1985 NBA Draft
General information
Date(s)June 18, 1985
LocationFelt Forum, New York City, New York
Network(s)TBS Superstation
162 total selections in 7 rounds
First selectionPatrick Ewing, New York Knicks
← 1984
1986 →

The 1985 NBA Draft took place on June 18, 1985. It was also the first NBA draft of the "lottery" era. It was also around this time where the league decreased the amount of rounds the draft spent, with the previous few years lasting up to 10 rounds total. A total of 162 players were selected over seven rounds by the league's 23 teams.[1]

The New York Knicks were awarded the first overall pick by winning the first-ever NBA draft lottery, which was held in May of that year. The Knicks used it on Georgetown's Patrick Ewing. In addition to Ewing, this draft also resulted in several Hall of Famers, including Karl Malone taken by the Utah Jazz at pick 13.

Draft selections

PG Point guard SG Shooting guard SF Small forward PF Power 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 and All-NBA Team
+ Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game
x Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-NBA Team
# Denotes player who has never appeared in an NBA regular season or playoff game
Patrick Ewing, the 1st pick
Patrick Ewing, the 1st pick
Wayman Tisdale, the 2nd pick
Wayman Tisdale, the 2nd pick
Chris Mullin, the 7th pick
Chris Mullin, the 7th pick
Detlef Schrempf, the 8th pick
Detlef Schrempf, the 8th pick
Charles Oakley, the 9th pick
Charles Oakley, the 9th pick
Karl Malone, the 13th pick
Karl Malone, the 13th pick
Bill Wennington, the 16th pick
Bill Wennington, the 16th pick
Joe Dumars, the 18th pick
Joe Dumars, the 18th pick
A. C. Green, the 23rd pick
A. C. Green, the 23rd pick
Terry Porter, the 24th pick
Terry Porter, the 24th pick
Sam Mitchell, the 54th pick
Sam Mitchell, the 54th pick
Mario Elie, the 160th pick
Mario Elie, the 160th pick
Round Pick Player Pos. Nationality[n 1] Team School/club team
1 1 Patrick Ewing^ C  United States[2] New York Knicks Georgetown (Sr.)
1 2 Wayman Tisdale PF  United States Indiana Pacers Oklahoma (Jr.)
1 3 Benoit Benjamin C  United States Los Angeles Clippers Creighton (Jr.)
1 4 Xavier McDaniel+ PF  United States Seattle SuperSonics Wichita State (Sr.)
1 5 Jon Koncak C  United States Atlanta Hawks SMU (Sr.)
1 6 Joe Kleine C  United States Sacramento Kings Arkansas (Sr.)
1 7 Chris Mullin^ SF  United States Golden State Warriors St. John's (Sr.)
1 8 Detlef Schrempf* SF/PF  West Germany Dallas Mavericks (from Cleveland) Washington (Sr.)
1 9 Charles Oakley+ PF  United States Cleveland Cavaliers * Virginia Union (Sr.)
1 10 Ed Pinckney PF  United States Phoenix Suns Villanova (Sr.)
1 11 Keith Lee C  United States Chicago Bulls Memphis State (Sr.)
1 12 Kenny Green F  United States Washington Bullets Wake Forest (Jr.)
1 13 Karl Malone^ PF  United States Utah Jazz Louisiana Tech (Jr.)
1 14 Alfredrick Hughes SG  United States San Antonio Spurs Loyola (IL) (Sr.)
1 15 Blair Rasmussen C  United States Denver Nuggets (from Portland) Oregon (Sr.)
1 16 Bill Wennington C  Canada Dallas Mavericks (from New Jersey) St. John's (Sr.)
1 17 Uwe Blab C  West Germany Dallas Mavericks Indiana (Sr.)
1 18 Joe Dumars^ SG  United States Detroit Pistons McNeese State (Sr.)
1 19 Steve Harris SG  United States Houston Rockets Tulsa (Sr.)
1 20 Sam Vincent SG  United States Boston Celtics (from Denver via Dallas) Michigan State (Sr.)
1 21 Terry Catledge PF  United States Philadelphia 76ers South Alabama (Sr.)
1 22 Jerry Reynolds G/F  United States Milwaukee Bucks LSU (Jr.)
1 23 A. C. Green+ SF/PF  United States Los Angeles Lakers Oregon State (Sr.)
1 24 Terry Porter+ PG  United States Portland Trail Blazers (from Boston via Dallas) Wisconsin–Stevens Point (Sr.)
2 25 Mike Smrek C  Canada Portland Trail Blazers Canisius (Sr.)
2 26 Bill Martin F  United States Indiana Pacers Georgetown (Sr.)
2 27 Dwayne McClain SG  United States Indiana Pacers Villanova (Sr.)
2 28 Ken Johnson F  United States Chicago Bulls Michigan State (Sr.)
2 29 Mike Brittain C  United States San Antonio Spurs South Carolina (Sr.)
2 30 Calvin Duncan# G  United States Cleveland Cavaliers VCU (Sr.)
2 31 Manute Bol C  Sudan Washington Bullets Bridgeport (Fr.)
2 32 Nick Vanos C  United States Phoenix Suns Santa Clara (Sr.)
2 33 Greg Stokes F/C  United States Philadelphia 76ers Iowa (Sr.)
2 34 Aubrey Sherrod# SG  United States Chicago Bulls Wichita State (Sr.)
2 35 Tyrone Corbin SF/PF  United States San Antonio Spurs DePaul (Sr.)
2 36 Yvon Joseph C  Haiti New Jersey Nets Georgia Tech (Sr.)
2 37 Carey Scurry F  United States Utah Jazz LIU Brooklyn (Sr.)
2 38 Fernando Martín PF  Spain New Jersey Nets Real Madrid (Spain)
2 39 George Montgomery# F  United States Portland Trail Blazers Illinois (Sr.)
2 40 Mark Acres F/C  United States Dallas Mavericks Oral Roberts (Sr.)
2 41 Lorenzo Charles PF  United States Atlanta Hawks NC State (Sr.)
2 42 Bobby Lee Hurt# C/F  United States Golden State Warriors Alabama (Sr.)
2 43 Barry Stevens G/F  United States Denver Nuggets Iowa State (Sr.)
2 44 Voise Winters SG  United States Philadelphia 76ers Bradley (Sr.)
2 45 John "Hot Rod" Williams PF  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Tulane (Sr.)
2 46 Adrian Branch SF  United States Chicago Bulls (from L.A. Lakers) Maryland (Sr.)
2 47 Gerald Wilkins SG  United States New York Knicks (from Boston) Chattanooga (Sr.)

