NBA Draft Notes

NBA Selects Terrence Clarke


July 29, 2021

New York -- Terrence Clarke, the former Kentucky guard who died in a car accident while preparing for the NBA draft, was recognized Thursday in a ceremony midway through the first round.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver introduced Clarke’s mother, brother and sister.

“It is my honor to now announce that with the next pick in the 2021 NBA draft, the NBA selects Terrence Clarke from the University of Kentucky,” Silver said as Clarke’s family members went up to the stage and put on NBA hats.

Silver embraced each of Clarke’s family members as the crowd chanted “Terrence! Terrence!”

“He was so ready for (the draft), so excited,” Clarke’s mother, Osmine Clarke, said in a videotaped interview on the ESPN draft telecast following the ceremony. “That was all he talked about, just going to the draft. ‘Mommy, am I ready for this? This is big.’ I’m like, ’Yes, Terrence. You wouldn’t have been in this position if people didn’t think you were this good.”

Clarke had declared for the draft after playing one season at Kentucky. He died April 22 at the age of 19 following a car accident in Los Angeles.

“Terrence Clarke was a beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement after Clarke’s death.

Clarke played just eight games for Kentucky due to a leg injury but had been expected to get drafted. He made six starts for Kentucky and averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2 assists.

Source: Associated Press

Pro Cage Club Drafts Prep Player of '60


January 3, 1956

St. Louis -- The St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association, announced today they will select 6-5 Jack Pirrie of the suburban Maplewood High School as their first draft choice for the 1960 season.

The 16-year-old Pirrie was described by Coach Red Holzman of the Hawks as one of the greatest high school players he has ever seen.

Pirrie will be the-second-high school star selected under a new NBA rule that permits a club to draft a high school senior living in that club's territorial limits.

The first youngster selected under the rule was 7-1 Wilt (The Stilt) chamberlain, named by the Philadelphia Warriors last spring when he was in high school in Philadelphia.

Source: Associated Press,

Cincinnati Royals Lay Claim to Jerry Lucas


April 23, 1958

Detroit -- The Minneapolis Lakers of the National Basketball Association want Seattle University's Elgin Baylor but the tall All-America says he isn't interested--not this year at least.

Minneapolis was the first team to receive a balk following Tuesday's draft here of the country's top court talent by the eight NBA teams.

"I don't care who drafted me." said Baylor in Seattle after being told the Lakers had chosen him in the first round. The 6-6 junior from Washington, D.C., said he wanted to get his college degree before thinking about professional ball.

Philadelphia started off the draft session, grabbing off All-America Guy Rodgers of Temple in exercising its territorial rights to any college player within a 50-mile radius of Philadelphia.

Indiana's Archie Dees went to Cincinnati, Peter Brennan of North Carolina and San Francisco's Mike Farmer were claimed by New York, Connie Dierking of Cincinnati went to Syracuse, Dave Gambee of Oregon State was grabbed by St. Louis and 6-9 Ben Swain of Texas Southern got the nod from Boston.

The league, in other action voted to drop the drafting of high school players. It left the status of Wilt (The Stilt) Chamberlain, Kansas star, unchanged Philadelphia drafted Chamberlain several years ago while he was in high school.

Also unchanged is Cincinnati's claim to Jerry Lucas, a Middleton, Ohio, high school star. Lucas reportedly is headed for the University of Cincinnati and the NBA rules that if he picks another team's 50-mile territory Cincinnati's claim will be void.

Source: Associated Press,

Warriors Draft Wilt Chamberlain Four Years in Advance in NBA


November 28, 1955

Syracuse -- The Philadelphia Warriors of the National Basketball Association have been granted draft rights to schoolboys basketball sensation Wilt (The Stilt) Chamberlain four years in advance, it was disclosed today.

An apparently unprecedented vote by NBA officials on rights to Chamberlain was disclosed today by Joe Lapchick, coach of the New York Knickerbockers, and confirmed by Dan Biasone president of the Syracuse Nationals.

Lapchick called the seven-foot Chamberlain, "The greatest ball player in the game today." He added, "Everybody but my boss (Ned Irish) let him go to Gottlieb."

Ed Gottlieb is president of the Warriors. Lapchick said the Warriors "Already have one of the best groups of young players." He Continued:

"The league created a monster when it let Chamberlain go to Philadelphia. It was a grave error."

Lapchick said he feared that letting Chamberlain go to the Warriors would give the Philadelphia squad a huge advantage over other NBA teams and result in a loss of fan interest in the league.

Lapchick made the disclosure at a luncheon sponsored by the Syracuse Nationals for newspapers and radio men.

Chamberlain scored 2,252 points in three years of basketball for Overbrook High School in Philadelphia. He now is enrolled as a freshman at the University of Kansas, a Big Seven basketball power.

