NBA Draft – History of Draft Picks Order

The NBA Draft order is set and teams are determining what to do with their respective picks.

In preparation for the first round, which takes place on June 20th, let’s take a look at each team’s history of picking in their current draft slot

(Number next each team is how many times they have picked in their 2019 slot).

1. Pelicans – 1

Anthony Davis (2012) is the Pelicans only #1 pick in the franchise’s short history in New Orleans (since 2003). Davis is expected to be traded before ever teaming up with presumed 2019 #1 pick Zion Williamson. 

For more on Pelicans recent draft history, click here.

2. Grizzlies – 4

Ja Morant or RJ Barrett are going to be the 5th player drafted #2 by the Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet (2009), Stromile Swift (2000), Steve Francis (1999), Mike Bibby (1998). Grizzles have never picked #1.

3. Knicks – 4

#3 pick is the team’s highest since picking Patrick Ewing 1st overall in 1985, which was the first year of the lottery system. Prior to that, the Knicks have held the 3rd pick four times – Mike Farmer (1958), Darrall Imhoff (1960), Dave Stallworth (1965), and notably Bill Cartwright (1979).

Notable players drafted third overall include Michael Jordan, Carmelo Anthony, and James Harden. 

Knicks have a really, really bad recent history of first and second round picks.

4. Pelicans – 1

Pelicans acquired this pick from the Lakers and even though LA is making the pick on Thursday, this player will ultimately belong to the Pelicans.

Lakers have never picked 4 and their first ever #4 pick will be immediately traded to New Orleans. The Pelicans franchise has picked 4th once and it was Chris Paul in 2005.

5. Cavs Never

Cavs have never picked #5. But since 2011, they have picked 4th twice (Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters), and #1 three times (Kyrie Irving, Anthony Bennett, Andrew Wiggins).

For more on the Cavs recent draft history, click here

6. Suns – 1

William Bedford (1986) played just 50 games for the team before a trade and represents their only 6th overall pick.

Suns recent top 5 picks have mostly flopped – 2013 #5 Alex Len and 2016 #4 Dragan Bender were busts and the jury is still out on 2017 #4 Josh Jackson. Last year’s top pick, Deandre Ayton, has shown a ton of potential. 

7. Bulls – 4

Wendell Carter (2017), Kirk Hinrich (2003), Chris Mihm (2000), Quintin Dailey (1982).

This is technically the Bulls third straight year picking 7th. In 2017, they didn’t officially make the pick, but the Wolves drafted Lauri Markannen for the Bulls with intent to trade him that night for Jimmy Butler and drafted Wendell Carter in 2018

8. Hawks – Never

Hawks have never picked 8th.

9. Wizards – 1

As the Wizards, Washington has never picked 9th, in fact, only 7 times in Wizards history, which dates back to 1998, have they held a single digit draft pick. As the Bullets, in 1989, they drafted Tom Hammonds.

10. Hawks – 8 

Hawks acquired this pick via the Mavs during last year’s draft

Jason Terry (1999), Adam Keefe (1992), Rumeal Robinson (1990), Keith Edmonson (1982), Butch Lee (1978), Mike Sojourner (1974), John Brown (1973), Butch Beard (1969)

11. Wolves – Never

Wolves have never picked 11th and have not had a lot of luck recently with their lottery picks. They nailed it in 2015 when they won the lottery and drafted Karl Anthony-Towns but have traded away most of their recent picks – Zach LaVine (2014), Kris Dunn (2016), Lauri Markkanen (2017) all went to Chicago for Jimmy Butler and 1 playoff game win.

12. Hornets – 1

2009 was the only time Hornets picked 12th and they selected Gerald Henderson.

Check out the Hornets recent history of lottery picks. 

13. Heat – Never

This is the Heat’s 13th lottery pick all-time. They have never picked 13, but their most recent lottery pick was Bam Adebayo #14 in 2017.

14. Celtics – 3

Eric Williams (14), Gene Guarilla (1959), Red Morrison (1954)

Celtics have a weird history in the lottery over the past few years, despite constantly being one of the best teams in the East. A trade with 76ers, netted them the Kings pick at 14. B

15. Pistons – 4

This will be the 5th time Detroit has picked 15th – twice in the 70s (Phil Hubbard, Al Eberhard) and twice in the 2000s (Austin Daye and Rodney Stucky).

16. MagicNever

Orlando has never picked 16th. They have picked 15th three times and 17 once. Magic are picking outside the lottery for the first time since 2012, when they drafted Andrew Nicholson 19th.

17. Hawks – 4

Atlanta has three first round picks (for now) in 2019. They acquired this pick from the Nets and they have previously picked four players at 17, three of whom have been quite productive – Josh Smith (2004), Jeff Teague (2009), and Dennis Schroder (2013)

The other #17 pick, Cal Bowdler (1999), is the only player in the modern era of basketball to commit seven personal fouls during an NBA game). the other three 17th picks are

18. Pacers – 2

Indiana has picked 18th twice before – Vern Fleming in 1984 and most recently, TJ Leaf in 2017. Leaf has averaged just 3.4 ppg through his first two yeasrs.

19. Spurs – 2

John Paxson (1983) and Wiley Peck (1979) represent the two Spurs picks at 19.

20. Celtics – 2

Dahntay Jones (2003) and Sam Vincent (1985)

21. Thunder – 4

Thunder have picked 21st three times since moving to OKC and once as Seattle Sonics. Bruce Seals was the 21st pick by Seattle in 1975, which was a second round pick back than.

As OKC – Terrance Ferguson (2017), Mitch McGary (2014), Craig Brackins (2010)

22. Celtics -3

The 22nd pick has not been kind to the Celtics or the players drafted – Fab Melo (2012), Reggie Lewis (1987), Ralph Croswaite (1959)

23. Jazz – 4

Rodney Hood (2014), Kosta Koufas (2008), DeShawn Stevenson (2000), Tico Brown (1979) represent the four Jazz picks at 23. Brown was a second round pick.

24. 76ers – 1

Philly has only picked 24th once, and that was a few years ago – Timothe Luwawu-Caborrot in 2016.

25. Blazers – 5

4 of the Blazers’ 5 picks at #25 were second round picks in the 70-80s – Walt Gilmore (1970), Charlie Yelverton (1971), Bob Gross (1975), Mike Smrek (1985). Their only first round pick at 25 was in 1990 – Alaa Abdelnaby.

Last year’s first round pick was #24 for Portland (Anfernee Simons).

26. Cavs – 3

Cleveland has a history of drafting players from midwest colleges in the 70s at #26 – Dave Sorenson (1970) and Allan Hornyak (1973) both from Ohio State and Bruce Flowers (1979) from Notre Dame. All three players were second round picks.

27. Nets – 3

Nets have drafted 3 players at 27 who have never played a minute for the team, all three being traded immediately – Kyle Kuzma (2017) and Brook Lopez to the Lakers for D’angelo Russell, JaJuan Johnson (2011) to the Celtics for Marshon Brooks, Jordan Crawford (2010) to the Hawks.

28. Warriors – 5

Last year’s first round pick was also #28 – Jacob Evans. The other four – Les Jepsen (1990), Danny Salisbury (1979), Temple Tucker (1958), and Bob Schloss (1951).

29. Spurs – 4

This is the best possible position for the Spurs to pick in. They acquired this pick from the Raptors as part of the Kawhi Leonard/Demar Derozan deal.

All four players picked by the Spurs have been PGs – Derrick White (2017), Dejounte Murray (2016), Cory Joseph (2011), Cory Alexander (1995)

30. Bucks – 1

Frank Kornet (1989) is the only Bucks draft pick at #30.

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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