| March 29, 1971 (first 10 rounds)
March 30, 1971 (remaining rounds)|
New York City, New York
Austin Carr, Cleveland Cavaliers
The 1971 NBA draft was the 25th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on March 29 and 30, 1971 before the 1971–72 season. In this draft, 17 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Portland Trail Blazers were awarded the second pick. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. Prior to the start of the season, the San Diego Rockets and the San Francisco Warriors relocated to Houston, Texas, and Oakland, California, and became the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors respectively. The draft consisted of 19 rounds comprising the selection of 237 players. The league also hosted a supplemental hardship draft on September 20, 1971, for college underclassmen who wish to join the league.
1971 NBA draft Wikipedia
The following list includes other draft picks who have appeared in at least one NBA game.a On October 20, 1970, the Chicago Bulls acquired a second-round pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Shaler Halimon. The Bulls used the pick to draft Willie Sojourner.
b 1 2 On March 23, 1971, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired 1971 and 1972 second-round picks and a 1971 third-round pick from the San Francisco Warriors in exchange for Jim Barnett. The Blazers used the picks to draft Charlie Yelverton and William Smith.
c On October 22, 1970, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired a second-round pick from the Baltimore Bullets in exchange for Dorie Murrey. The Blazers used the pick to draft Rick Fisher.
d On May 11, 1970, the Buffalo Braves acquired Bob Kauffman and a second-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Bailey Howell. The Braves used the pick to draft Spencer Haywood.
e On the draft-day, the Cincinnati Royals acquired a second-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Flynn Robinson. The Royals used the pick to draft Joe Bergman.
f On April 23, 1970, the Chicago Bulls acquired Jim Fox and a second-round pick from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Clem Haskins. The Bulls used the pick to draft Howard Porte.
g On October 16, 1970, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired a second-round pick from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Matt Guokas. The 76ers used the pick to draft Marvin Stewart.
h On February 1, 1971, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Gary Freeman and a second-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for McCoy McLemore. The Cavaliers used the pick to draft Willie Long.
i On September 5, 1969, the Chicago Bulls acquired Bob Kauffman and a third-round pick from the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for Bob Boozer and Barry Clemens. The Bulls used the pick to draft Clifford Ray.
j On December 9, 1970, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired a third-round pick from the San Diego Rockets in exchange for Johnny Egan. The Cavaliers used the pick to draft Jackie Ridgle.
k On September 9, 1969, the Chicago Bulls acquired a third-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Mike Lynn. The Bulls used the pick to draft Mike Gale.
On September 10, 1971, the NBA hosted a supplemental hardship draft for college underclassmen who wish to join the league. Prior to the 1971 Draft, college underclassmen were not eligible to be drafted until their college class graduated. These underclassmen fulfilled the "hardship" criteria and were allowed to enter the draft early. This new rule came as a result of Spencer Haywood winning the court case against the NBA which allowed him to play in the NBA before his college class graduated. The teams selected in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. The team that made a selection must withdraw their equivalent selection in the 1972 Draft. The teams were allowed to not exercise their rights on this hardship draft and thus retained their full selection in the 1972 Draft.
Three teams that were supposed to have the first three selections, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Buffalo Braves and Portland Trail Blazers, declined to exercise their rights. Therefore, the Cincinnati Royals had the first selection, which they used to select Nate Williams from Utah State University. Phil Chenier, a junior guard from the University of California, was selected by the Baltimore Bullets. He is the only player from the hardship draft who was selected to All-NBA Team and All-Star Game. Joe Hammond, who had not played high school and college basketball, was selected in the fourth round by the Los Angeles Lakers. Hammond, who had played for the Allentown Jets in the Eastern Basketball Association (EBA) prior to the draft, had to apply as the "hardship case" because his college class could not graduate until 1972 if he had gone to the college. From the six players that were available for selection, only Ed Owens from Weber State University that was not selected by any NBA team.