On Nov. 18, he played with the Kansas freshman against the varsity, getting 42 points on what he called an off night. He said, "I just couldn't hit." Besides 16 field goals, he dropped in 10 free throws and snatched 24 rebounds.

"The freshmen beat the Varsity, 81-71. Veteran Kansas coach, Forrest C. (Phog) Allen promptly called Chamberlain, "the greatest player in the world."

Lapchick asked Biasone why the officials had permitted the Warriors to draft Chamberlain in advance. Biasone replied:

"Chamberlain is a resident of Philadelphia, so Gottlieb had a territorial right to him regardless of where he went to college.

"And I think it might be as good for Gottlieb to have him go to Kansas than to be in Philadelphia competing against him at the gate on some college."

Neither Lapchick nor Biasone disclosed when league officials met on the matter. But NBA followers said they couldn't remember any time when a team was permitted to draft a player so far in advance and outside the normal draft regulations.

Source: Associated Press,

NBA Selects Isaiah Austin


June 27 2014

New York -- Between the 15th and 16th picks in Thursday night's draft came a very special selection by the NBA.

Commissioner Adam Silver announced at that point that the NBA would let Isaiah Austin fulfill the dream of every young player, making him a ceremonial pick.

Just over a week ago, the sophomore center from Baylor was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the heart. It ended his playing career.

The illness was discovered during a physical for the draft.

"For Commissioner Silver to even invite me here was a tremendous blessing and it just shows how much class that man has," Austin said. "It's really been a tough week for me, and it's been really rough. I've just had a tremendous amount of support from everybody around the world, telling me they're praying for me and everything. I can't thank everybody enough."

Source: Associated Press

Knicks, Hawks hit by new NBA leader


June 06 1975

San Francisco -- Newly appointed NBA Commissioner Larry O'Brien has established himself as a hardline administrator by punishing the New York Knicks and the Atlanta Hawks for their attempts to land a pair of ABA superstars.

In only his fifth day on the job Thursday, the former head of the Democratic Party fined the Hawks $400,000 for illegally signing Julius Erving three years ago and then declined to permit the Knicks to sign 6-foot-8 George McGinnis, who had been drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers but signed a reported $2 million contract with New York.

He also made the Knicks forfeit next year's first-draft choice as punishment.

In the Erving case, an NBA spokesman said the Hawks would have to pay $250,000 to the league and $150,000 to the Milwaukee Bucks, who own the draft rights to the 6-7 Erving, considered possibly the top forward in basketball.

Erving has been playing under a long-term contract with the ABA's New York Nets. The Bucks will receive Atlanta's two second-round choices in the 1976 draft.

O'Brien said of the McGinnis descision that under NBA bylaws, it was the only decision he could make.

"If violations of the rules were permitted," said O'Brien, "then it would be the same as if there were no rules at all. This would, of course, threaten the structure and very existence of the league."

The huge fine against Atlanta might threaten the very existence of the Hawks, although the franchise in the process of being sold to a new owner.

As outgoing President John Wilcox remarked Thursday upon being told he must pay the $400,00 immediately: "I didn't bring my checkbook."

It still is not clear whether the prospective new owners of the Hawks, the family of Simon Selig Jr., will be liable for payment.

"As of this moment, we haven't had a chance to discuss it with our attorneys," said Selig in Atlanta. "I'm not in a position really to make any comment."

McGinnis starred for the Indiana Pacers for the past four seasons. New York did not have the draft rights to him because he left the University of Indian after his sophomore year to play in the ANA. The Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA drafted him two years ago when his class was graduated.

McGinnis has said he wants to play in the NBA for New York but not for Philadelphia. He is expected now to take his case to the courts.

Knicks President Michael Burke said he was "surprised and disappointed" by O'Brien's ruling. He said he "felt the action we took was proper ... and in the interests of the club and the NBA."

O'Brien did give New York a slight break. He said the Knicks could trade or make other arrangements for a first-round choice but they would not have their own.

Source: United Press International,

NBA Files Appeal in Haywood Case To Stop His Play


March 04, 1971

Chicago -- The National Basketball Association Wednesday disclosed filing of an appeal against the ruling by United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas which enabled Spencer Haywood to resume play for the Seattle Supersonics.

NBA Commissioner Walter Kennedy said Supreme Court action on the appeal might be expecterd Friday or no later than next mid-week.

The Owners also granted Buffalo the 26th draft choice in the next draft meeting to compensate the team for its failure to attain Ray Scott, chosen by Buffalo from Baltimore in the league expansion draft. Scott jumped to the ABA and never played for Buffalo.

The decision will give Buffalo three draft picks in the first 26 and will eliminate its third round draft choice.

