Who Was the First Pick in the NBA Draft?

We all know that the NBA Draft is a big deal. But do you know who was the first pick in the very first NBA Draft? Read on to find out!


The National Basketball Association (NBA) draft is an annual event in which the thirty franchises in the NBA select newly eligible players who wish to join the league. The draft is held in two rounds, with the first round selecting first-year players and the second selecting second-year players or, more commonly, players who have been out of college for three years or more.

The First Pick in the NBA Draft

In 1947, the first ever NBA draft was held. Eight NBA teams drafted a total of 60 players in the Rounds 1 and 2 of the draft. Of those 60 players, 42 went on to play in at least one NBA game. The first ever pick in the NBA draft was Clarence “Buster” Hudson, who was drafted by the Chicago Stags.

The First Pick in the NBA Draft by Year

The following is a list of the first overall picks in the NBA Draft by year:

1947: Clint Richardson ( Baltimore Bullets)
1948: Howie Dallmar ( Philadelphia Warriors)
1949: Don Meineke ( Syracuse Nationals)
1950: Chuck Cooper ( Boston Celtics)
1951: Bob Cousy ( Chicago Stags)
1952: Frank Selvy ( Baltimore Bullets)
1953: Clyde Lovellette ( Minneapolis Lakers)
1954: Lavern Dilweg ( Milwaukee Hawks)
1955: Andy Philip ( Fort Wayne Pistons)
1956: Tom Heinsohn ( Boston Celtics)
1957: Bill Russell ( Boston Celtics)
1958: Elgin Baylor ( Minneapolis Lakers)
1959: Rod Thorn ( Baltimore Bullets)
1960: Oscar Robertson ( Cincinnati Royals)
1961: Walt Bellamy ( Chicago Packers)
1962: Terry Dischinger ( Chicago Zephyrs)

The First Pick in the NBA Draft by Team

The first pick in the NBA draft is a very coveted position. Each year, the best college basketball players in the country vie for the chance to be selected first overall by an NBA team. Many of the greatest players in NBA history have been first overall picks, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan.

In recent years, the first overall pick has been used to select a player who is considered to be a can’t-miss prospect. However, there have been some busts over the years as well. In fact, the player selected first overall is not always guaranteed to have a successful NBA career.

Here is a list of every first overall pick in the NBA draft since it began in 1947:

1947: Clarence Gaines (Cleveland Rams)
1948: Fred Schaus (Pittsburgh Ironmen)
1949: Howie Dallmar (Philadelphia Warriors)
1950: Chuck Share (Boston Celtics)
1951: Bill Sharman (Washington Capitols)
1952: Frank Selvy (Baltimore Bullets)
1953: Cornbread Maxwell (Milwaukee Hawks)
1954: LaVern Pettit (Milwaukee Hawks)
1955: Bob Pettit ( Milwaukee Hawks)
1956: Sihugo Green (Rochester Royals)
1957: Maurice Stokes (Rochester Royals)

1958: Elgin Baylor (Minneapolis Lakers)
1959: Jerry West ( Minneapolis Lakers)

1960: Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati Royals)

1961: Tommy Harper (Boston Celtics)

1962:, Art Heyman(New York Knicks),

1963:, Connie Dierking(St. Louis Hawks),

1964:, Billy Cunningham(Philadelphia 76ers),

1965:, Fred Hetzel(San Francisco Warriors),

1966:, Cazzie Russell(New York Knicks),

1967:: Dave Bing(Detroit Pistons),

1968:: Elvin Hayes(Houston Rockets),

1969:: Lew Alcindor*(Milwaukee Bucks),

1970:: Bob Lanier( Detroit Pistons)),

1971:: Austin Carr(Cleveland Cavaliers)),

1972:: LaRue Martin(Portland Trail Blazers)), 10. 1973:: John Lucas* II(Houston Rockets)), 11. 1974:: Bill Walton*(Portland Trail Blazers)), 12. 1975:: David Thompson*II(Atlanta Hawks)), 13., 1976:: Kent Benson*I((Indiana Pacers)), 14., 1977:: Mychal Thompson((Portland Trail Blazers))), 15., 1978:: Rick Robey((Indiana Pacers))), 16., 1979:: Tom Chambers((San Diego Clippers))), 17., 1980:: Joe Barry Carroll((Golden State Warriors))), 18., 1981:: Mark Aguirre((Dallas Mavericks))), 19., 1982:: James Worthy((Los Angeles Lakers))). 20. 1983.: Ralph Sampson((Houston Rockets)). 21., 1984.: Akeem Olajuwon*((Houston Rockets)). 22.”, 1985.: Patrick Ewing * ((New York Knicks)).


In conclusion, the answer to the question “Who was the first pick in the NBA draft?” is still a bit of a mystery. There have been many great players who have been taken with the first pick in the draft, but there is no clear consensus on who was the very first.Player X may have been taken first in one year, but it is possible that he was not considered the best player in that class. It is also worth noting that some of the greatest players in NBA history were not drafted at all. So, while it is fun to speculate about who was the first pick in the NBA draft, it is ultimately a bit of a moot point.

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