1970 NBA Expansion draft
General information
SportBasketball
Date(s)May 11, 1970
Overview
LeagueNBA
Expansion teamsBuffalo Braves
Cleveland Cavaliers
Portland Trail Blazers
← 1968
1974 →

The 1970 NBA Expansion draft was the fifth expansion draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA).[a] The draft was held on May 11, 1970, so that the newly founded Buffalo Braves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers could acquire players for the upcoming 1970–71 season. Buffalo, New York, Cleveland, Ohio, and Portland, Oregon had been awarded the expansion teams on February 6, 1970. Houston, Texas was also awarded a franchise, but folded the following month because the group backing the team was unable to come up with the US$750,000 down payment on the US$3.7 million entrance fee that was required before the 1970 NBA draft.[6] Houston ended up with a team following the 1970-71 season when the San Diego Rockets relocated.[7] The Braves later underwent several name changes and relocations before moving to San Diego in 1978, and to Los Angeles in 1984. They are currently known as the Los Angeles Clippers.[8] In an NBA expansion draft, new NBA teams are allowed to acquire players from the previously established teams in the league. Not all players on a given team are available during an expansion draft, since each team can protect a certain number of players from being selected. In this draft, each of the fourteen other NBA teams had protected seven players from their roster. After each round, where each of the expansion teams had selected one player each, the existing teams added another player to their protected list. In the first round, the Braves had the first pick, while the Blazers and the Cavaliers had the second and the third pick respectively. In the subsequent rounds, the Braves and the Cavaliers exchanged their order of selection, while the Blazers had the second pick throughout the draft. The draft continued until all three teams had selected eleven unprotected players each, while the existing teams had lost two or three players each.[6][9]

The Buffalo Braves were formed and owned by local businessman Paul Snyder.[10] He hired former Philadelphia 76ers head coach and 1966 Coach of the Year Dolph Schayes as the franchise's first head coach.[11] The Braves' selections included six-time All-Star Bailey Howell. However, Howell was immediately traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Bob Kauffman and a future second-round pick.[12] Nine players from the expansion draft joined the Braves for their inaugural season, but only three played more than one season for the team.[5][13][14]

The Cleveland Cavaliers were formed and owned by businessman Nick Mileti.[15] He hired former college basketball coach Bill Fitch as the franchise's first head coach.[16] The Cavaliers' selections included five-time All-Star Don Ohl and one-time All-Star Len Chappell. However, Ohl retired from playing prior to the start of the season and Chappell only played briefly before he was waived. Eight players from the expansion draft joined the Cavaliers for their inaugural season, but only four played more than one season for the team. Butch Beard was the ninth player from the expansion draft to play for the Cavaliers. After one year serving in the military, he started playing with the Cavaliers in the 1971–72 season.[17] Bingo Smith played nine and a half seasons with the Cavaliers before he was traded to the San Diego Clippers in 1979. He became the Cavaliers' franchise leader in games played when he left, a record which has since been broken by Danny Ferry and Žydrūnas Ilgauskas.[18]

The Portland Trail Blazers were formed by Harry Glickman, who created the franchise through the financiers turned co-owners Larry Weinberg, Herman Sarkowsky and Robert Shmertz.[19] They hired former college basketball coach Rolland Todd as the franchise's first head coach.[20] The Blazers' selections included former first overall pick Fred Hetzel and former third pick Larry Siegfried. However, Hetzel was waived without playing a game for the Blazers and Siegfried was immediately traded to the San Diego Rockets in exchange for Jim Barnett.[21] Six players from the expansion draft joined the Blazers for their inaugural season, but only three played more than one season for the team.[5][22][23]

Selections

A man, wearing a jacket with a white shirt and tie, is raising his hands in the air during a basketball game.
Pat Riley was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers from the San Diego Rockets.

