What follows is Draft HD’s reference page for the 1984 NBA draft considered one of the greatest NBA draft’s ever. You could view this as a hindsight 1984 NBA mock draft as well. What some may not know is the 76ers coveted Michael Jordan as a replacement for Julius Erving and tried hard to trade up for him.
The New York Times said the following in 1984.
The 76ers, with their highest first pick since 1975, would have liked a crack at Jordan, who can play small forward and big guard and had a 17.7- point career scoring average. Believing he would have been an ideal replacement for Erving, they tried to move up in the draft, but nothing materialized.
”You can never really replace a Julius,” said Pat Williams, the 76er general manager. ”The most important thing about this draft and having three first-round picks, is that we make sure we don’t make any mistakes.”
The 1984 NBA draft was held at the Felt Forum at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, on June 19, 1984,. 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 and five overall. It included first pick Akeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and Oscar Schmidt. The draft was broadcast in the United States on the USA Network. In this draft, 23 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. players and other , 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 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 to be drafted . 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 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. It was also the first NBA draft to be overseen by David Stern, who would continue as the commissioner of the league for the following 30 years.
The 1984 draft class is considered to be one of the best in NBA history as it produced five 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 five years with the Blazers.
Other notable selections
Brazilian Oscar Schmidt was drafted with the 131st pick in the sixth round by the New Jersey Nets. However, Schmidt turned down the offers to play in the NBA and chose to play in Italy and later in Brazil. He played in five Olympics and was the top scorer in three of them. He finished his career with 49,703 points with various clubs and Brazilian National team more than , Kareem who scored 38,387 points in his NBA career. In 2010, International Basketball Federation (FIBA) honored Schmidt with an induction to the FIBA hall of fame , and Schmidt was inducted by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
University of Houston Olympic Champion Carl Lewis, who had never played college basketball, was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 208th pick in the 10th round. Lewis would dominate the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in the summer of 1984. He went on to win nine Olympic and eight World Championships gold medals.
In the fifth round, the Portland Trail Blazers drafted Mike Whitmarsh who starred for the University of San Diego in both basketball and volleyball , with the 111th pick. Whitmarsh played professional basketball in Germany for three years, but never played in the NBA. He then left basketball to play volleyball, where he achieved greater success, including a silver medal in the Olympics.
The final pick in the 1984 Draft, number 228 by the Boston Celtics, was Dan Trant of Clark University. Trant never played in a regular season game for the Celtics. Trant was working in his office at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and was killed in the terrorist attacks that day.
This draft would be the last of the NBA that would be without any undrafted players entering the NBA. Starting from 1985 onward, multiple undrafted players from each year would enter the NBA, with more of them coming after the league decreased the number of rounds from the draft from 10 to the current two.
1: When Hakeem Olajuwon first arrived to 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.
Now for the picks, what follows is the first two rounds of picks. The draft had ten rounds but we covered most of the other notable selections in the write up above.
Rk Pk Tm Player College
1 1 HOU Hakeem Olajuwon Houston
2 2 POR Sam Bowie Kentucky
3 3 CHI Michael Jordan UNC
4 4 DAL Sam Perkins UNC
5 5 PHI Charles Barkley Auburn
6 6 WSB Melvin Turpin Kentucky
7 7 SAS Alvin Robertson Arkansas
8 8 LAC Lancaster Gordon Louisville
9 9 KCK Otis Thorpe Providence
10 10 PHI Leon Wood Cal State Fullerton
11 11 ATL Kevin Willis Michigan State
12 12 CLE Tim McCormick Michigan
13 13 PHO Jay Humphries Colorado
14 14 LAC Michael Cage San Diego State
15 15 DAL Terence Stansbury Temple
16 16 UTA John Stockton Gonzaga
17 17 NJN Jeff Turner Vanderbilt
18 18 IND Vern Fleming Georgia
19 19 POR Bernard Thompson Fresno State
20 20 DET Tony Campbell Ohio State
21 21 MIL Kenny Fields UCLA
22 22 PHI Tom Sewell Lamar
23 23 LAL Earl Jones University of the District of Columbia
24 24 BOS Michael Young Houston
Totals Shooting Per Game Advanced
Rk Pk Tm Player College
25 25 IND Devin Durrant
26 26 POR Victor Fleming Xavier
27 27 CLE Ron Anderson Fresno State
28 28 SEA Cory Blackwell Wisconsin
29 29 IND Stuart Gray UCLA
30 30 GSW Steve Burtt Iona College
31 31 GSW Jay Murphy Boston College
32 32 DET Eric Turner Michigan
33 33 POR Steve Colter New Mexico State
34 34 WSB Tony Costner Saint Joseph’s
35 35 GSW Othell Wilson Virginia
36 36 PHO Charles Jones Louisville
37 37 CHI Ben Coleman Maryland
38 38 DAL Charlie Sitton Oregon State
39 39 SEA Danny Young Wake Forest
40 40 DAL Anthony Teachey Wake Forest
41 41 DAL Tom Sluby Notre Dame
42 42 DEN Willie White Chattanooga
43 43 CHI Greg Wiltjer Oregon State
44 44 WSB Fred Reynolds Texas-El Paso
45 45 GSW Gary Plummer Boston University
46 46 POR Jerome Kersey Longwood University
47 47 BOS Ronnie Williams Florida