1997 NBA draft
General information
Date(s)June 25, 1997
LocationCharlotte Coliseum (Charlotte, North Carolina)
57 total selections in 2 rounds
First selectionTim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
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The 1997 NBA draft took place on June 25, 1997, at Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Vancouver Grizzlies had the highest probability to win the NBA draft lottery, but since they were an expansion team along with the Toronto Raptors they were not allowed to select first in this draft. Although the Boston Celtics had the second-worst record in the 1996–97 season and the best odds (36 percent) of winning the lottery with two picks, the Spurs lost David Robinson and Sean Elliott to injury early in the season, finished with the third-worst record, and subsequently won the lottery. Leading up to the draft, there was no doubt that Tim Duncan would be selected at No. 1 by the Spurs as he was considered to be far and away the best prospect. After Duncan, the rest of the draft was regarded with some skepticism.[1] The Celtics had the third and sixth picks, selecting Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer, both of whom were traded in the next two years.

The Washington Wizards forfeited their 1997 first-round pick in connection with the signing of Juwan Howard. (Washington would have had the 17th pick.) Thus, the draft only had 28 first-round selections and 57 selections overall.

Draft selections

Tim Duncan was selected 1st overall by the San Antonio Spurs.
Keith Van Horn was selected 2nd overall by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Chauncey Billups was selected 3rd overall by the Boston Celtics.
Tracy McGrady was selected 9th overall by the Toronto Raptors.
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
# Denotes player who has never appeared in an NBA regular season or playoff game
~ Denotes player who has been selected as Rookie of the Year
Round Pick Player Position Nationality[n 1] NBA team School/Club team
1 1 Tim Duncan^~ PF/C  United States[n 2] San Antonio Spurs Wake Forest (Sr.)
1 2 Keith Van Horn PF  United States Philadelphia 76ers Utah (Sr.)
1 3 Chauncey Billups* PG  United States Boston Celtics Colorado (So.)
1 4 Antonio Daniels PG  United States Vancouver Grizzlies Bowling Green (Sr.)
1 5 Tony Battie C/F  United States Denver Nuggets Texas Tech (Jr.)
1 6 Ron Mercer SF  United States Boston Celtics (from Dallas) Kentucky (So.)
1 7 Tim Thomas SF  United States New Jersey Nets Villanova (Fr.)
1 8 Adonal Foyle C  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Golden State Warriors Colgate (Jr.)
1 9 Tracy McGrady^ SG/SF  United States Toronto Raptors Mt. Zion Christian Academy (Durham, North Carolina)
1 10 Danny Fortson PF  United States Milwaukee Bucks Cincinnati (Jr.)
1 11 Tariq Abdul-Wahad SF  France Sacramento Kings San Jose State (Sr.)
1 12 Austin Croshere PF  United States Indiana Pacers Providence (Sr.)
1 13 Derek Anderson SG  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Kentucky (Sr.)
1 14 Maurice Taylor PF  United States Los Angeles Clippers Michigan (Jr.)
1 15 Kelvin Cato C  United States Dallas Mavericks (from Minnesota) Iowa State (Jr.)
1 16 Brevin Knight PG  United States Cleveland Cavaliers (from Phoenix) Stanford (Sr.)
1 17 Johnny Taylor PF  United States Orlando Magic Chattanooga (Sr.)
1 18 Chris Anstey PF  Australia Portland Trail Blazers SE Melbourne Magic (Australia)
1 19 Scot Pollard C  United States Detroit Pistons Kansas (Sr.)
1 20 Paul Grant C  United States Minnesota Timberwolves (from Charlotte via Milwaukee and Portland) Wisconsin (Sr.)
1 21 Anthony Parker SG  United States New Jersey Nets (from L.A. Lakers) Bradley (Sr.)
1 22 Ed Gray PG/SG  United States Atlanta Hawks California (Sr.)
1 23 Bobby Jackson PG  United States Seattle SuperSonics Minnesota (Sr.)
1 24 Rodrick Rhodes SG  United States Houston Rockets USC (Sr.)
1 25 John Thomas C  United States New York Knicks Minnesota (Sr.)
1 26 Charles Smith SG  United States Miami Heat New Mexico (Sr.)
1 27 Jacque Vaughn PG  United States Utah Jazz Kansas (Sr.)
1 28 Keith Booth SF  United States Chicago Bulls Maryland (Sr.)
2 29 Serge Zwikker# C  Netherlands Houston Rockets (from Vancouver) North Carolina (Sr.)
2 30 Mark Sanford# SF/PF  United States Miami Heat (from Boston) Washington (Jr.)
2 31 Charles O'Bannon PG  United States Detroit Pistons (from San Antonio) UCLA (Sr.)
2 32 James Cotton SF  United States Denver Nuggets Long Beach State (Sr.)
2 33 Marko Milič PG/SG  Slovenia Philadelphia 76ers Smelt Olimpija (Slovenia)
2 34 Bubba Wells SF/PF  United States Dallas Mavericks Austin Peay (Sr.)
2 35 Kebu Stewart SF/PF  United States Philadelphia 76ers (from New Jersey Nets) Cal State Bakersfield (Sr.)
2 36 James Collins PG/SG  United States Philadelphia 76ers(from Toronto) Florida State (Sr.)
2 37 Marc Jackson SF/PF  United States Golden State Warriors Temple (Sr.)
2 38 Jerald Honeycutt PF  United States Milwaukee Bucks Tulane (Sr.)
2 39 Anthony Johnson PG/SG  United States Sacramento Kings College of Charleston (Sr.)
2 40 Ed Elisma# SF  United States Seattle SuperSonics(from L.A. Clippers) Georgia Tech (Sr.)
2 41 Jason Lawson C  United States Denver Nuggets(from Indiana) Villanova (Sr.)
2 42 Stephen Jackson SG  United States Phoenix Suns Butler CC (Sr.)
2 43 Gordon Malone# SF  United States Minnesota Timberwolves West Virginia (Sr.)
2 44 Cedric Henderson PF  United States Cleveland Cavaliers Memphis (Sr.)
2 45 God Shammgod PG  United States Washington Bullets Providence (So.)
2 46 Eric Washington SG  United States Orlando Magic(traded to Denver) Alabama (Sr.)
2 47 Alvin Williams PG  United States Portland Trail Blazers Villanova (Sr.)
2 48 Predrag Drobnjak C  Yugoslavia Washington Bullets (from Charlotte) KK Partizan (Yugoslavia)
2 49 Alain Digbeu# SG  France Atlanta Hawks(from Detroit) ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France)
2 50 Chris Crawford SF  United States Atlanta Hawks Marquette (Sr.)
2 51 DeJuan Wheat PG  United States Los Angeles Lakers Louisville (Sr.)
2 52 C.J. Bruton# PG/SG  Australia Vancouver Grizzlies(from Houston) Indian Hills CC (So.)
2 53 Paul Rogers# C  Australia Los Angeles Lakers (from New York) Gonzaga (Sr.)
2 54 Mark Blount C  United States Seattle SuperSonics Pittsburgh (So.)
2 55 Ben Pepper# C  Australia Boston Celtics (from Miami) Newcastle Falcons (Australia)
2 56 Nate Erdmann# SG  United States Utah Jazz Oklahoma (Senior)
2 57 Roberto Dueñas# C  Spain Chicago Bulls FC Barcelona (Spain)
  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.
  2. ^ Tim Duncan is a United States citizen by birth, as are all natives of the U.S. Virgin Islands, he has represented the United States internationally.[2]

