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List of first overall NBA draft picks: Map

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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 plenty of media attention, as does the player who is selected with that pick.

Ten 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), and LeBron James.

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. Five other international players with U.S. college experience have been drafted first overall—Mychal Thompson (Bahamasmarker) in 1978, Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeriamarker) in 1984, Tim Duncan (U.S.marker Virgin Islandsmarker) in 1997, Michael Olowokandi (Nigeria) in 1998, and Andrew Bogut (Australia) in 2005. 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 Washington, D.C.marker

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.

Key

^ Denotes player who have been selected to the All-Star Game
* Elected to the Basketball Hall of Famemarker
^* Denotes Hall of Famers who have been selected to the All-Star Game
Player
(in italic text)
Rookie of the Year
PPG Points per game
APG Assists per game
RPG Rebounds per game


List of first overall picks

Draft Selected by Player Nationality College/high school/former club PPG RPG APG Ref.
1947 Pittsburgh Ironmen Texas Wesleyan
1948 Providence Steamrollers Marshall 2.6 0.6
1949 Providence Steamrollers Kansas State 13.4 2.3
1950 Boston Celtics Bowling Green 3.9 5.3 1.0
1951 Baltimore Bullets Bradley
1952 Milwaukee Hawks West Virginia 5.1 3.0 0.6
1953 Baltimore Bullets ^ Long Islandmarker 17.6 13.3 1.1
1954 Baltimore Bullets ^ Furmanmarker 19.0 5.5 3.5
1955 Milwaukee Hawks Duquesne 8.9 7.2 3.0
1956 Rochester Royals Duquesne 11.5 5.2 3.6
1957 Cincinnati Royals ^ West Virginia 7.0 2.9 1.9
1958 Minneapolis Lakers ^* Seattlemarker 24.9 15.0 4.1
1959 Cincinnati Royals ^ Kansas State 8.4 6.2 1.4
1960 Cincinnati Royals ^* Cincinnati 30.5 10.1 9.7
1961 Chicago Packers ^* Indiana 31.6 19.0 2.7
1962 Chicago Zephyrs Utah 7.4 2.7 0.6
1963 New York Knicks Duke 15.4 4.0 3.4
1964 New York Knicks Texas Western 15.5 9.7 1.2
1965 San Francisco Warriors Davidson 6.8 5.2 0.5
1966 New York Knicks ^ Michigan 11.3 3.3 2.4
1967 Detroit Pistons ^ Providencemarker 8.8 1.7 2.8
1968 San Diego Rockets ^* Houston 28.4 17.1 1.4
1969 Milwaukee Bucks ^* UCLA 28.8 14.5 4.1
1970 Detroit Pistons ^* St. Bonaventure 15.6 8.1 1.8
1971 Cleveland Cavaliers ^ Notre Dame 21.2 3.5 3.4
1972 Portland Trail Blazers Loyola 4.4 4.6 0.5
1973 Philadelphia 76ers ^ Illinois State 8.0 1.8 1.6
1974 Portland Trail Blazers ^* UCLA 12.8 12.6 4.8
1975 Atlanta Hawks ^* NC State 26.0 6.3 3.7
1976 Houston Rockets Maryland 11.1 2.7 5.6
1977 Milwaukee Bucks Indiana 7.7 4.3 1.4
1978 Portland Trail Blazers Minnesota 14.7 8.3 2.4
1979 Los Angeles Lakers ^* Michigan State 18.0 7.7 7.3
1980 Golden State Warriors ^ Purdue 18.9 9.3 1.4
1981 Dallas Mavericks ^ DePaulmarker 18.7 4.9 3.2
1982 Los Angeles Lakers ^* North Carolina 13.4 5.2 1.7
1983 Houston Rockets ^ Virginia 21.0 11.1 2.0
1984 Houston Rockets ^* Houston 20.6 11.9 1.4
1985 New York Knicks ^* Georgetown 20.0 9.0 2.0
1986 Cleveland Cavaliers ^ North Carolina 15.7 8.1 3.8
1987 San Antonio Spurs ^* Navymarker 24.3 12.0 2.0
1988 Los Angeles Clippers ^ Kansas 16.7 6.6 3.1
1989 Sacramento Kings Louisville 8.0 5.8 1.9
1990 New Jersey Nets ^ Syracuse 18.4 10.3 2.2
1991 Charlotte Hornets ^ UNLV 19.2 11.0 3.6
1992 Orlando Magic ^ LSU 23.4 13.9 1.9
1993 Orlando Magic ^ Michigan 17.5 9.1 3.6
1994 Milwaukee Bucks ^ Purdue 21.9 6.4 2.5
1995 Golden State Warriors Maryland 15.3 8.7 1.0
1996 Philadelphia 76ers ^ Georgetown 23.5 4.1 7.5
1997 San Antonio Spurs ^ Wake Forest 21.1 11.9 2.7
1998 Los Angeles Clippers Pacificmarker 8.9 7.9 0.6
1999 Chicago Bulls ^ Duke 20.1 10.0 1.9
2000 New Jersey Nets ^ Cincinnati 12.0 7.4 1.9
2001 Washington Wizards Glynn Academy HS (Brunswick, GAmarker) 4.5 3.5 0.8
2002 Houston Rockets ^ Shanghai Sharks (China) 13.5 8.2 1.7
2003 Cleveland Cavaliers ^ St. Vincent-St. Mary HSmarker (Akron, OHmarker) 20.9 5.5 5.9
2004 Orlando Magic ^ SACA (Atlanta, GAmarker) 12.0 10.0 0.9
2005 Milwaukee Bucks Utah 9.4 7.0 2.3
2006 Toronto Raptors Benetton Treviso (Italy) 11.6 3.9 0.8
2007 Portland Trail Blazers Ohio State 8.9 7.0 0.5
2008 Chicago Bulls Memphis 16.8 3.9 6.3
2009 Los Angeles Clippers Oklahoma


