NBA Draft Called Weird


May 09, 1968

New York -- The 14 members of the National basketball Association, beating the bushes desperately for a "find," completed the 1968 college player draft Wednesday in what one coach called, "the weirdest thing I've seen in years."

The San Diego Rockets opened the second round by selecting John Q. Trapp, a center from Nevada Southern, and immediately club officials at the other tables frantically began to search through their notes to figure out who Trapp was. The confusion continued through most of the 12 rounds as 162 players were drafted, many from schools as unfamiliar to the team officials as were the individuals themselves.

In what was admittedly a weak crop of seniors, most of the top talent had gone in the first round, held April 1 via telephone hookup.

In that first round, Elvin Hayes of Houston, the player of the year, was drafted first and signed by San Diego while All-American Wes Unseld, the highest scorer in Louisville history, was picked and signed by Baltimore.

Other first round choices were: Bob Kauffman of Guilford by Seattle; Tom Boerwinkle of Tennessee by Chicago; Don Smith of Iowa State by Cincinnati; Otto Moore of Pan American by Detroit; Charles Paulk of Northeast Oklahoma by Milwaukee; and Gary Gregor of South Carolina by Phoenix.

Only seven teams picked in the second round. The NBA announced that in an effort to strengthen the weaker clubs in the league, the top three teams in the final 1967-68 standings in each division would not be allowed selections the second time around.

But the ability of the second round selections to strengthen their new employers remained questionable.

Of the eight players picked, 6-8 Manny Leaks of Niagara, who went to Detroit, was the only name that did not have to be repeated twice by Walter Kennedy, the league commissioner, who ran Wednesday's activities

Source: United Press International,

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