Source: Associated Press,

NBA Draft Starts New Help Plan


May 06, 1965

New York -- San Francisco and New York reap the first benefits of the National basketball Association’s new help-the-poor plan today when the pro league stages its annual player draft.

The two divisional tail-enders the Warriors in the West and the Knicks in the East each will get two of the first four selections. If San Francisco wins the coin toss, it will take Nos. 1 and 3 on the first round and New York Nos. 2 and 4.

Warriors Worst

If the flip goes to New York. It wake 1 and 4-since its record was than San Francisco’s - and the Warriors Nos. 2 and 3.

After San Francisco and New York, teams will pick according to won-lost records, in inverse order of percentage, Detroit is third, followed by Baltimore, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Boston.

Source: Associated Press,

Chicago Bulls Become 10th Team in NBA


January 28, 1966

Chicago -- The Chicago Bulls, who snorted up $1.6 million to become the National Basketball Association’s 10th member next year, obviously will open as a starless outfit.

The Bulls, scheduled to play in the stockyards-centered International Amphitheatre, must start with a collection of 18 secondary NBA players and the 10th, 13th and 14th picks as their top three choices in the May NBA Draft.

The new Chicago entry formally was certified by the NBA here Thursday.

The Bulls, backed by a five man syndicate headed by Dick Klein former Northwestern University cage star can’t possibly have a shot at such a sure-fire gate attraction as All-America Cassie Russell of Michigan.

Source: Associated Press,

Bargain Day for Lakers


April 08, 1969

Willie McCarter of Drake, Rick Robertson of Cincinnati and Dick Garrett of Southern Illinois were the Lakers’ selections in the annual NBA player draft’s first two rounds.

Roberson was the Lakers’ bonus pick. He was selected at the conclusion of the first round as the league indemnified Los Angeles for its loss in the Rudy LaRusso transaction two years ago. LaRusso, Now with San Francisco but then with the Lakers was involved in a trade between Los Angeles, Baltimore and Detroit but he refused to report to Detroit.

Source: Associated Press, The Los Angeles Times

NBA Draft Slated for Monday


March 26,1961

St. Louis – – National Basketball Association club owners gather her Monday for their annual player draft, but pickings are slim indeed.

“This is one of the leanest years I can remember,” said Ben Kerber, owner of the St. Louis Hawks and one of the shrewdest judges of basketball talent in the business.

“We’ve done more scouting this year than ever before and the good pro prospects just aren’t there.”

Chicago the NBA’s ninth and newest franchise, get the first choice and is expected to select Walt Bellamy, Indiana’s fine 6-foot-11 center from New Bern, N.C. After Chicago, the draft order is New York, Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Syracuse, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Boston based on won-lost records during the regular season.

The new club also get the first five picks of the second round plus the last one (No. 23). Chicago draft ninth in succeeding rounds, with the Knickerbockers picking first.

Source: Associated Press


Chicago Picks Walt Bellamy in NBA Draft

 March 28,1961

St. Louis – The field of senior college talent chiefly in super-tall players was supposed to be leanest in years at the annual National Basketball Association draft, but most coaches and owners came away smiling.

Indiana’s 6-foot-11 Olympic player, Walt Bellamy, was the No. 1 choice, and St. Bonaventure’s 6-foot-5 Tom Stith, a tremendous offensive player, was the second choice, as expected.

Then the NBA owners started reaching into the services, the amateur ranks and the Eastern League, for some talented players who won’t be under the pressure of their press clippings when they try to crack the NBA next season. Only 12 rookies made it this season.

It was obvious these “sleeper” picks were bringing the smiles Monday. Chicago the NBA’s ninth and newest club, chose Bellamy and was given the first five choices plus the last one in the second round. Coach Jim Pollard seemed pleased over his picks four of them 6-6 or over.

Cleveland Owner Ted Stepien Sells Franchise


May 09, 1983

Illinois -- Former Cleveland owner Ted Stepien who acquired the Cavaliers in 1980 has sold the franchise to Gordon and George Gund.

Stepien was viewed by many NBA insiders as a dismal owner whose moves brought raised eyebrows and awful results on the basketball court. One of his most noticeable actions was his constant trading of several years worth of draft picks for what many would call substandard talent. Seeing that his actions were crippling the franchise's future, the NBA passed a rule that no NBA team can trade away first round picks in consecutive years.

With the team’s attendance down to an average of nearly 4,000 a game, the vast money the franchise was losing and Stepien's threat to move the team to Toronto, the league forced Stepien's hand into selling the team. In came local brothers Gordon and George Gund who bought the fledging franchise for 20 million. NBA Owners devised a plan to recoup the Cavaliers first round draft picks for the next four years. In return the Gund Brothers paid an undisclosed amount to recover the first round choices the previous ownership had traded away.