Notes

  • All statistics are taken from the players' respective rookie season unless otherwise noted.
  • Clifton McNeely never played professional basketball. Instead, he became a basketball coach for Pampa High School in Texas.
  • Howie Shannon was the first overall pick, although Ed Macauley and Vern Mikkelsen had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks.
  • Charlie Share did not play in the 1950–51 season. His rookie statistics are from the 1951–52 season. Share was the first overall pick, although Paul Arizin had been taken before the draft as the Philadelphia Warriors' territorial pick.
  • Gene Melchiorre never played in the NBA. He was banned for life from the NBA due to his involvement in the CCNY Point Shaving Scandal. Melchiorre was the first overall pick, although Myer Skoog had been taken before the draft as the Minneapolis Lakers' territorial pick.
  • Mark Workman was the first overall pick, although Bill Mlkvy had been taken before the draft as the Philadelphia Warriors' territorial pick.
  • Ray Felix was the first overall pick, although Ernie Beck and Walter Dukes had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks.
  • Dick Ricketts was the first overall pick, although Dick Garmaker and Tom Gola had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks.
  • Sihugo Green was the first overall pick, although Tom Heinsohn had been taken before the draft as the Boston Celtics' territorial pick.
  • Elgin Baylor was the first overall pick, although Guy Rodgers had been taken before the draft as the Philadelphia Warriors' territorial pick.
  • Bob Boozer was the first overall pick, although Wilt Chamberlain and Bob Ferry had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks.
  • Bill McGill was the first overall pick, although Dave DeBusschere and Jerry Lucas had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks.
  • Art Heyman was the first overall pick, although Tom Thacker had been taken before the draft as the Cincinnati Royals' territorial pick.
  • Jim Barnes was the first overall pick, although Walt Hazzard and George Wilson had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks.
  • Fred Hetzel was the first overall pick, although Bill Bradley, Bill Buntin and Gail Goodrich had been taken before the draft as their teams' territorial picks.
  • Before the 1971–72 season, Lew Alcindor converted to Islam and changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
  • Hakeem Olajuwon was born in Nigeriamarker, but became a naturalized United States citizen in 1993. When he arrived in the United States, the University of Houston incorrectly spelled his first name "Akeem". Olajuwon used that spelling until March 9, 1991, when he announced that he would add an H.
  • Patrick Ewing was born in Jamaicamarker, but had become a naturalized United States citizen while at Georgetown. He represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
  • David Robinson did not play in the NBA until 1989 due to commitments to the United States Navy. His rookie statistics are from the 1989–90 season.
  • Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Because of this citizenship arrangement, Duncan has played for the U.S. internationally.
  • Elton Brand shared Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis of the Houston Rockets.
  • Greg Oden underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee before the 2007–08 season, and missed the entire season. His rookie statistics are from the 2008–09 season.


References

General


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