*Further compensation for draft choices previously traded away by Ted Stepien.

Notable post-second round picks

This list includes only players who appeared in at least one NBA game but were not selected in the first or second rounds of the 1985 NBA draft.[3][4]

Round Pick Player Pos. Nationality Team School/club team
3 49 Brad Wright PF  United States Golden State Warriors UCLA (Sr.)
3 54 Sam Mitchell SF/PF  United States Houston Rockets (from San Antonio via Atlanta)*** Mercer (Sr.)
3 59 Sedric Toney PG  United States Atlanta Hawks* Dayton (Sr.)
3 61 Perry Young SG  United States Portland Trail Blazers Virginia Tech (Sr.)
3 63 Harold Keeling SG  United States Dallas Mavericks Santa Clara (Sr.)
3 66 Michael Adams+ PG  United States Sacramento Kings (from Denver) Boston College (Sr.)
3 69 Mike Brown C  United States Chicago Bulls** George Washington (Sr.)
4 73 Fred Cofield PG  United States New York Knicks Eastern Michigan (Sr.)
4 75 Alex Stivrins F  United States Seattle SuperSonics Colorado (Sr.)
4 77 Arvydas Sabonis^ C  Soviet Union Atlanta Hawks (pick voided because Sabonis was not yet 21 at the time of the draft)[5] Žalgiris Kaunas (Soviet Union)
4 79 Mark Davis SF  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Old Dominion (Sr.)
4 82 Scott Roth SF  United States San Antonio Spurs Wisconsin (Sr.)
4 83 Delaney Rudd G  United States Utah Jazz Wake Forest (Sr.)
4 84 John Battle SG  United States Atlanta Hawks (from New Jersey) Rutgers (Sr.)
4 87 Spud Webb PG  United States Detroit Pistons NC State (Sr.)
4 89 Pete Williams PF  United States Denver Nuggets Arizona (Sr.)
4 90 Derrick Gervin PF  United States Philadelphia 76ers UTSA (Jr.)
4 91 Cozell McQueen PF  United States Milwaukee Bucks NC State (Sr.)
4 92 Dexter Shouse PG  United States Los Angeles Lakers South Alabama (Sr.)
6 139 Ralph Lewis SG  United States Boston Celtics La Salle (Sr.)
7 144 Mike Phelps SG  United States Seattle SuperSonics Alcorn State (Sr.)
7 148 Georgi Glouchkov PF  Bulgaria Phoenix Suns Akademik Varna (Bulgaria)
7 160 Mario Elie SF/SG  United States Milwaukee Bucks American International (Sr.)
  1. ^ Nationality indicates the player's national team or representative nationality. If a player has not competed at the international level, then the nationality indicates the national team which the player is eligible to represent according to FIBA rules.