Sources: New York Times,

Howard Re-signs with Washington


August 06, 1996

Baltimore -- The Washington Bullets on Monday re-signed free agent Juwan Howard just five days after his seven-year, $100 million deal with the Miami Heat was rejected by the league.

The Bullets did not disclose the terms of the seven-year deal. Howard's agent David Falk, was traveling outside the country and not available for comment

Howard also refused to comment. However, since Washington had engaged in a number of other player transactions after renouncing the right to Howard NBA Commissioner David Stern concluded that the Bullets must forfeit their 1997 first-round draft choice if they wished to sign Howard.

Which uniform Howard will wear next season, however is still tied up in the courts.

Howard, who became a free agent last month, signed with Miami in mid-July after turning down a reported $90 million offer by the Bullets. The NBA rejected the Miami Deal last Wednesday, Saying the Heat exceeded the league's salary cap by agreeing to pay Howard $9 million next season.

The Heat last Friday went to court in Florida, challenging the NBA's decision. Dade County Circuit Judge Joseph Farina issued a temporary injunction prohibiting Howard and the NBA from entering into and-or approving an NBA contract until arbitrators settle the dispute over Howard's contract.

A hearing to settle the dispute is scheduled to be held later this month.

Sources: Associated Press

76ers Get Bonus Pick In NBA-Brisker Squabble


April 19, 1973

New York -- The John Brisker affair is settled, with the struggling Philadelphia 76ers getting some much needed draft choices and Walter Kennedy, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, getting the backing of his Board of Governors.

The Brisker matter involving Philadelphia and Seattle was settled Wednesday night following a nine-hour meeting, which because of its length caused the second postponement of the NBA's college draft. The draft originally was set for last Monday, then today and now will be held next Tuesday. The American Basketball Association, which says it wants to draft after the NBA does, is still scheduled officially to have its selection session on Friday, but is expected to change the date today. The ABA draft fist was set for last Tuesday. 

When the NBA draft is held, Philadelphia, which had the worst record in the league this past season, will not only have the first pick of the first round but also will have a bonus pick which will be made after the 17 regular first round selections. The board also ruled that the signing of Brisker will cost Seattle $10,000 and its second-round choices in the year's and in the 1974 draft, which will go to Philadelphia.

The special session of the 17-member board took place after a court had overturned Kennedy's original ruling in the matter. Brisker became the NBA property of Philadelphia in 1969 in a supplemental draft but he signed with Pittsburgh of the ABA. When the Pittsburgh franchise disbanded last year, Brisker signed with Seattle. Kennedy then ruled that Seattle could keep Brisker but must pay a $10,000 fine and give its first-round draft choice to Philadelphia.

But Seattle owner Sam Shulman went to court and U.S. Judge John H. Tenney ruled that Kennedy had usurped the authority of the NBA's Board of Governors and was "guilty of misconduct" because he failed to hold a hearing or consult the board before making his decision. Kennedy then called the special meeting of the board and got its backing basically.

Sources: Associated Press


NBA Punishes Timberwolves for Secret Deal with Smith


October 25, 2000

NEW YORK -- The National Basketball Association today announced that Commissioner David Stern has taken the following actions based upon an arbitrator's ruling on Monday that the Minnesota Timberwolves, Joe Smith, and agent Eric Fleisher entered into a secret agreement in violation of the NBA's salary cap rules:

  • directed the forfeiture of Minnesota's own first-round draft picks in the 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 NBA Drafts;
  • fined the team $3.5 million; and
  • voided the player contract between Smith and the Timberwolves for the 2000-01 season, along with all contracts previously entered into by Smith and the team.

In addition to these penalties, the Collective Bargaining Agreement also authorizes the Commissioner to suspend team personnel who were involved in the making of the secret agreement. Those suspensions will be determined after subsequent proceedings before the arbitrator.

The NBA has also requested that, as required by the CBA, the Players Association impose appropriate discipline on Mr. Fleisher for his violation of the salary cap rules.

On December 9, 2000

MINNESOTA -- Minnesota Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale agreed to take a leave of absence until July 31. Owner Glen Taylor agreed to take a leave of absence until July 31. Because of their cooperation in doing this without going through arbitration the NBA agreed to restore their 2003 first round draft pick.

December 28, 2003

NEW YORK-- The NBA announced today that it has restored the Minnesota Timberwolves first round pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. This pick had been forfeited by the Timberwolves in December 2000 in connection with the salary cap circumvention case involving the Timberwolves and Joe Smith.

"In light of the other penalties that have been imposed on the Timberwolves, and the team's conduct since the Smith matter concluded," said NBA Commissioner David Stern, 'we feel it is appropriate to restore the Timberwolves first round pick in 2005."

As a result of the Smith case, the Timberwolves will have forfeited their first round picks in the 2001, 2002and 2004 NBA Drafts, and paid a fine to the league of $3.5 million.