Source:[5]

Key
G Guard F Forward C Center
^ Denotes player who has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
+ Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game
Draft selections
Player Position Nationality Team Prev. Team Years in NBA[b] Career with franchise[c] Ref.
Em Bryant G  United States Buffalo Braves Boston Celtics 6 19701972 [24]
Freddie Crawford G/F  United States Buffalo Braves Milwaukee Bucks 4 1970 [25]
Dick Garrett G  United States Buffalo Braves Los Angeles Lakers 1 19701973 [26]
Herm Gilliam G/F  United States Buffalo Braves Cincinnati Royals 1 1970–1971 [27]
Bill Hosket F/C  United States Buffalo Braves New York Knicks 2 19701972 [28]
Bailey Howell^ F  United States Buffalo Braves Boston Celtics 11 [d] [29]
Paul Long G  United States Buffalo Braves Detroit Pistons 2 1970–1971 [30]
Mike Lynn F  United States Buffalo Braves Los Angeles Lakers 1 1970 [31]
Don May F  United States Buffalo Braves New York Knicks 2 1970–1971 [32]
Ray Scott F/C  United States Buffalo Braves Baltimore Bullets 9 [d] [33]
George Wilson C  United States Buffalo Braves Philadelphia 76ers 6 1970–1971 [34]
Butch Beard+ G  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks 1 1971–1972; 1975 [35]
Len Chappell+ F/C  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Milwaukee Bucks 8 1970 [36]
Johnny Egan G  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Los Angeles Lakers 9 1970 [37]
Bob Lewis G  United States Cleveland Cavaliers San Francisco Warriors 3 1970–1971 [38]
McCoy McLemore F/C  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Detroit Pistons 6 1970–1971 [39]
Don Ohl+ G  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Atlanta Hawks 10 [d] [40]
Loy Petersen G  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Chicago Bulls 2 [d] [41]
Luther Rackley C  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Cincinnati Royals 1 19701971 [42]
Bingo Smith G/F  United States Cleveland Cavaliers San Diego Rockets 1 19701979 [43]
John Warren G/F  United States Cleveland Cavaliers New York Knicks 1 19701974 [44]
Walt Wesley C  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Chicago Bulls 4 19701972 [45]
Rick Adelman G  United States Portland Trail Blazers San Diego Rockets 2 19701973 [46]
Jerry Chambers F  United States Portland Trail Blazers Phoenix Suns 2 [d] [47]
LeRoy Ellis F/C  United States Portland Trail Blazers Baltimore Bullets 8 1970–1971 [48]
Fred Hetzel F/C  United States Portland Trail Blazers Philadelphia 76ers 5 [d] [49]
Joe Kennedy F  United States Portland Trail Blazers Seattle SuperSonics 2 [d] [50]
Ed Manning F  United States Portland Trail Blazers Chicago Bulls 3 1970–1971 [51]
Stan McKenzie G/F  United States Portland Trail Blazers Phoenix Suns 3 19701972 [52]
Dorie Murrey F/C  United States Portland Trail Blazers Seattle SuperSonics 4 1970 [53]
Pat Riley G/F  United States Portland Trail Blazers San Diego Rockets 3 [d] [54]
Dale Schlueter C  United States Portland Trail Blazers San Francisco Warriors 2 19701972; 1977–1978 [55]
Larry Siegfried F  United States Portland Trail Blazers Boston Celtics 7 [d] [56]

Notes

  1. ^ No reliable single source listing the drafts, so all of them are cited separately.[1][2][3][4][5]
  2. ^ Number of years played in the NBA prior to the draft
  3. ^ Career with the expansion franchise that drafted the player
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Never played a game for the franchise

References

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  4. ^ "1968 NBA Expansion Draft". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on June 10, 2023. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  5. ^ a b c d "1970 NBA Expansion Draft". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on June 23, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  6. ^ a b "Houston, New Team in N.B.A., Folds While It's Still on Paper". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. March 21, 1970. Archived from the original on February 8, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
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