Notable undrafted players

These players eligible for the 1997 NBA Draft were not selected but played in the NBA.

Despite going undrafted Pat Burke gained notability through being the NBA's first Irish player.
Player Pos. Nationality School/Club team
Peter Aluma C  Nigeria Liberty (Sr.)
Etdrick Bohannon F  United States Auburn Montgomery (Sr.)
Pat Burke C  Ireland Auburn (Sr.)
Keith Closs C  United States Norwich Neptunes (Atlantic Basketball Association)
Reggie Freeman SG  United States Texas (Sr.)
Rubén Garcés PF/C  Panama Providence (Sr.)
Chris Garner PG  United States Memphis (Sr.)
Marlon Garnett G  United States Santa Clara (Sr.)
Kiwane Garris PG  United States Illinois (Sr.)
Derek Grimm SF  United States Missouri (Sr.)
Troy Hudson G  United States Southern Illinois (Jr.)
Nate Huffman C  United States Central Michigan (Sr.)
Damon Jones G  United States Houston (Jr.)
Garth Joseph C  Dominica The College of Saint Rose (Sr.)
Jonathan Kerner PF  United States East Carolina (Sr.)
Mikki Moore F/C  United States Nebraska (Sr.)
Ira Newble F  United States Miami (Ohio) (Sr.)
Fabricio Oberto C  Argentina Atenas (Argentina)
Mike Penberthy G  United States The Master's (Sr.)
Jamal Robinson SF  United States Virginia (Sr.)
Shea Seals SG  United States Tulsa (Sr.)
Alvin Sims SG  United States Louisville (Sr.)
Michael Stewart F/C  United States California (Sr.)
Dedric Willoughby PG  United States Iowa State (Sr.)
Trevor Winter C  United States Minnesota (Sr.)

Early entrants

College underclassmen

The following college basketball players successfully applied for early draft entrance.[3]

High school players

The following high school players successfully applied for early draft entrance.[3]

International players

The following international players successfully applied for early draft entrance.[3]

Other eligible players

Player Team Note Ref.
United States Keith Closs Norwich Neptunes (Atlantic Basketball Association) Left Central Connecticut in 1996; playing professionally since the 1996–97 season [4]

See also


  1. ^ Peter May. May 21, 2007. "Luck of draw went Spurs' way in '97 with Duncan - The Boston Globe". Boston Globe
  2. ^ "Virgin Islands". CIA World Factbook. August 12, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
  3. ^ a b c "1997 Underclassmen". The Draft Review. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  4. ^ "Keith Closs 1997 Underclassmen". The Draft Review. Retrieved December 16, 2022.