* Compensation for the Utah Jazz signing Billy Paultz
** Compensation for the Los Angeles Lakers signing Larry Spriggs
*** Compensation for the Atlanta Hawks signing Billy Paultz

Notable undrafted players

These players were not selected in the 1985 draft but played at least one game in the NBA.

Player Pos. Nationality School/club team
David Cooke PF  United States Saint Mary's (Sr.)
Dennis Nutt PG  United States TCU (Sr.)
João Vianna PF  Brazil C.A. Monte Líbano (Brazil)


Some have argued that NBA Commissioner David Stern fixed the first overall pick to help his hometown team, the struggling New York Knicks. The lottery system used in 1985 involved a random drawing of seven envelopes from a hopper, with each of the then-seven non-playoff teams having an equal chance of obtaining the first pick. Inside each of the envelopes was the logo of a non-playoff team.

The team whose envelope was drawn first would get the first pick. The process was then repeated until the rest of the first seven lottery picks were determined. In the U.S., CBS had live coverage of Stern pulling the envelopes from the hopper (as opposed to NBA Draft lotteries today where the actual drawing is held behind closed doors before the results are revealed on TV).

There is speculation that the envelope containing the Knicks logo was frozen beforehand, enabling David Stern to recognize and select it.[6][7][8]

According to another theory, some claim that when an accountant from Ernst & Whinney (the same firm used by Gulf + Western, then-owners of the Knicks[9]) inserted the seven envelopes into the glass drum, some have claimed that he banged the fourth one against the side of the drum to create a creased corner, thereby making it easier for Stern to determine which envelope to choose: the envelope containing the Knicks logo.[10] According to this theory, as the drum was being spun by NBA security director Jack Joyce, Stern was watching the envelopes closely. He then opened the drum, took a deep breath, reached in and selected the envelope with the bent corner and the Knicks logo. This has not been confirmed or corroborated by any official source, as most note that the spinning of the drum was far more forceful than any movement by Joyce, deliberate or otherwise.[11]

Early entrants

College underclassmen

The following college basketball players successfully applied for early draft entrance.[12]

See also


  1. ^ "1985 NBA Draft". Basketball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  2. ^ Ewing was born in  Jamaica, but had become a naturalized United States citizen while at Georgetown, as evidenced by his selection to the USA team at the 1984 Olympics.
  3. ^ "1985 NBA Draft".
  4. ^ "NBA Past Drafts - RealGM".
  5. ^ McCallum, Jack (August 11, 2011). "Hoops giant Sabonis was a mystery man with indisputable talent". SI.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014. Sabonis was subsequently selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 1986 NBA draft.
  6. ^ "Griffin the big gift at lottery's 25th anniversary". USA Today. May 18, 2009. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  7. ^ McManis, Sam (May 14, 1985). "NBA's New Showtime: It's Called the Lottery". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  8. ^ Rovell, Darren (May 16, 2002). "NBA out to prove conspiracy theorists wrong". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  9. ^ "The Ewing Conspiracy".
  10. ^ Rosenberg, Michael (29 October 2010). "Viewpoint: Sports conspiracy theories". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  11. ^ "NBA Draft Lottery 2020: Conspiracy theories that make us wonder if the lottery is rigged by the NBA".
  12. ^ "1985 Underclassmen". The Draft Review. Retrieved December 13, 2022.