison, Paul Pierce and Rashard Lewis. All of them have reached the 20,000 points plateau during their careers except for Lewis.
Carter is still an active player as of 2019, making him one only seven players to play at least 20 seasons in the NBA. Nowitzki retired in April 2019 and remained with the Mavericks for his entire career, making him the only person to ever play 21 seasons with one team.
Seven members of the 1998 draft class are currently in Ice Cube's BIG3 Basketball League: #2 pick Mike Bibby and #21 pick Ricky Davis (Ghost Ballers), #11 pick Bonzi Wells (Tri State), #25 pick Al Harrington (Trilogy), #32 pick Rashard Lewis (3 Headed Monsters), #41 pick Cuttino Mobley (Power), and Mike James (Killer 3's), who went undrafted. Jason Williams played in the league's first season with the Ghost Ballers, but suffered an injury and would be out for the rest of the season.
|PG||Point guard||SG||Shooting guard||SF||Small forward||PF||Power forward||C||Center|
|*||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|
|#||Denotes player who never appeared in an NBA regular season or playoff game|
|~||Denotes player who has been selected as Rookie of the Year|
- 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 1998 NBA Draft but have played at least one game in the NBA.
|Earl Boykins||PG||United States||Eastern Michigan (Sr.)|
|Gerald Brown||SG||United States||Pepperdine (Sr.)|
|Anthony Carter||PG||United States||Hawaii (Sr.)|
|Steve Goodrich||PF/C||United States||Princeton (Sr.)|
|Mike James||PG||United States||Duquesne (Sr.)|
|Šarūnas Jasikevičius||PG||Lithuania||Maryland (Sr.)|
|Charles Jones||SG||United States||LIU Brooklyn (Sr.)|
|Mark Jones||SF||United States||UCF (Sr.)|
|Kelly McCarty||SG||United States||Southern Miss (Sr.)|
|Slava Medvedenko||PF||Ukraine||Budivelnyk Kiev (Ukraine) (born 1979)|
|Brad Miller+||C||United States||Purdue (Sr.)|
|Tyrone Nesby||SF||United States||UNLV (Sr.)|
|Daniel Santiago||C||Puerto Rico||Saint Vincent (Sr.)|